For decades, Dwayne Collins has served his community, state, and country in a variety of roles—college trustee, volunteer firefighter, border watcher, and tea party founder, to name a few—so he can leave a brighter future for his children and grandchildren and make a better America for all. At the age of 73, the conservative grassroots leader is still going strong.

Collins is a native Texan, born in Beaumont and raised in Sour Lake. He met his wife, Ann, while attending Texas A&M, where he graduated from veterinary school. Following a two-year stint in the Army, the couple moved to the Houston area, where “Doc” launched his veterinary practice and his community involvement.

Collins has spent years making his community a better place by doing pro bono veterinary work for area high school agriculture programs and a YMCA youth camp, helping establish and fund a drug rehab center for his local school district, organizing Special Olympics events, and serving as founding director of the North East Houston Chamber of Commerce and an elected trustee of Lone Star College.

After 20 years in the Houston area, the Collinses moved to the small Van Zandt County town of Edom, where they’ve resided for the past 30 years. There, Doc continued his veterinary practice while expanding his involvement within his community and government.

Collins also served on the Edom City Council and founded the Edom Chamber of Commerce. He also organized fundraising efforts to build a new park and community center and to pay for new facilities and equipment for the town’s volunteer fire department, in which he serves.

On top of that, he’s a member of the Texas Border Volunteers, who observe nighttime border crossings and notify Border Patrol of illegal activity.

While he was always politically active, Collins says the tea party movement “kicked it up a notch.”

“The wife and I, along with a busload of friends and neighbors, attended Glenn Beck’s 2010 Restoring Honor in Washington D.C.,” he said. “It was as much a religious experience as a political event. To stand there, shoulder to shoulder with a million other Americans that had the same basic Christian conservative beliefs as you, was awe-inspiring.”

That inspiration drove Collins to become even more engaged in government. He founded five tea party groups in the East Texas area, including the Edom Tea Party, over which he presides. He’s arranged countywide debates featuring local and statewide candidates, including a hugely successful 2016 event that drew over 1,000 voters. He also sponsors local minority outreach efforts and events for the Republican Party and conducts voter registration drives.

And for the last several months, Collins campaigned against State Rep. Dan Flynn (R–Van) in the Republican primary, playing a large role in keeping Flynn under 50 percent; as a result, Collins is headed into a runoff election with Bryan Slaton.

Collins has been a delegate to the Republican Party of Texas state convention every year since 2012 and was a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016. He’s an active member of the RPT’s Mighty Texas Strike Force, which puts boots on the ground in other states to support Republican candidates.

Why be so involved in government? Collins says it’s to preserve the special freedoms he and his wife of 50 years, their three children, and their five grandchildren enjoy:

“I see the deterioration of the America I knew as a youth. Our forefathers did what they did for their posterity, for those who would come after—as did my father, who was a WWII veteran. I, too, was a captain in the U.S. Army. We today have lost that vision, and I care what kind of country we will be leaving our children and grandchildren.”

When he finds time for leisure, Collins enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing, softball, and snow skiing. He also helps expand his church’s outreach and supports local evangelical events that impact thousands of lives—an awakening he says is “desperately needed” in this country.

Because of a recent battle with bone cancer, which—“praise to Jesus Christ and good doctors”—is in remission but requires maintenance chemotherapy, Collins says he’s had to slow down a bit the past couple of years. But you wouldn’t know it from all of his ongoing activities, which continue to serve as an inspiration to others.

Doc’s leadership in fighting for a stronger Texas and America hasn’t gone unnoticed by fellow grassroots activists. Collins earned a Conservative Leader Award from Empower Texans in 2016, RPT’s Volunteer of the Year award for Senate District 2 in 2017, and a 2019 Champion of Freedom Award from Grassroots America – We the People. He’s also been recognized by his community as Van Zandt’s Veterinarian of the County and the city of Edom’s Citizen of the Year and 2018 Firefighter of the Year.

Collins says if someone really wants to make a difference, they must educate themselves first. There are so many causes out there that need attention; people simply need to find a just cause and become involved.

“Yes, everyone can and, I feel, must become active if we are going to recapture America’s greatness which has been lost,” Collins said. “If not, we will not only see the continued deterioration of this country but, due to the loss of America’s leadership, a less civil and less peaceful world.”

Collins’ faith, dedication, and leadership by example are powerful reminders that each person can make a difference in making a better America for all.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.