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U.S. Marine from Wyoming among those killed in Kabul airport attack

Rylee McCollum, a U.S. Marine from Wyoming, was among those killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Thursday
rylee mccollum.jpg
Posted at 2:48 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 16:58:50-04

Rylee McCollum, a U.S. Marine from Wyoming, was among those killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Military officials have confirmed that 13 U.S. service members and 170 Afghans were killed.

A family member posted on Facebook: "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. He wanted to be a marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboyboots He was determined to be in infantry and this was his first deployment."

According to a statement on Friday from Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, McCollum was a 2019 graduate of Jackson Hole High School.

Balow released this statement:

“Saying that I am grateful for Rylee’s service to our country does not begin to encapsulate the grief and sadness I feel today as a mother and as an American. My heart and prayers are with Rylee’s family, friends, and the entire Jackson community. We will find many ways to honor Rylee for this ultimate and untimely sacrifice in the coming months and years - but for now, my arms are wrapped around Rylee’s loved ones from afar and I pray they find some comfort.”

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon released this statement:

"I’m devastated to learn Wyoming lost one of our own in yesterday's terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of U.S. Marine Rylee McCollum of Bondurant. Jennie and I, along with all of Wyoming and the entire nation, thank Rylee for his service."

Gordon ordered both the U.S. and State of Wyoming flags to remain at half-staff through Monday, August 30, in honor of McCollum, he said in a news release.

Flags are currently at half-staff to honor all U.S. service members and other victims of the attacks, and should remain at half-staff until sunset on August 30.

CBS News reports that the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack in Kabul is an offshoot of ISIS, known as ISIS-K.