At first glance, Collin Gray is your typical 20-year-old East Texan. But that's where you would be wrong. A 2011 graduate of Chapel Hill High School, Gray has been away from East Texas since November 2012, serving his country as an infantryman in the United States Army.
And like any twenty-something, Gray has his eye out for a hot date to the Army Ball. His choice? Singer and actress Selena Gomez, also 20 and also a native Texan. Gomez, who is originally from Grand Prairie, is famous for her work on the television series Wizards of Waverly Place as well as a career as a recording artist. Gomez has had an on-again, off-again relationship with pop star Justin Bieber. Fortunately for Gray, it was reported that they broke up in January.
Gray contacted KLTV on Thursday about the video, which was posted on YouTube on Tuesday. In the video, Gray is doing pull-ups when one of his fellow soldiers approaches him and asks him who he is taking to the Army Ball. Gray barely hesitates before he answers that he would love to take Gomez to the ball.
"I kept telling him about Selena Gomez and he didn't really know that much about her, so I urged him I said, 'Look her up. She seems like a really good girl, my kids watch her all the time on tv,'" said Sniper Team Leader Sergeant Daniel Johan Mackie, Collin's friend who took the video.
Specialist Gray did a little research and was pleasantly surprised at what he found.
"He found out she was from Texas so he got all excited about her because he is all about Texas, you know? And I guess because she is from Texas he did a little more research and he was like 'wow, she really seems like a good person, you know?'" Sergeant Mackie said.
He said they may have completely different lifestyle, but both being able to call Texas home important to him.
"Texas has always been known for the support of troops and East Texas, I mean, they've been great," Gray said.
"We're just extremely proud of him and what he is doing right now. You know, going over there and fighting for his country and fighting for all the freedom that we have here. I can tell you Chapel Hill is extremely proud of him, this community is proud of him," said Gray's former Chapel Hill football coach, Thomas Sitton.
It is support from his family and friends that keeps him going.
"Since the first day I joined the army, it's just been about training, getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. Even though sometimes I feel like, yeah I wish I could be home right now, I know in the end it will be worth it," Gray said.
The ball is in mid-September. No word yet if Gomez has responded to Gray's request, but we will keep you updated if she replies.
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