A beloved soldier, fitness influencer, and mother-of-one has passed away at the age of 34 after taking her own life.
Michelle Young was a US Army Staff Sergeant from Prescott, Arizona, who served two tours in Afghanistan. In her free time, she also volunteered at a local women’s homeless shelter and worked as a trauma and crisis response volunteer.
On January 20, just days after her daughter turned 12, the young woman reportedly took her own life, her friends and relatives confirmed.
In her heartbreaking last post on her daughter’s birthday, Michelle penned: “Happy birthday to the sweetest girl I’ve ever known. She’s a force to be reckoned with, she’s witty, ambitious, kind, compassionate, intelligent, hardworking, hilarious, and selfless.”
“I cried the entire time I made this. I love you forever, kiddo. The best part about my life is being your momma,” the mom-of-one added as she shared photos celebrating her daughter’s birthday with her 100,000 followers.
Unfortunately, Young’s story came to a bitter end on January 20 after her decision to end her life.
“Michelle was always so kind to me. We talked often about our daughters and how similar they are. I know she loved Gracie more than anything. I cannot believe this happened,” friend Brianna Hasan wrote.
“Our good friend and athlete Michelle was taken from us by suicide. Michelle was a beautiful soul, an amazing friend, a single mother, a soldier, and is proof you never know what someone is going through or what demons they may be fighting,” another friend, Sarah Maine, shared.
Nicole Jimerson added: “Michelle was an angel when I needed it, and I never got to repay her for her kindness on this earthly world. So I’ll do it for her daughter.”
Young previously opened up about her dedication to helping other people saying her brother’s suicide inspired her to do good in the world.
“That day forever changed my life, but it also created a passion for helping others that I don’t think I would have had if I didn’t experience the pain of losing him,” she wrote.
In another post, she also spoke out about her career in the military and the effects it had on her relationship with her daughter.
“I was in the military before I became a mother. I volunteered for this life, she didn’t. She’s had to be away from her only parent during multiple deployments, TDYs, and training, yet she never complains,” she said.
Our thoughts remain with Michelle’s loved ones during this challenging time.