Sumrall veteran set to celebrate 100th birthday

David Henry Collins of Sumrall poised to turn 100
David Henry Collins of Sumrall poised to turn 100
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:49 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - David Henry Collins may be 99 years old, but he moves like a man half his age.

“I’ve got a thing down there that I can put my feet on and I can use it in my arms,” Collins said. “Then I walk around, sometimes from here to the church. Me and my walking stick. So, I do pretty good.”

Collins joined the army in 1947 and trained at Fort Bragg. After training, he moved to Mississippi and recalled his role while in the service.

“I didn’t go overseas,” he said. “I drove an ambulance in the Army, picking up dead folks and carrying them to different places. Me and another fellow.”

Collins was married for 63 years and used his kind nature to help his family to navigate discrimination as African-Americans in the South.

“Me and my wife, my girlfriend then, and we’d meet some of the white people and they would get at you and say ‘Why don’t you get behind her?’” Collins said. “And I say ‘You don’t get behind yours.’ The street was wide enough for both of us to get in.”

This spring, Collins will turn 100 years old, and when asked for his secret to longevity, he says he lives by the Golden Rule.

“Well, just treat people right and everything,” Collins said. “Don’t try to think I’m better than anybody else. If I can help someone, then I’ll help them.”

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