Michelle Young, a soldier in the US Army and fitness and travel influencer, died mere days after her daughter’s 12th birthday. On January 20, friends of the late Staff Sergeant revealed that she had taken her own life at the age of 34.
Young’s friends shared details about her life in a heartbreaking GoFundMe page. “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,” friend Sarah Maine wrote.
“We will never fill the gaps in our hearts and will always be left with questions,” Maine added.
As DailyMail reported, Young joined the Army at 17 years old. She served two tours in Afghanistan, most recently in 2021. As of September, she had served 16 years and planned to serve at least four more.
In her free time, Michelle Young was a mental health advocate for veterans. She also spoke out against homelessness among former soldiers and volunteered as a crisis trauma response worker at her local shelter.
Fans Mourn Michelle Young
News of Michelle Young’s death was met with an outpouring of adoration from her more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. “Such an amazing soul. Thoughts and prayers for her daughter and family,” one fan wrote.
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time. R.I.P Michelle,” another said. “I don’t know her, never did but she’s crossed my feed through those who did. It’s ever so sad and I hope this woman is free from her suffering,” added a third.
Just days before her death, Michelle Young took to Instagram, where she frequently shares videos and images of her and her daughter Gracie’s adventures, to wish her a happy birthday.
“Happy birthday to the sweetest girl I’ve ever known,” Young wrote. “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.”
Michelle Young’s GoFundMe has raised over $35,000, all of which will go to her daughter Gracie.