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Remembering those who served

Bainbridge and Decatur Countians will gather Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. in Willis Park to honor the veterans who have served our country in times of war and peace.

Keynote speaker will be Rolfe Hunt, former Bainbridge City Councilman, and also a Marine Corps veteran. During the luncheon at the Kirbo Center, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tom Bush will be the speaker.

At this time of the year, one Bainbridge resident, Marvin Collier, wants to remember and honor the six members of three generations of his family who have served in the military during times of war.

The family military history began with his father, Junior Collier, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II from Feb. 12, 1942, to Feb. 10, 1946. He trained at Fort Benning before being stationed in South Carolina for the rest of the war. He died July 2003.

Junior Collier and his wife, Maude, who lives in Bainbridge and is 87 years old, had three sons. The eldest, Bobby G., served in Vietnam from June 7, 1967, to Jan. 14, 1969. He suffered a service-connected disability and now lives in Conyers, Ga.

The second son, Nathaniel, served in Vietnam from July 25, 1969, to July 24, 1972. During that conflict he was decorated with the Bronze Star for acts of heroism. He also received the Purple Heart. He died Aug. 23, 1997.

Third son, Marvin, served in North Korea for three years from August 1971 to August 1974. He currently resides in Bainbridge.

The next generation of Colliers include Nathaniel’s son, Bobby, who served in the U.S. Air Force from Feb. 14, 1995, to Feb. 14, 2000. He achieved the rank of E6 and served in Saudi Arabia. He currently resides in Conyers.

Marvin’s son, Ricky, served eight years in the U.S. Army doing tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently a resident of Lithonia, Ga.

Marvin Collier said he is proud that his family followed a family tradition of service to country and he wanted to recognize and honor them on this Veteran’s Day.