Sailor's Ashes Return Home to Family - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Sailor's Ashes Return Home to Family

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The community continues to grieve the loss of a sailor from Truckee.

25-year old Petty Officer, Third Class Brian Collins was one of five killed after a helicopter crash off the Virginia beach coast back on January 8th.

On Wednesday, his remains were flown home to his family at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Dozens of people from the Blue Star Mothers to the Patriot Guard were there to welcome Brian's family who certainly appreciated their presence.

"It felt good to have that kind of support," said Hollee Collins, Brian's mother. "People from Truckee drove down, and to have the Patriot Guard here was great. This is a very, very difficult time for us, and any support we can get is welcomed."

You may remember, Petty Officer, Third Class Collins was a crewman on the minesweeper helicopter (MH-53E Sea Dragon) that crashed on the 8th. He passed away at a Virginia hospital after being rescued at the crash site.

On Wednesday, people came from all over to pay their respects for the fallen soldier. His ashes were flown in from an American Airlines flight, and his family was given a flag ceremony. Then, officials putting on the ceremony told us the ashes were taken in a hearse back to Truckee ahead of Collins' Celebration of Life this Saturday. It starts at 12 p.m. at Truckee High School (11725 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA, 96161). Anyone can come to honor him.

Collins served in the U.S. Navy for a little more than two years, and before that, he graduated from Truckee High School in 2007.

His sister, Danielle Helm, told us the loss was a big blow to the Truckee community.

"He was the best brother you could ever ask for," she said. "He was a good man. He cared about everyone. He would do anything at any time for anyone and all efforts to make everyone smile and laugh."







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