Staff Sergeant Michelle Young, a woman of courage, strength, and resilience, made a profound impact on people’s lives while serving in the U.S. Army, despite facing her own internal struggles.
A Dedicated Soldier
For more than 16 years, Michelle exemplified unwavering strength and courage during her service in the army.
Having completed two deployments to Afghanistan, she dedicated herself to a 20-year military contract in 2021.
“Michelle was a pillar of dedication,” said a fellow soldier.
Her military tenure represented more than just a profession; it embodied a deep-seated dedication to her country and comrades in arms.
In 2019, she achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant, a true testament to her unwavering dedication and relentless hard work.
A Beloved Influencer
In addition to her military service, Michelle also made an impact as a fitness influencer, motivating over 100,000 Instagram followers with her commitment to health and wellness.
She frequently documented her fitness journey, inspiring others to prioritize their physical and mental health.
“She was an inspiration to many. Her posts were filled with positivity and motivation,” said a follower.
Amid a world dominated by superficiality, Michelle stood out as a beacon of authenticity, openly sharing her battles with mental health and body image.
A Tragic Loss
Sadly, Michelle’s internal battles led her to take her own life, leaving behind a grieving daughter and a community in shock.
Her passing occurred shortly after her daughter Gracie celebrated her 12th birthday, serving as a poignant reminder of the hidden struggles individuals frequently endure.
“It’s a devastating loss,” said Sarah Maine, a friend of Michelle and COO of activewear label Curves N Combatboots, for which Michelle often modeled.
A Plea for Help
Months before her untimely passing, Michelle had posted in observance of Suicide Prevention Month.
She encouraged individuals grappling with suicidal thoughts to reach out for assistance.
A Call to Action
Following Michelle’s passing, her friends and followers are encouraging others to seek support if they are facing challenges.
A GoFundMe page has been established in her honor to support her daughter, Gracie.
“Let’s do better. Mental illness is prevalent, especially in the military. We need to find a way to help,” said Sarah Maine.
A Life of Service
Apart from her military service, Michelle committed herself to serving others.
She dedicated her time to Prescott Area Shelter Services, providing support to women, children, and families facing crisis situations.
She also collaborated with the nonprofit organization Pilots to the Rescue, rescuing shelter dogs that were at risk of being euthanized.
“She showed each person so much love and respect. She just wanted to help,” said Carmen Frederic, a volunteer at the shelter.
A Lasting Legacy
While Michelle’s life was brief, her influence endures.
Her unwavering commitment to the army, her profound impact on her followers, her deep love for her daughter, and her dedicated service to the community will be forever cherished.
“She was a phenomenal friend, mentor, and mother. I miss her already,” wrote a friend.
Michelle Young’s life serves as a powerful reminder of the hidden struggles that many individuals endure.
It urges us all to be more empathetic, supportive, and compassionate in our actions.
Let’s commemorate Michelle’s memory by extending a helping hand to those in need, in line with her wishes.
She has since been confirmed to have taken her own life.
She also shared her experience of losing her brother to suicide at the age of 14.
“That day forever changed my life, but it also created a passion for helping others,” she wrote.