Widow of Camp Pendleton Marine killed in Kabul gives birth to baby girl

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The widow of a U.S. Marine killed in a bombing in Afghanistan in August has given birth to a baby girl.

A Facebook post by the baby’s grandmother says Levi Rylee Rose McCollum was born early Monday at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. Jiennah Crayton is the widow of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, of Bondurant, Wyoming.

McCollum was on his first deployment on Aug. 26 when he and 12 other U.S. soldiers were killed in the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport.

Levi Rylee Rose McCollum was born early Monday at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California to Jiennah Crayton, the widow of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, of Bondurant, Wyoming. (Photos: Jim McCollum)

Online fundraising efforts have raised about $1 million for the baby’s education and mother.

FOX 5 talked with McCollum’s father and sister on Sept. 1, when his wife was weeks away from giving birth. Jim McCollum said his son was pulling people to safety when the explosion went off.

“He’s a hero,” Jim McCollum said. “There’s firsthand knowledge that there’s 15 people he helped get through. There’s information that he helped get a 20 year Afghani interpreter get through that landed in Washington the Sunday before and they’re telling us that that Rylee did that himself.”

McCollum died alongside his best friend, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, whom the McCollum family also mourns. Both men were stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.

The family of a Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum are in mourning after he was killed in a suicide bombing attack during evacuations in Kabul, Afghanistan. They include his father, Jim McCollum, right, and sister Roice McCollum, left.

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