Who Was Michelle Young? US Army Soldier and Fitness Influencer Dies by Suicide Aged 34 Just Days After Celebrating Her Daughter's Birthday

The 34-year-old military veteran completed two tours in Afghanistan, with her most recent deployment in 2021.

A soldier in the US Army, who was also a popular fitness and fashion influencer on Instagram, has died by suicide, her devastated friends revealed on Saturday. Staff Sergeant Michelle Young, 34, sadly took her own life, leaving behind her 12-year-old daughter, whom friends described as "her whole world" in a heart-wrenching post on GoFundMe.

Just days before her tragic death, Young had happily shared a post celebrating her daughter's 12th birthday on her social media account with her fans over 100,000. The exact circumstances under which she died remain unclear. Young's tragic death has prompted an outpouring of tributes from friends both online and on her social media pages.

Tragic Death

Michelle Young
Michelle Young X

"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 on the page.

"We will never fill the gaps in our hearts and will always be left with questions," she added.

Michelle Young
Michelle Young X

In October, Young shared a series of photos on her social media where she and her daughter Gracie, both devoted Chiefs fans, dressed up as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.

Young had a 16-year tenure in the army, first enlisting when she was around 18 years old. Over the course of her service, she completed two tours in Afghanistan, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The 34-year-old military veteran completed two tours in Afghanistan, with her most recent deployment in 2021. In the same year, she extended her military contract, aiming to serve for 20 years. As of September, she had already served 16 years.

"I was in the military before I became a mother," Young wrote on Instagram. "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."

Michelle Young
Michelle Young Instagram

Young also devoted her free time to working as a crisis and trauma response volunteer. She also volunteered at a local women's and children's homeless shelter.

In one of her posts, she explained that her dedication to service was fueled by the tragic loss of her own brother to suicide.

"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," Young explained.

Family and Friends Devastated

Military values held significant importance in Young's family. She frequently spoke about her grandfather, a Navy veteran who had served in World War II. "Growing up the thought of joining the military never crossed my mind," Young wrote, noting that at the time of her enlistment, her grandfather was the only person she knew personally who had served.

Michelle Young
Michelle Young X

"I didn't know any women that were in the military."

Friends fondly remembered the close bond between Young and her daughter Gracie, evident in numerous photos on social media showcasing their loving mother-daughter relationship.

With a massive following of over 100,000 people on her Instagram account, Young modeled apparel from a female-veterans-focused athletic attire company.

As an influencer, she passionately advocated for improved mental health treatment for veterans and worked towards addressing homelessness among former soldiers.

Michelle Young
Michelle Young X

Young also actively volunteered at her local shelter, contributing as a crisis trauma response volunteer.

In September, Young shared a post during Suicide Prevention Week, recalling how her older brother took his own life when she was 14 years old. In her message, she encouraged anyone experiencing distress to seek support.

The circumstances surrounding Michelle Young's suicide remain unclear.