The widow of a U.S. Marine from Wyoming killed in last month’s bombing at the Kabul airport gave birth to a baby girl on Monday, her family said.
Levi Rylee Rose McCollum was born early Monday at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, according to a Facebook post by the baby’s grandmother, Jill Miller Crayton of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Crayton is the mother of Jiennah “Gigi” Crayton, who is the widow of Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Bondurant, Wyoming, East Idaho News reported. Rylee McCollum was among 13 U.S. soldiers killed in the suicide bombing on Aug. 26 at the Kabul airport.
“Precious one. Blessed beyond measures are we,” Crayton wrote on Facebook. “Born on the 13th, no coincidence there.”
The 8-pound, 10-ounce girl was born in a “lightning quick” delivery, Miller wrote in an earlier Facebook post.
“I flew into San Diego yesterday thinking I would have ‘mother-daughter bonding time’ with Gigi before she became one herself,” Miller wrote. “This sweet thang had a different plan. I am fiercely happy and proud today.”
“She is beautiful!” Rylee McCollum’s father, Jim McCollum, wrote in a text message to The Denver Gazette. “Gigi left Wyoming on Sunday and had Levy Monday morning. She barely made it to Camp Pendleton!”
In an Instagram post, Rylee McCollum’s sister, Cheyenne McCollum, shared photos and proclaimed, “My turn! I’m an aunt.”
“Levi Rylee Rose, you are absolutely perfect,” Cheyenne McCollum wrote. “I love you so much and can’t wait to hold you.”
Cheyenne shared two photos of her niece, including one that included a plush doll made from a photo of her father in uniform, “Today” reported.
Rylee McCollum joined the Marine Corps on his 18th birthday, East Idaho News reported. He was sent to Jordan for his first deployment and assigned to Afghanistan two weeks ago, according to the newspaper.
The Marine got married before his deployment in April, Cheyenne McCollum, told East Idaho News.
Gigi McCollum returned to California from Jackson, Wyoming, The Gazette reported. She was there to see her husband’s remains return to his home state, according to the newspaper.
The McCollum family plans to hold a funeral for Rylee McCollum next month in Wyoming, according to The Gazette.
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