2 tours in Vietnam turned into an Army career for Art Collins.

August 22, 2014

art_collins_vietnam_vet_1The Mason County Allied Veterans Council is hosting the Traveling Vietnam Memorial at Ludington City Park from Aug. 27 to 31. See related story here.  MCP is asking any Vietnam veteran who would like to submit his/her story to feel free to email us your story or contact us for an interview: Kate Krieger, [email protected], phone/text 231-794-8402 or Rob Alway, [email protected], phone/text 231-757-3202. 

Submitted by Julie Collins. 

Arthur Collins of Ludington decided to enlist in the Army instead of being drafted as he was told he could choose his training.  The Army trained him in clerical work however, once he landed in Vietnam they put him where he was needed, in the jungle with an M-16.

art_collins_vietnam_vet_2This was quite the change for a farm boy from Hamlin Township. He served two tours in Vietnam. The first tour from April 1967 to April 1968 and the second from October 1968 to October 1969.  During his first tour he met up with and spent time with Ludington local, Rod Macarthur.

He later found out that another Ludington local, Roger Dains, was serving in Vietnam at the same time, though did not meet up there. When Art returned to Ludington after his first tour he learned that Roger was killed on April 22, 1968, just after Art left ‘Nam.

Art was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal during his first tour. During his second tour he was stationed on a base and rode in the helicopters out to the jungle to deliver mail and bring back the wounded and dead.  His second tour provided him the opportunity to meet up with local Tim “Parky” Parkinson (and future brother-in-law).  They spent Tim’s 21st birthday together in Saigon.

Art was very proud to serve his country but after landing in Seattle and being spit on he learned to change from his uniform to civilian clothes upon arriving back in the states.  Art returned to Vietnam in 2001 hoping for some closure and healing.  His wife, Julie and daughters, Tracy and Deni are extremely proud of his dedication to our country and selflessness in serving.  Art retired from the military in 1999.

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