Newborn named after Marine dad killed in Afghanistan airport bombing
OCEANSIDE, Calif. - The widow of a U.S. Marine killed in a bombing in Afghanistan last month has named their newborn daughter after her father.
Jiennah Crayton gave birth to 8-pound, 10-ounce Levi Rylee Rose McCollum at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California on Monday.
"Welcome to the world my sweet baby," Crayton posted in her Instagram caption, "i love you with my whole heart."
Levi’s grandmother, Jill Miller Crayton, described the newborn’s birth as a "lightning quick delivery."
"I flew into San Diego yesterday thinking I would have ‘mother daughter bonding time’ with Gigi (Jiennah) before she became one herself," the grandmother said in a Facebook post, "this sweet thang had a different plan."
According to the Associated Press, online fundraising efforts have raised nearly $1 million to pay for the child’s education and for the mom.
The child’s father, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, lost his life last month during a suicide bombing at the Kabul airport. Relatives said McCollum played with toy guns at an early age, showing his interest in being a soldier even from childhood.
RELATED: Hearse carrying service member killed in Kabul traveling through Northern Virginia today
He grew up in western Wyoming’s Jackson Hole area where he became a high school wrestler known for hard work before Marine training.
Hundreds of people lined the streets in Jackson, Wyoming, last week when McCollum's remains returned home from Afghanistan. Law enforcement saluted as the hearse passed by.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.