The wife of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum of Jackson, Wyoming, who died in the Afghanistan blast has delivered their baby one month after his tragic death.
The fact that the couple wasn't even married for a year when McCollum was deployed abroad has caused an outcry among people.
Jiennah Crayton has been left all alone to bring up her newborn baby without her other half, people rallied together to let her know that her husband's sacrifice would be remembered.
"My heart is incredibly heavy today, in the wee hours of the morning my beautiful daughter got that knock on her door that no military spouse wants to get," Jill Miller Crayton, Jiennah's mother, posted on Facebook after the horrible news.
"Her strong, handsome, incredibly brave husband of less than a year was one of the 13 soldiers that gave their life yesterday in Kabul. She's 36 weeks pregnant and she lost her love. I never got to meet him, but I will meet his baby, and I will love and spoil that baby forever.
"[P]lease hold her in your heart and soul because she needs it, this mama knows exactly what she's going through."
My heart is incredibly heavy today, in the wee hours of the morning my beautiful daughter got that knock on her door…
Posted by Jill Miller Crayton on Friday, 27 August 2021GoFundMes were started, and local companies banded together to support the family. Chronicles Distilling in Cheyenne hosted a fundraiser for the McCollums and raised over $73,000.
"The news of the Marines and sailor that lost their lives during the bombing … angered us greatly," said Chase Lesher, co-owner of the company and a Marine himself.
"Finding out that one of the Marines … was from Wyoming and had a wife with a child due within a month made it even more emotional for us."
Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollumPosted by Together We Served on Wednesday, 8 September 2021Till now, more than $800,000 has been raised for the family, which will help Jiennah feel a little more secure in a time of great grief.
On Monday, in the naval hospital at Camp Pendleton, McCollum's daughter was born: Levi Rylee Rose McCollum came in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces. "[W]elcome to the world my sweet baby," Jiennah posted. "[I] love you with my whole heart."
The Marine's father even wrote a poem for the newest member of the McCollum clan.