In a sport that's often viewed as synonymous with character and toughness, it's no secret that many that come from it often go on to serve in the military. Unfortunately, some became casualties here.
Marine Infantryman Rylee McCollum and Navy Hospital Corpsman Max Soviak were two of the servicemen killed in action Thursday.
McCollum wrestled for Jackson High School in Wyoming. He was a state qualifier in 2017 at 120 and again in 2018 at 126. At the state tournament in 2018, he fell in the first round to the eventual state champ. He scrapped all the way back through the consolation side of the bracket before falling in the consolation semifinals, then eventually finishing in sixth place.
Rylee was just three weeks away from becoming a father.
His sister stated his plan after the military was to go to school to become a history teacher and coach wrestling.
"He wanted to be a Marine his whole life and carried around his rifle in his diapers and cowboy boots," she said. "He was determined to be in infantry… Rylee wanted to be a history teacher and a wrestling coach when he finished serving his country."
Max Soviak was a Navy Hospital Corpsman from Milan, Ohio. He was a member of the Edison High School Charger wrestling team. According to reports, Soviak was a multi-sport athlete that competed in football, wrestling, and track. Soviak was the lone Navy Corpsman killed in the attack.
His wrestling team posted their condolences on Twitter.
The Edison Wrestling Program is deeply saddened by the loss of one of their own. We would like to extend our sympathy to the family of Navy Corpsman Max Soviak. Max was a great teammate and a pleasure to be around. You will be missed Max!!â€" Edison wrestling (@WrestleEdison) August 28, 2021