A young man who was about to become a father in just three weeks is among the victims killed in the attack on the airport in Kabul.
Following the suicide bomb attack near the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, it was confirmed that 13 Americans, including 12 Marines and 1 Navy medic, died at the hands of an ISIS-K suicide bomber who blew himself up and killed up to 90 people in total.
Among the deceased US service members was Rylee McCollum, a dedicated young man who dreamt of becoming a Marine ever since he was just a toddler.
As soon as he turned 18, Rylee signed up for service, and in April this year, he was deployed to Afghanistan.
As his heartbroken family confirmed, Rylee left behind a pregnant wife who is due to give birth to their baby in just three weeks.
“Rylee was an amazing man with a passion for the Marines. He was a son, a brother, a husband and a father with a baby due in just 3 weeks,” the young man’s sister, Cheyenne McCollum, told DailyMail.com.
“He wanted to be a marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots. He was determined to be in infantry and this was his first deployment. Rylee was sent to Afghanistan when the evac began. Rylee was manning the check point when the suicide bomb went off.”
As the proud sister added, her brother had big plans for his future, whereas he allegedly wanted to become a wrestling coach and a history teacher after serving his country.
“To his friends and teammates and coaches, he was family. Rylee will always be a hero not just for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country but for the way he impacted every life around him for the better. Making us stronger, kinder, teaching us to love deeper. We love you Rylee,” Cheyenne added.
Paying a tribute to the young soldier was also his wrestling coach and family friend Benjamin Arlotta who dubbed Rylee a “good man” and an “American patriot.”
“I was his wrestling coach since he was six. He was one of the best. A great kid, a great young man and an American patriot. He loved being a Marine,” he expressed.
“He was just a good man all around. We’re all hurting pretty bad. It’s impossible. I’m sitting here with the family right now – with his dad and two sisters, his brother-in-law and niece. They’re shattered, they’re absolutely broken. The entire community is.”
Our thoughts are with Rylee’s family and friends during these challenging times.
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