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Donald M Young


U.S. Army


BAGHDAD, IRAQ 08/08/2007

Specialist Donald M. Young was just nineteen years old. He was a former student at Capital High School, a friend and a warrior who never gave up — for better or worse. He always wanted to make a difference.

Prior to joining the Army, Donald lived in California, Missouri, Montana and Washington. His interests varied from fishing, hiking and climbing trees to reading, writing poetry, and playing computer games. Donald was the kind of man who would give you the shirt off his back and his last cookie if you needed it. His older sister, Catherine, remembered teaching him how to swim when he was 8 and she was 10. She remembers him as a skinny little kid, all dressed in black, standing on the diving board and looking a little scared. Then this guy came and pushed him off and he screamed so loud, his arms were flapping as he fell into the water, and he sank really fast. But his sister recalled, he never gave up, and it was a trait he carried with him throughout his short life. She noted that she got him in trouble a lot, but that just helped make him the great man he was.

Specialist Donald M. Young was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, died August 8, 2007 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. He and his unit were conducting targeted raids and clearing operations to disrupt insurgent and militia elements.

Major General Randy Mosley, adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, awarded Donald’s family four medals, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. The Bronze Star, the nation’s fourth highest honor, is given for heroic or meritorious deeds while engaged in combat. The Purple Heart is given to those wounded or killed in the line of duty.

“Those who die in service to their country do so because they took an oath to defend this nation and its constitution,” Mosley said at Young’s funeral service. “This is about an individual who decided the United States is worth dying for. It’s about duty, honor, courage and selfless service. “And we are all of us, forever in his debt.”


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