Tommy Collins and Rick Duggan: Where Are Chickie’s Army Friends Now?

Image Credit: CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube

Apple TV+’s war film ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ depicts the unbelievable true story of John “Chickie” Donohue, who leaves for Vietnam during the Vietnam War with a duffle bag full of beer. Chickie meets his friends and offers them beer as a token of gratitude for risking their lives on the line for their country. After arriving in Vietnam, Chickie initially meets Tommy Collins and Rick Duggan before meeting two more friends. In reality, as the film depicts, Tommy and Duggan were astounded to see their friend in Vietnam. Intrigued by their friendship, we have discovered Tommy and Duggan’s current whereabouts. Let us share our findings!

Tommy Collins Lives With His Wife in Florida

After returning from Vietnam, Tommy Collins joined the New York City Police Department. He started a new chapter of his career as an officer on June 30, 1969, at the 32nd precinct in Harlem. It didn’t take long for Collins to establish himself in the force as he earned his gold shield within three years of joining the department. Collins eventually trained and married fellow officer Suzanne Oquendo. The officer was part of the Narcotics Task Force as well. Collins then formed the Career Criminal Unit, which was created to focus on criminals who were convicted for serious charges like murder, armed robbery, etc.

Tommy Collins (bottom left)/Image Credit: CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube

Collins was part of multiple high-profile cases, including the infamous “Tuxedo King” case, concerning the kidnapping of clothing manufacturer Harvey Weinstein, who survived two weeks in a hole in captivity. Collins is a retired detective who doesn’t mind a return to the force if it was possible. “I loved the job. I’d still do it if I could,” Collins said about his former profession, as per the eponymous source text of the film by Chickie and Joanna Molloy. Collins and his wife reside in Fort Myers, Florida, where he works at the spring training camp of the Minnesota Twins.

Rick Duggan is Enjoying His Life and Focusing on Resting

In Vietnam, Rick Duggan was a specialist in the Army First Air Cavalry Division. He had engaged in 153 combat assaults during the Vietnam War. When his father was on his deathbed, Duggan was sent home. However, since he didn’t die, Duggan had to return to Vietnam. After returning to the United States once and for all, Duggan made use of his combat experience in the NYPD, working in the 41st precinct in South Bronx. He retired as a lieutenant in the force. Duggan, along with his current partner Noreen O’Shea, is currently enjoying “R & R” after an eventful career as a soldier and cop.

Image Credit: CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube

Duggan has been meeting Chickie, Tommy Collins, Kevin McLoone, and Bobby Pappas for dinners regularly in New York ever since they were all back in the United States. He had opened up about his bewilderment upon seeing Chickie in Vietnam several times. “When he [Chickie] showed up, I felt like I was in ‘The Twilight Zone.’ All my guys were flabbergasted, like, ‘You mean he’s here voluntarily?’” Duggan told The New York Times in 2017, after the publication of the source text of the film. The five friends recently teamed up to attend the premiere of ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ at the Toronto International Film Festival as well.

The photographs Duggan took while Chickie met him in Vietnam became proof that the latter really accomplished a mission that was considered impossible and unbelievable.

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