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28th Aug 2021

Marine killed in Kabul suicide bomb was due to become dad in three weeks

Charlie Herbert

US marine was due to be dad in three weeks

Rylee McCollum was one of 13 US service people killed in the blast on Thursday.

A US Marine killed in the Kabul bomb attack was due to become a dad in just three weeks.

Rylee McCollum was just 20-years old when he was killed in the suicide bombing at Kabul airport on Thursday. He was one of 13 US military personnel killed in the attack, which is thought to have claimed the lives of as many as 162 Afghan citizens, along with two British nationals.

McCollum’s sister, Cheyenne McCollum, said the marine had been manning a checkpoint when the attack happened, and that it had always been his dream to become a marine.

She told the Daily Mail: “Rylee was an amazing, man with a passion for the Marines. He was a son, a brother, a husband and a father with a baby due in just three weeks.

“He wanted to be a marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots.

“He was determined to be in infantry and this was his first deployment. Rylee was sent to Afghanistan when the evac began. Rylee was manning the check point when he suicide bomb went off.

“Rylee wanted to be a history teacher and a wrestling coach when he finished serving his country. He’s a tough, kind, loving kid who made an impact on everyone he met. His joke and wit brought so much joy.

“To his friends and teammates and coaches, he was family. Rylee will always be a hero not just for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country but for the way he impacted every life around him for the better. Making us stronger, kinder, teaching us to love deeper. We love you Rylee.”

Related links: 

Afghanistan: US military says it has killed Islamic State planner after Kabul bombing

Afghanistan: British nationals amongst those killed in Kabul airport attack

Kabul airport attack: At least 60 people killed and 140 others wounded

Rylee was due to return home to his wife Jiennah Crayton in October, when they would both be new parents. The pair got married in February this year.

Crayton’s mum said her daughter had been “crushed” by the tragedy.

She said: “She’s having his baby next month, my first grandbaby.

“I’m working on getting a flight right now, I’m trying to get my week covered from work.

“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.

“I couldn’t wait to meet him, he made her so incredibly happy. I hadn’t known her to be so happy until she married him and found out she was pregnant. It was like she was complete.”