Grace Collins, Word of Honor Child, Celebrated at Adequan Global Dressage Festival

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Grace Collins, daughter of US Navy Seal David Collins, with uncle Eric Brandt, and cousin Sara and Michael Boone singing “Proud to be an American” at ceremony at Global Dressage Festival celebrating Word of Honor recipients. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 4, 2017–Grace Collins, surviving daughter of Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer David Michael Collins, was honored at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Saturday night for her father’s sacrifice.

Olympic dressage rider and coach Debbie McDonald, a longtime advocate of Word of Honor Fund, put together a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Grace to experience the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Global Dressage Festival to fulfill Grace’s passion for riding.

Chief Collins served in the military for 25 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL, earning a Bronze Star and other commendations in the first Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the Global War on Terrorism. In 2014, Chief Collins lost his battle to the unseen wounds of war.

The Word of Honor Fund, a charitable organization that provides mentorship and growth opportunities for children of fallen U.S. Navy SEALs and Special Operations personnel, arranged for Grace to be at the major equestrian events in Wellington.

Surviving children are paired with mentors who knew their fathers and help impart guidance, knowledge and hope that each fallen warrior had for his children.

Grace came with her her mentor, her uncle Eric Brandt, and her cousin Sara, to fulfill a promise of Chief Collins.

As well as taking part in awards ceremonies, national anthem singer Michael Boone sang “Proud to be an American” specially for Grace.