SSG Collins Funeral & Child Trust

I would like to introduce you all to Staff Sergeant Jeff Collins, 19D Cavalry Scout, US Army Retired, and one of my closest friends.  He died this past Saturday, the night before Easter.   There is no money to give him a hero's funeral.  There is no money for the 11 year old daughter he left behind.

He died from an overdose of prescribed medication from the VA.  (Jeff was severely injured on a house raid in Iraq in 2009.  Three of his soldiers were killed.  He saved his Platoon Leaders life.  Jeff fought and killed several bad guys in a room no bigger than 20 feet by 20 feet that also had a spider hole full of insurgents.  He took multiple rounds to his body armor.  Bodies were piled up against the door blocking anyone from entering. The fight only ended when a Stryker Armored Fighting Vehicle breached the wall.  The Stryker ran over Jeff and broke his back in the process.  It was a year before Jeff could walk again.)

Jeff's mother was in Hospice with brain cancer when he died.  She passed away today.  Jeff visited her before he died on Saturday night.

I was Jeff's boss in the Army for several years.  After Jeff was discharged from the military with 100% disability, we remained very close.  I can tell you from personal experience Jeff always had a hard time taking his medication correctly for his multiple combat related ailments and injuries.  He refused to take his meds when he had custody of his daughter because he wanted to remain sharp.  He didn't want to be on the meds at all and would purposely not take them until he absolutely had to, and he always had a hard time finding the right dosage to help at that point.  This past Saturday night, he got the dosage wrong, but I know in my heart the overdose had to be an accident.  I can't believe he would leave his daughter on purpose.  (Edit: Two months later we know the VA gave him too many medications in the wrong dosages that should never have been mixed.)

Jeff had very hard times since he was medically discharged.  He lived with the pain of the soldiers he lost everyday.  Two divorces, as Jeff often told me the first from a wife that found another man while Jeff was in Iraq, the second from a wife that stole his medication and all of his disabilty money; his father's suicide, his mother's terminal illness, and the ongoing child custody dispute of the love of his life, 11 year old Savannah.  Luckily, Savannah was not home when Jeff passed.

Jeff was a hero.  Combat Action Badge, a Purple Heart, and a Bronze Star with "V" for Valor medal recipient. One of the finest soldiers I ever had the pleasure of leading and serving with, a man of honor and integrity and a wonderful father to his daughter.  As far as I'm concerned, he died as a result of injuries he received in Iraq 7 years ago.

Will you please help Jeff be buried with honors and help his daughter be cared for?

Godspeed, scout.  I'll see you on Fiddlers Green.

(Edit: The benificiary is listed as Kevin Maxwell.  He is an attorney in Orlando, Florida and was a very close freind of Jeff's.  He is the administrator of the Trust for Savannah.  The Trust was established to ensure 100% of the donations go to Savannah.  Kevin is doing all of this for free.   You can learn about Kevin at .)
  • Christopher Mcnamara  
    • $50 
    • 62 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $69 
    • 64 mos
  • Thomas Harnihs 
    • $50 
    • 68 mos
  • Marshal Earp 
    • $50 
    • 68 mos
  • Keith Hutcheson  
    • $20 
    • 69 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Mike Piwowarski 
Orlando, FL
Kevin Maxwell