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Army Sgt. Ryan C. Young, 21; Dies of Injuries 3 Weeks After Bomb Explodes, Hits Vehicle

December 14, 2003|Jose Cardenas | Times Staff Writer

After his hospital stay to treat shrapnel wounds, Army Sgt. Ryan C. Young expected to be released soon and come home to Riverside County.

The 21-year-old soldier from Corona had appeared to be recuperating steadily from the injuries he suffered Nov. 8 when an improvised explosive device detonated and hit his vehicle in Fallujah, Iraq. But he unexpectedly developed a blood clot in his lungs that traveled to his heart, and he died Dec. 2.

"He was doing really well," said his mother, Cathi Cutshall of Corona, who, along with Young's wife, Sarah Smith-Young, traveled to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to be at his bedside. "We were talking about the future, coming home."

Young, who was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, Kan., was buried Friday at Riverside National Cemetery.

Born in Orange, Young moved with his family to Corona in 1989. He met his future wife, neighbor Sarah Smith, now 21, the summer before their sophomore year at Norco High School. "Ever since that day, we were best friends," she said. They were married in a civil ceremony in August 2002.

A month after graduating in 2000 from Norco High, Young joined the Army, just as he had planned since he was 7. His wife said he welcomed his September deployment to Iraq. "He just couldn't wait," she said. "That's what he got trained to do, and he finally got to do it."

Young also is survived by his father, Marvin Young of Iowa; his stepfather, Steve Cutshall; a brother, Brandon Cutshall; two sisters, Jenifer and Nicole Cutshall; his paternal grandparents, Milton Young of Louisiana and Billy Jean Shackleford of Texas; and his maternal grandparents, Walt and Gwen Duran of Oregon.

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