McCollum returns to western Wyoming

Joy Ufford photo The Bondurant Community Club placed ribbons and flags around town and at Hoback Ranches to honor local fallen U.S. Marine Rylee McCollum.

SUBLETTE COUNTY – Memorial services for fallen U.S. Marine and Wyoming native Rylee McCollum will be held after his child is born.

Roice McCollum – the sister of the Marine that was among the 13 American soldiers killed during a suicide attack at the Kabul, Afghanistan, airport last week – told the Casper Star-Tribune earlier this week that the family was waiting until Gigi Crayton, McCollum’s widow, has the couple’s child and can safely travel.

Crayton is currently in Southern California, at the Marine Corps’ West Coast base camp. Their baby is due this month.

The McCollum family attended a ceremony earlier this week to honor the 13 fallen American soldiers and retrieve Rylee’s remains. Upon return to Jackson on Tuesday, a procession of hundreds gathered throughout Town Square to welcome the family. Some of those gathered knew Rylee and his family for years.

Roice previously told the Jackson Hole News&Guide that a planned celebration of life for her brother would welcome the public.

Rylee was deployed to Kabul to aid those catching flights out of Afghanistan on various cargo airplanes. During that time, an attacker detonated their suicide vest. That ultimately killed over 100 people. Rylee was 20 years old at the time of his death.

Rylee was a wrestler at Jackson Hole High School and graduated from Summit Innovations School in 2019. The McCollum family maintains a residence in Jackson and ties to Bondurant. Their Hoback Ranches home was a casualty of the Roosevelt Fire.

Multiple fundraisers have been started to support the McCollum family, Crayton and the couple’s child. The Rylee McCollum’s Child Education Fund on GoFundMe met nearly $600,000 on Sept. 2. A separate GoFundMe fundraiser, Love for Gigi that was organized by Crayton’s mother, raised over $215,000 as of Sept. 2.

The Bondurant Community Club tacked black ribbons and American flags around Bondurant and Hoback Ranches last weekend to honor Rylee. They’ve also worked with the family to arrange private donations. Those can be sent to The McCollum Family, PO Box 3595, Jackson WY, 83001.

The Bank of Jackson Hole also created an account to directly support Rylee’s family. Those hoping to donate can do so at any of the bank’s branches (Pinedale, Alpine, Dubois, Jackson, Wilson and Teton Village) so it can be deposited into the FBO Rylee McCollum account. Bank of Jackson Hole is also accepting donations sent to PO Box 7000, Jackson WY 83002. The Bank of Jackson Hole is matching donations up to $10,000.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, the state’s Washington delegation, state superintendent, state legislative leaders and multiple local officials all expressed their condolences for McCollum after it was confirmed the young Jackson Marine was among those who died in the attack.

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