The family of Rylee McCollum, one of the 13 U.S. service members who died in Afghanistan last week, received a somber welcome from people in his hometown of Jackson, Wyoming on Tuesday.
In a viral video posted to Twitter, hundreds of people lined the streets to silently pay their respects to the fallen Marine’s family, who were escorted into town by a law enforcement-led caravan. Some of the onlookers held American and U.S. Marine Corps flags as they watched the family roll by.
Jackson welcomes home the family of Rylee McCollum, one of the thirteen service people killed in Afghanistan last week. pic.twitter.com/fvimtSFCPS
— Alexander Shur (@AlexBShur1) August 30, 2021
McCollum was one of the 13 U.S. service members who died after an ISIS-K suicide bomber detonated an explosion outside of the Kabul airport last week. The young Marine was in Afghanistan on his first deployment shortly after getting married in February. His wife, Jiennah Crayton, is expecting the couple’s first child at the end of September.
“He’s the most patriotic kid you could find,” his father Jim McCollum said. “Loved America, loved the military. Tough as nails with a heart of gold.”
The marine’s mother, Kathy McCollum, was one of the many gold star family members who ripped into President Joe Biden for his role in the death of her son.
“Twenty years and six months old, getting ready to come home from frickin Jordan to be with his wife to watch the birth of his son and that feckless, dementia-ridden, piece of crap just sent my son to die,” she told Andrew Wilkow on “The Wilkow Majority” shortly after she heard the news of her son’s death. “I woke up at 4:00 this morning to Marines at my door telling me my son was dead.”
Biden was scheduled to meet with some of Rylee’s family members about his death, but Crayton, the only one who didn’t walk out of the meeting in protest, “left disappointed.”
“The president brought up his son, Beau, according to her account, describing his son’s military service and subsequent death from cancer. It struck the family as scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple of minutes,” according to the Washington Post, with what one of Rylee’s sister’s called “total disregard to the loss of our Marine.”