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Widow of Wyoming Marine killed in Kabul attack gives birth to daughter

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The widow of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, one of 13 US service members who died in last month’s ISIS-K suicide attack at Kabul’s international airport, has given birth to a baby girl who will bear her father’s name.

Levi Rylee Rose McCollum was born to Jiennah Crayton at 2:18 a.m. Monday at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in Southern California, according to a Facebook post by Jill Miller Crayton, the baby’s grandmother.

“She can already do no wrong in my eyes,” wrote Jill Crayton, who added that she was “fiercely happy and proud today.” In a separate post, Crayton called Levi “our bright light” after “weeks of sadness.”

Rylee McCollum was one of 11 Marines who died in the Aug. 26 bombing outside the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport, where he and his fellow service members were processing would-be evacuees to be flown out of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. At least 169 Afghans were also killed in the bombing, along with an Army soldier and a Navy hospital corpsman.

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On Monday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) paid tribute to McCollum on the Senate floor, saying he “demonstrated the best of our nation.”

“His child will never know Rylee,” Barrasso said. “Yet his child will always know that Rylee McCollum was an American hero. Her father was a hero.”

The widow of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum has given birth to a baby girl.
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On Friday, hundreds of people lined the streets of Jackson to honor McCollum as his remains returned home from Afghanistan. Many people drove from surrounding towns, some multiple hours away, to pay their respects, and law enforcement saluted as the hearse passed by.

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Since McCollum’s death, a pair of online fundraisers had taken in more than $900,000 to benefit his widow and daughter.

Meanwhile, McCollum’s family have not been shy about expressing anger over their relative’s death. His mother, Kathy, described President Biden in a SiriusXM radio interview last month as a “feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap [who] just sent my son to die.”

His sister, Roice, told the Washington Post that Jiennah, felt Biden showed “total disregard to the loss of our Marine — our brother, son, husband, and father” when he spoke to her during the dignified transfer ceremony at Dover Air Force Base Aug. 29.

At one point, Roice McCollum claimed, Biden checked his watch while speaking with her brother’s widow.

“You can’t f—k up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry,” she told the paper at the time. “This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands, the thousands of Afghans who will suffer and be tortured is a direct result of his incompetence.”

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