Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

David Hays Collier

Lyons, New Yersey

June 21, 2019

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
38 Army  

HHC 2-3 Infantry

 Deployed to Iraq from Oct 2003-Nov 2004 as a part of operation Iraqi Freedom.

From The Jackson-Breathitt County Times-Voice nolangroupmedia.com 06/25/19

David Hays Collier, 38, of Lyons, NJ passed away suddenly the evening of Friday, June 21, 2019. The cause of death is still unknown.
David was born in Louisville, KY on May 6, 1981 to David A. Collier and Janet Pigman Collier. He is survived by his sister Rebecca Collier Irish of Ithaca, NY along with her husband Brett Irish and David’s beloved nephew and niece Hays Collier Irish and Davilyn Christine Irish, his cherished and fiercely loyal girlfriend and partner Khatera Hamid, and a slew of aunts and uncles that love him to pieces: Dale and Christopher Dufour, Patty and Jim Miller, CH and Sissy Avery, Don and Karen Collier and Janet Collier. He is also survived by his sister’s in-laws, the Irishes, who scooped them into their family and loved him very much.

David grew up in Atlanta, moved back to KY for many years residing in Hazard and Jackson. In 2014 he joined his sister, nephew and father in Keyport, NJ. His love for his family ran deep and his role as adoring uncle fit like a glove. When he held, played or talked with his nephew or niece his eyes shone with love and wonder.
David was an extremely hard worker and worked in fiber optics, landscaping, construction and manufacturing. He had recently completed a certification as a personal trainer which was a perfect fit with his passion for working out. His true love was always the army. During his military service, David was assigned to HHC 2-3 Infantry and deployed to Iraq from Oct 2003-Nov 2004 as a part of operation Iraqi Freedom. David served our country honorably and bravely giving a year of his life in war and we can never imagine, much less understand what he must have gone through on his tour. “Tuck”— as he was dubbed in Iraq in honor of his home state and country accent—always spoke of his army brothers with love and loyalty.

Everyone liked David. He was the quintessential people person, brightening the day of whoever he interacted with be it a cashier, a server or just someone passing by. He never met a stranger, laughing and smiling easily anywhere, anytime with almost anyone. David just had a way about him. He was tough and tender simultaneously. He was real and authentic in a way that seems rare and respectable. He was chivalrous and a fearless protector of those he loved. He was a bit of a rascal, a loveable hellraiser, and proud gym rat. He was also goofy as hell. He could often be found flexin’ with his shirt off, bustin’ out some hilarious dance moves, or just generally bustin’ on someone. He loved a cheesy joke like his Dad, but could easily switch gears and say something heartfelt or pay someone a compliment. David faced many profound struggles and losses in his life yet was still able to consistently be generous with his heart and with his words of appreciation. You often left his company feeling loved, and it was refreshing to be loved by him.

We will celebrate David’s life at 2:00pm on Friday, June 29 at Pfleger Funeral home in Middletown, NJ. Please come with a David story to share. The family would welcome your story in written form to share with his niece and nephew (if it’s appropriate…!) and help keep his memory alive in them as they grow up.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Community Hope. Their Hope for Veterans program is the largest nonprofit serving homeless veterans and families in NJ. This program provided direct assistance to David and my family is deeply grateful for their commitment to veterans. www.communityhope-nj.org Follow the link at the top of the page to donate.

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