MILWAUKEE - On Friday, the lawn of Hamilton High School was packed with people who came out to celebrate the life of LCPL Jeremiah Collins. He was a 2012 graduate of Hamilton.
Collins always wanted to be a physical education teacher. Friday he finally got that chance. He was given an honorary physical education teacher degree.
His own teachers remember him as motivated and thoughtful.
"He still took the time to send me condolences on the death of my mother this July 28,” remembers English teacher Stephanie Myer. “Now is the time for me to give his mother condolences on his death.”
His best friend Sam still can’t believe he’s gone. Collins died a few days ago in Afghanistan.
“I spoke to him a week before,” shares best friend Sam Sanchez. “He called me at like 4 or 5 in the morning and told me he was bored and had nothing to do.”
Sanchez admits he actually told Collins not to join the Marines. He was worried for him. But he couldn’t stop Jeremiah. “And he’s, ‘Like, yeah man. I miss you guys.’ I was like, ‘I miss you too, man.’”
Collins was a little worried that he’d come back and everything would be changed, says Sanchez.
Now, everything has changed for friends, family, and even his brothers in the Marine Corps.
Collins inspired other classmates to join the Marines. They honored him, and remembered his life of service.