Nov 10, 2009

Father of Liberty student sent on Iraq tour

by Amanda Thomason

James Young, father of Liberty University sophomore Briana Young, has been enlisted in the United States Army for almost 20 years. James served his country and protected his fellow citizens both in the states and abroad. Most recently he returned to Iraq for another tour of duty.

James Young was in Iraq for one year in 2007. After returning home for some time to be with his family, he traveled to Kansas on Mother’s Day in 2009 to prepare to go back to Iraq in August.
He will be there fighting in the war until he returns in June to his wife, Karen, and four children: Michael, 27; Jonathan, 23; Jasmine, 21 and Briana, 19.

Briana Young has moved several times since she was born. A few of these moves sent James Young overseas on six-month deployments, including to Germany and Korea.

Briana Young grew to enjoy traveling, moving and meeting new people. Instead of dreading each new home, she relished the opportunity to get to know new people and make new friends, she said.

“My favorite place that I have lived was in Georgia. (I lived there for) about seven years. I had many good friends, and they are still my friends to this day,” Briana Young said.

Not only is James Young a strong American soldier, but he is also a devoted and caring father figure in his daughter’s life. While he is in Iraq, Briana Young can only speak with him once a week for roughly three minutes. She looks forward to those calls as well as putting together care packages to send her father. Recently she shipped him a box of all his favorite snacks. Briana Young was pleased with the excited reaction from her father when the package arrived.

“I respect my father and the rest of the men and women that are serving in the military,” Briana said. “It takes a lot to put on that suit every day.”

Briana Young’s faith in God is something that helps her live her daily life not fearing for her dad fighting in Iraq.

“Some nights I find myself crying out to God to protect them, but he reminds me that he wouldn’t place them in harm’s way,” Briana Young said. “I have to have faith because without it, I think I would fall apart worrying.”

“I love my dad so much. He is always there for me whenever I need him,” Briana Young said. “It means a lot that people care about the military and their families. The most love I have (felt) on this campus was this week during Military Emphasis Week.”

Contact Amanda Thomason at ahthomason@liberty.edu.


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