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Army Spc. Donald M. Young

Died August 8, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

19, of Helena, Mont.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Aug. 8 in Baghdad of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations.

Helena soldier killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

HELENA — A Helena soldier died in Iraq of wounds suffered after an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle he was in, the Department of Defense said Thursday.

Spc. Donald M. Young, 19, a former student at Capital High School, died Wednesday in Baghdad.

Young was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas.

According to the DoD, units operating in western Baghdad, where Young was killed, are conducting targeted raids and clearing operations to disrupt insurgent and militia elements.

The U.S. has suffered more than 3,680 casualties in the war thus far.

Helena soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest

The Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — A 19-year-old soldier from Helena who was killed this month in Iraq was remembered Aug. 18 as a friend and warrior who never gave up — for better or worse.

Army Spc. Donald M. Young died Aug. 8 of wounds suffered after a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad.

His older sister, Catherine, remembered teaching him how to swim when he was 8 and she was 10.

“He was a skinny little kid, all dressed in black, standing on the diving board he looked a little scared standing there,” she said. “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 Young never gave up, his sister recalled, and it was a trait he carried with him throughout his short life.

“It got him in trouble a lot, but it made him the great man he was,” she said. “He always wanted to make a difference.”

Young was the fifth soldier from Helena to die in Iraq since the war began there in 2003. He was the son of Richard Cleary and Donna Smith, and is also survived by his wife, Cheryl; a brother; and numerous sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmothers.

Young was a student at Capital High School and was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas.

He was laid to rest in Forestvale Cemetery in Helena.

Maj. Gen. Randy Mosley, adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, awarded his 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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