This year the Casper Chase will honor Rylee McCollum, who was among the 13 US service members killed in a suicide bombing during the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Every year the Casper Chase Fallen Soldiers Memorial 5K establishes a scholarship fund honoring the memories of fallen soldiers from Wyoming in the war against terrorism.
These scholarships are sent to the community colleges nearest the soldier’s hometown.
According to Kathy Thomas, one of the race’s board members, Jim McCullom—Rylee’s father--has decided to have the scholarship placed at Western Wyoming Community College.
Jim McCollum told k2news, “I’m absolutely humbled by the support we’ve gotten from the state. I’m really excited that we picked Wyoming Western Community College. The wrestling background with Rylee and his history with wresting and that program seemed to be the most logical fit from my standpoint.”
McCollum was from Bondurant, a small town about 45 minutes from Jackson Hole. Last year, Rylee’s sister told CNN he was expecting a baby 3 weeks after his passing.

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Thousands of people have since donated to various fundraising efforts for McCollum’s wife and child, garnering over 1 million dollars thus far including two Go Fund Me accounts: The Rylee McCollum’s Child Education Fund and Love for Gigi.
Rylee’s sister said, “He wanted to be a Marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots.”
“He was determined to be in the infantry…Rylee wanted to be a history teacher and a wrestling coach when he finished serving his country. He’s a tough, kind, loving kid who made an impact on everyone he met. His jokes and wit brought so much joy.”
“Rylee will always be a hero, not just for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country, but for the way he impacted every life around him for the better. Making us stronger, kinder, teaching us to love deeper.”

Jim McCullum recently led the Rock Springs Liberty Parade on July 4th, where they honored Rylee and the 13.
Jim McCollum plans to attend the Casper Chase as well.
The Casper Chase 5k is happening July 12th at 9 a.m. in City Park.
Between the Kids Fun Run and the 5K Race there will be a ceremony to Honor Wyoming’s Fallen Soldiers.

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