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…
GoFundMes 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.”
Till 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 family was feeling upbeat about the entrance of their newest family member and daughter of the late loved one.
The Marine’s father even wrote a poem for the newest member of the McCollum clan.
“Levi Rylee Rose / I love you little girl / You blessed us all with light and love / When you came into the world / Hold on to your mama / She’s needing you right now / You’re precious / You are beautiful / You brought the world together somehow[.]
“Your daddy / He’s watching over you / He loves you both so much / You’ll feel him with you always / A random feather / A subtle touch[.]
“I can’t wait to hold you / I’m excited to watch you grow / I love you little Levi Rylee Rose / I wanted you to know[.]”
Let us continue praying for the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, may the Lord God sustain and grant them peace amid this terrible loss.