Veteran assaulted in Nashville home break-in - WSMV Channel 4

Veteran assaulted in Nashville home break-in

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Middle Tennessee veteran says he is happy to be alive following a frightening robbery that happened when he answered his door just before midnight.

He survived a tour of duty in Vietnam, but this time the enemies were closer to home and they were also carrying guns.

A group of men showed up at Richard Collins' home in south Nashville late Tuesday, forced their way inside, beat him up and demanded money.

"When they came with the pistol, it was surreal. I didn't have a thought. Everything stopped," Collins said. "Then, he hit me with a pistol. I woke up and said, 'Oh, man, this is for real.'"

Collins said his experience on a tour of duty in Vietnam left lasting and dark impressions. These days, he tries to be a good neighbor by allowing a young man to occasionally knock on his apartment door and use the phone.

When the two men forced their way into his home, their faces were covered and they were wearing hoods, but Collins told police he recognized one of the voices.

It was possibly someone he had helped in the past.

"He made me roll over and said, 'Put your face down.' He kept on saying, 'I'm gonna kill you, kill you,'" Collins said.

The man who stared down the enemy overseas says the armed robbery was so frightening he is now staying with friends.

The robbers took some prescription medication, $7 from the victim's wallet and even tried to steal his television.

"They tried to get it off the rack, and they broke the rack," Collins said.

Now, as he looks forward to Thanksgiving, Collins is grateful he will be around to enjoy it. But the war veteran said it is disheartening that there seems to be no end to the war on crime.

If you have any information that could help police in this case, call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.

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