Retired Army veteran enjoying his golden years working at Lowe’s

CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) – If you’ve got a lawn and garden question, chances are retired Army Col. Don Collins has the answer.

“I have a PhD from North Dakota State in Agronomy and pesticide research,” Collins said. “That’s why I’m over here in this area.”

He’s covered a lot of areas in his lifetime, not just this Chesterfield Lowe’s location.

“My first tour outside the country was Vietnam,” Collins said.

He was a helicopter pilot in the Army and later served in the Persian Gulf War. But he came to work at Lowe’s six years ago looking for something to do. Then he got his first paycheck.

“By the time they take out the federal and state tax and Social Security, my wife and I donate to about 15 different veterans’ organizations and also cancer research,” Collins said.

Collins is a prostate cancer survivor for the last 16 years, his wife a survivor of breast cancer. This jack-of-all trades and master-of-many decided to give back and never forget.

“He gets out there every day and he continues to work and he doesn’t have to,” said Paula Williams, assistant store manager at Lowe’s. “He could play golf, but he comes to work so he can be with people and contribute. That’s something that people need to look up to. He is a local hero.”

So whether you’re looking for the right pesticide or in need of a pep talk, Don Collins is your man with the answers.

“My philosophy always has been in saying, ‘Stay positive and don’t ever, ever, ever give up,’” he said.