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Mother of LDS prisoner of war feels peace, believes he's OK

Georgia man was taken captive after helicopter malfunctioned

The mother of an Iraqi-held LDS war prisoner said despite her son's capture Monday, she awoke Wednesday with a peaceful feeling.

After all, explained Kaye Young of Lithia Spring, Ga., "I've never seen (my son) try anything he couldn't do.

"I know he's all right."

Her son, Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young Jr., 26, was captured Monday when his Apache helicopter went down during a combat mission in Iraq. His fellow crewman, Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30, of Orlando, Fla., also was captured as a prisoner of war.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Young and Williams were hovering above an Iraqi battlefield attacking targets when their helicopter experienced mechanical problems. They landed the chopper and were later taken prisoner by Iraqi forces.

Their images were soon broadcast on televisions across the globe. Both soldiers, who are based out of Fort Hood, Texas, appeared somber but in good health.

Kaye Young told the Deseret News she and her family have received comfort from members of their LDS congregation and many other friends and neighbors. Women from the Lithia Springs Ward Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have chipped in with meals. "We've been prayed over by every religion," she said.

Georgia's two U.S. senators, Zell Miller and Saxby Chambliss, called to say Washington would do all it could to secure the release of Young and the other POWs in Iraq. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue called and prayed with the family over the speakerphone, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An outdoor lover, Young grew up wanting to be a pilot. He once worked as a river guide, helped build a race car in college and spent time in Japan as a foreign exchange student where he discovered an aptitude for foreign languages.


E-mail: jswensen@desnews.com