Hanna speaks at ceremony naming bridge for fallen war hero

Decorated U.S. Navy SEAL David M. Collins saw combat in multiple missions

MILL HALL, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, joined Clinton County residents in honoring a fallen war hero today as a Mill Hall bridge was named in honor of U.S. Navy Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer David M. Collins.

“David was a true American hero,” Hanna said. “No action or gesture can adequately express our gratitude for his service. It’s my sincere hope that his family and friends – and our entire community – can take pride and solace in today’s dedication, which will forever serve as a reminder of David’s courage and commitment to his country.”

A Lock Haven native, Collins served in operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. His numerous medals and awards included the Bronze Star, which he received during Iraq’s national election period while serving as the primary tactical shift leader for the Iraqi prime minister’s protective security detail. Collins reportedly directed the safe execution of more than 300 high-risk movements throughout Iraq and parts of the Middle East.

He retired from naval service in September 2012. He died in March 2014 as a result of a combat-related traumatic brain injury and chronic brain disease.

“This bridge is an important piece of infrastructure in our community – but now it’s much more,” Hanna said. “It’s also a permanent reminder of the courage of a local hero.”

The bridge renamed for Chief Petty Officer Collins is the Route 150 Bridge over Fishing Creek. Hanna sponsored H.B. 1270 to name the bridge in Collins’ honor.