Memorial planned for Wyoming soldier killed in Afghanistan
JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A memorial service and celebration for a soldier from Wyoming who was among the last U.S. troops killed in the war in Afghanistan will be held in Jackson Hole.
Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, 20, of Bondurant, was among 13 U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing Aug. 26 at the Kabul airport.
A public memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch and will include a 21-gun salute and military flyover, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports.
A reception starting around 7 p.m. will include appetizers, drinks and storytelling. Country music artist Jenny Tolman will perform.
McCollum grew up in the Jackson Hole area.McCollum played with toy rifles as a toddler and was interested from an early age in becoming a soldier, according to relatives.
He was a high school wrestler known for working hard, even before Marine training.
In September, hundreds of people lined the streets in Jackson when McCollum’s remains returned home from Afghanistan. Law enforcement saluted as the hearse passed.
McCollum was killed on his first deployment.
His widow, Jiennah Crayton, gave birth to a girl, Levi Rylee Rose McCollum, Sept. 13. Online fundraising efforts have raised over $1 million for the baby’s education and mother.