Jackson County Times

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jackson County Native Is Defending You in Afghanistan

Meet 1st Lt. John Russell Young, Company G, 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, Wardack Providence, Afghanistan

By Sid Riley

As you read this story, John Russell Young, son of Lionel and Sheilia Young of Jackson County, is a long way from home. He is busy in a far away land, helping keep America safe and free from attack from those who wish us harm. We should all take every opportunity to honor him and those like him for their service as they risk their lives on our behalf.

John and his group were recently featured in an October issue of the “Blackanthem Military News”, a widely read military publication. John and his platoon were depicted providing security coverage for welders as they welded grate covers into place over roadway drainage portals. By welding these covers, the enemy is prevented from using these culverts as hiding places for IUD’s, and thus passage is made much safer for military traffic using the roadways.

Lt. Young attended Bay High School in Panama City. He attended Florida State while working as a police guard on Panama City Beach and at the Airport. He earned a BA in Criminal Justice, and moved to Jackson County in 2000.

He is now serving his third tour of duty in the Middle East. He has served in Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He left his home here in January to begin a one year tour in Afghanistan. John is a

paratrooper with jumpmaster qualifications. He has twice received the “Soldier of the Year” awards from the 82nd Airborne. After completing OTS and Ranger Training, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Corps.

John has always wanted a military career, following in the path of his Grandfather Col. Arthur McGovern, who served in WW I and WW II. After he retires he plans to move back to the family home in Jackson County.

His parents, Lionel and Sheilia Young previously operated an automotive business in Panama City. He sold the business and he and Sheilia traveled the oceans in a sailing adventure for several years. When they returned in 2000, they purchased 20 acres in Jackson County, and Lionel built their home. They are active in several local organizations. Lionel was the Committee Chairman for the organization and planning of the recent “Marianna Day Fall Festival and Re-enactment”.

Lionel and Sheilia are both very proud of their son, John. When he returns to Jackson County from this tour of duty in Afghanistan, we should all take time to honor and thank him. Meanwhile, pray for his safety.

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