Rylee McCollum: GoFundMe for unborn child of marine killed in Kabul raises $150K
A fundraiser was set up for the unborn child's future which immediately went viral, with a number of donors stepping up to help out
Twenty-year-old Rylee McCollum was one of the 13 US Service Members who were killed in a suicide bombing outside Kabul airport in Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.
The marine left behind his wife who is currently pregnant with their first child, due next month. A fundraiser was set up for the unborn child's future which immediately went viral, with a number of donors stepping up to help out.
President Joe Biden has vowed to avenge the lives of marines as well as other Afghan allies lost due to the attacks carried out by ISIS in Kabul. The GoFundMe page in question was started by The Breach Supply company, which according to its Instagram page, is a clothing brand. In the light of transparency, it reveals on the fundraising page that the company was in direct contact with the wife of McCollum, GiGi, who gave them the green light to host a GoFundMe page on their behalf.
"This is a fund specifically dedicated to the education and upbringing of Marine Rylee McCollum's child who is expected for September. His sacrifice at HKIA to protect the lives of those who cannot themselves will not be forgotten. Anything you can provide to aid them would be appreciated more than we can express. Bless," the description of the fundraiser read.
In an update, the company wrote, "We would like to note that our community contributed over $20,000 within two hours. You are all incredible." At the time of writing this article, the fundraiser had far surpassed its goal of 5,000 and raised nearly $150,000 in just 16 hours.
The response to the fundraiser was overwhelming, with a number of donors leaving comments on the page.
"Dearest McCollum Child and Family, To give ones life to save others who are in danger is the greatest gift a man or woman can give another. It is most honorable, and I and my family stand with you in our hearts during your time of loss and sorrow. All our love, The James Family God Bless Our Soldiers and Their Families," one commenter said, while another donor noted, "My family is with yours. I work in Union with many Marines and They can always be counted on. 5 of my Best Friends are Marines and They can always be counted on. Peace be with you. God bless." A third wrote, "So very sorry for your loss. Your loved ones commitment to our country and those in need will not be forgotten. May God bless you and all those whose hearts have been broken."
One more said, "Brave men and women like this man are people who make our world safe. They help us, so we can try and help them and their families."
Who was Rylee McCollum?
Born on February 26, 2001, Rylee McCollum was a 20-year-old marine from Riverton, Wyoming. When the suicide bomber hit, he was helping the evacuation efforts and was manning a checkpoint, according to his sister Cheyenne McCollum. “When we saw the news, we all (me, my dad and younger sister) just had a feeling that something wasn’t right. I had gone home early from work. I wasn’t holding it together. I had a feeling. My dad had a weird feeling too. Then they knocked on our door at 3:30 in the morning,” Cheyenne told East Idaho News.
Rylee was apparently the youngest of four and the only boy in the family and they were raised by a single father. He graduated from Summit Innovations School in Jackson. “He was a kid that touched everybody’s heart. He was a wrestler since he was 4. He knew he was going to be a Marine since he was about that same age. He used to walk around in just a diaper and in his sister’s pink princess boots carrying his toy rifle and play like he was in the Army or a Marine,” Cheyenne said.
He joined the Marine Corps on his 18th birthday and was sent to Jordan for his first deployment and assigned to Afghanistan just two weeks ago. “He signed papers on his 18th birthday and called my dad and was like, ‘Oh, Dad, I need you to come sign this for me. I’m enlisting,’ and he’s like, ‘Oh wait, it’s my birthday, I don’t need your signature anymore!’ And we couldn’t have been more proud of him because he was doing what he needed to do and what he wanted to do,” his sister said.
Right before his deployment in April, he got married to Jiennah ‘GiGi’ Crayton. Together they were expecting a baby next month. At present, his wife is on base in San Diego. “He was going to be the best dad. We don’t know (the gender of the baby). They decided to keep it a surprise. We hope it’s a boy. I had a baby in 2019, and he just loved her so much,” Cheyenne said.