American soldier’s wife killed in Kabul gives birth

The widow of Rylee McCollum, an American soldier who died in the Kabul airport bombing last month, has given birth to a baby girl named after her father.

Jiennah Crayton gave birth to daughter Levi Rylee Rose McCollum at 2:18 a.m. on September 13 at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital in Southern California, according to a Facebook post by her grandmother, Jill Miller Crayton. Jill Crayton said she was happy and proud, calling Levi “our bright light” after “weeks of grief”.

Rylee McCollum (left), one of 13 American soldiers who died in Kabul, and his newborn daughter.  Photo: AP.

Rylee McCollum (left) and his newborn daughter. Photo: AP.

Rylee McCollum was one of 11 Marines killed in a suicide bombing attack by IS-K, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, outside the airport’s Abbey Gate. International Hamid Karzai on August 26. The group of American soldiers was bombed while providing security for the evacuation from Kabul.

The other two US service members who died were an Army soldier and a medical officer from a naval hospital. At least 169 Afghans also died in the bombing.

During a Senate meeting on September 13, Republican Senator John Barrasso honored McCollum’s sacrifice, saying he “has shown the best of our country”. “His son will never see his father, but he will always know that Rylee McCollum is an American hero. His father is a hero,” he said.

Hundreds of people last week lined the streets of Jackson, California, to remember McCollum as his body was brought home. Many people drove from nearby towns to pay their respects, while law enforcement lined up to salute as the hearse passed.

After McCollum’s death, the online fundraiser raised more than $900,000 to support his wife and children.

Earlier, McCollum’s parents also expressed disappointment and anger at his death and criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for its campaign to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Huyen Le (Follow NYPost)

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