Jiennah Crayton, whose husband, Rylee McCollum, was one of 13 United States service members killed in a shocking suicide bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, as the U.S. was struggling to evacuate thousands of Americans and Afghan allies, gave birth to a baby girl on Monday.
“The wife of a fallen US Marine who was killed in the Kabul blast has given birth to the late soldier’s daughter,” the Sun reported Tuesday, based on a Facebook post from Crayton’s mother. “Rylee McCollum, who was killed in the Kabul terror attack, had been in Afghanistan a matter of weeks and was due home in October to be reunited with his wife Jiennah Crayton, known as Gigi.”
The baby girl was born at Camp Pendleton in California, according to the post, and both mother and baby are doing fine.
“In the emotional message, the newborn, named Levi Rylee Rose, was pictured in her crib with a cushion of her father,” the Sun noted. “The baby was born on Monday, weighing 8 lbs and 10 ounces, and was given Rylee as her middle name.”
Rylee McCollum was one of 13 U.S. service members — and one of ten Marines — killed when a suicide bomber somehow made it through a range of checkpoints surrounding Hamid Karzai International Airport last month, just as the United States was wrapping up its evacuation program, flying Americans, Afghan allies, and Special Immigrant Visa holders out of Kabul ahead of President Joe Biden’s self-imposed August 31 withdrawal deadline. Dozens of Afghan nationals were also killed in the attack.
The terror attack marked the most service members killed and wounded in action in a single day of the Afghanistan War in more than a decade.
“Rylee McCollum, a 20-year-old Marine, was among the 13 U.S. service members killed in Thursday’s attack at the Kabul airport, according to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.),” who spoke to The Washington Post just hours after the attack. “McCollum, of Jackson, Wyo., had joined the Marines right out of high school, Barrasso said, and on Thursday ‘made the ultimate sacrifice protecting Americans and civilians in Afghanistan.’”
“McCollum and Gigi only tied the knot in February this year having eloped in Vegas, and his mother-in-law, Jill Miller Crayton, said her 20-year-old daughter is ‘crushed’ having been told the devastating news,” the Sun noted. “I didn’t get to know him, I didn’t even get to meet him, but I do know that she was madly in love with him. He was her everything her future and her best friend.”
“Help has been pouring in for the newly widowed mom,” a local Wyoming radio station noted. “The young couple were in their early twenties and just married. Thanks to online donations mom and baby now have a nest egg of around $827,610 and the promise of a new house to be built by a group of volunteers. Properly invested and taken care of and the new mom should be able to focus on raising her new baby.”