Exclusive— Tunnel to Towers Foundation to Build Mortgage-Free Home for Pregnant Wife of U.S. Marine Killed in Kabul Attack

A flag-draped transfer case with the remains of a fallen service member are placed inside a transfer vehicle as US President Joe Biden attends the dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021, one of the 13 …
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation is giving the family of one of the 13 fallen servicemembers who was killed in the Kabul airport suicide bombing a mortgage-free home, the non-profit’s chairman and CEO told Breitbart News Saturday. 

“We’re building mortgage-free homes for Gold Star Families, and that includes any of the 13 that left behind a young family. And we do know one of them — his wife is pregnant and will be giving birth shortly,” Frank Siller said, most likely referencing Jiennah McCollum, the wife of 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, who was killed in the ISIS-K terrorist attack on August 26. “We are going to build her a mortgage-free house. And rest assured, we are going to take care of any Gold Star Family that fits that criteria.”

Rylee McCollum and Jiennah had just recently been married before he was killed along with 12 other servicemembers during the attack, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Their baby is expected to arrive in September.

Rylee McCollum, a Marine and Sublette County native killed in the Aug. 26 suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, with his wife Jiennah Crayton. Roice McCollum, courtesy

Rylee McCollum, a Marine and Sublette County native killed in the Aug. 26 suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, with his wife Jiennah Crayton. (Roice McCollum, courtesy)

“He was so excited to be a dad, and he was going to be a great dad,” McCollum’s sister Cheyenne said.

She added, “We want to make sure that people know that these are the kids that are sacrificing themselves, and he’s got a family who loves him and a wife who loves him and a baby that he’ll never get to meet.”

Siller heralded the 13 servicemembers killed in the attack as “American heroes” and sympathized with the pain and grief their families are experiencing.

“I have a great relationship with so many [families of servicemembers and first responders] and we cry together — and believe me, there’s been a lot of that going on,” he said. 

“But they’re great American heroes, and that’s what we have to take from it,” he said.

U.S. Airmen and U.S. Marines guide qualified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. The Department of Defense is committed to supporting the U.S. State Department in the departure of U.S. and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan and to evacuate Afghan allies to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brennen Lege)

U.S. Airmen and U.S. Marines guide qualified evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. The Department of Defense is committed to supporting the U.S. State Department in the departure of U.S. and allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan and to evacuate Afghan allies to safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brennen Lege)

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation gives mortgage-free homes to the spouses and children of servicemembers who die in the line of duty. The non-profit also gives smart homes to severely injured veterans and first responders and pays off the mortgages of fallen law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty, or to 9/11 related illness, and leave behind young children.

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Siller said his family started the non-profit in honor of his brother, Stephen Siller, who was a firefighter and gave up his life saving others during the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. Siller detailed Stephen’s final moments, noting how his younger brother bravely trekked on foot through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to get to the Twin Towers and help his fellow first responders and those affected.

“His story is one of great pain and great sacrifice, but he came out the other side to help. Our family wanted to come out the other side of that tunnel as well and to make sure that we are there to help these other families that are feeling the same thing that we felt,” Siller said. “And what better way than to give them a mortgage-free home — not give it to them: they earned it. It’s theirs.”

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