Services were held Saturday for a soldier who was killed in Iraq earlier this month. Donald Young, 19, Helena, Mont., the son of Donna Smith, Joplin, was laid to rest in Montana. (Earlier AP reports indicated Cheryl Young was his mother, the latest say she was his wife. A Springfield News-Leader article indicates both Young's mother and sister live in Missouri.) Young was killed when his vehicle hit an explosive device:
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."
The family was presented with four medals for Young, including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.