Thursday, May 23, 2024

US Army servicewoman and fitness influencer Michelle Young dies by suicide, leaving friends shocked

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A member of the US Army with a popular fitness and fashion account on Instagram has died by suicide, devastated friends shared on Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Michelle Young, 34, 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.

“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.

Young had served in the Army for 16 years, first enlisting when she was about 18 years old. During that time, she completed two tours in Afghanistan, the Daily Mail reported.

Just days before news of her death broke, Young had posted a birthday message on Instagram for her daughter, Gracie.

“Happy birthday to the sweetest girl I’ve ever known,” she wrote. “The best part about my life is being your momma.”

Staff Sgt. Michelle Young died by suicide in recent days. It is unclear what led to the tragedy.

Friends recalled how close Young and Gracie were, with countless photos on social media showing a loving mother and daughter. Just this past Halloween, the pair dressed up as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.

Young commanded a following of over 100,000 people on an Instagram account where she modeled apparel from a female veterans-focused athletic attire company. The influencer advocated for better mental health treatment for veterans while combating homelessness among former soldiers.

She also volunteered at her local shelter as a crisis trauma response volunteer.

Young had an Instagram account where she modeled and promoted mental health. michelleyoung17/Instagram
Young left behind a 12-year-old daughter, whom friends described as “her whole world.”

In September, she made a post for Suicide Prevention Week recalling how her older brother took his life when she was 14 years old, and encouraged anybody in distress to reach out.

It remains unclear what led to Young’s suicide.

“From the outside looking in it looked like she had it all,” Maine wrote in a separate post. “Mental illness is so prevalent especially in the military. We need to find a way to do better.”

Nearly $25,000 has been raised on Young’s GoFundMe page. The funds will go directly to her daughter.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to

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