Lance Cpl. Riley McCallum signed up for the Marines at the age of 18
On Monday, the baby of a Wyoming Marine, one of 13 US service members killed in a suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport on their return, was delivered on Monday.
Levi Reilly Rose McCallum, daughter of Marine Lance Cpl. Riley McCollum and Gianna Creighton were born at 2:18 a.m. at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital in California, their grandmother wrote on Facebook.
“I feel so happy and proud today,” wrote Jill Miller Creighton, calling the newborn a “bright light” after “weeks of sadness”.
McCollum of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was among 13 American soldiers killed on August 26 amid a chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan. This was his first deployment after signing up for the Marines on his 18th birthday.
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Sen. John Barrasso, R-Vyo. on Tuesday blamed the “failures” of the Biden administration for not making McCullum’s home alive.
“The people of Wyoming see this as losing one of their sons, one of their children, and it’s a devastating loss. And they really believe that the administration is to blame for what has happened,” Barrasso said. told Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on the second day of Blinken’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCallum grew up in the Jackson Hole area, an area of rugged, forested mountains and big-time outdoor culture on the other side of Wyoming from Cheyenne. Relatives said that even as a toddler, McCullum used to play with toy rifles, pretending he was a soldier or hunter.
As a high school wrestler, he distinguished himself by intense training. At school, in 2017, he and his father spoke publicly when a multiple-choice quiz for a reading assignment offered “shooting at Trump” as the answer.
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Hundreds of people lined the streets to honor McCallum as Jackson’s remains returned home from Afghanistan on Friday. Many walked a few hours away, from surrounding towns, to pay their respects, and law enforcement saluted as the chariot passed.
“I wrestled with him all my life. When I was a freshman he was a senior,” said Jackson’s Colter Dawson. “He died for our country. There aren’t many people who get to make an honorable sacrifice like that, and this city and this country need to be recognized for something else.”
The family plans to hold a memorial service to honor McCullum’s memory. Meanwhile, three online fundraising efforts have raised more than $900,000 for Cretan and Kid’s Education.