- Iraqi Freedom POW
- Finalist on CBS "The Amazing Race"
- Apache pilot and training officer
For much of his life, Ron Young could be described as a typical American story. A product of southern roots, the Georgia native dreamed of flying and adventure. He became an Eagle Scout and studied engineering in college. It was during his college years that he learned he could be trained to fly Apache helicopters by joining the military. He enlisted and was soon involved in the United States' military actions.
The day of March 30, 2003 forever changed Ron Young's "typical" story. While flying his first combat mission during the invasion of Iraq, he and copilot Chief Warrant Officer David Williams were shot from the sky approximately 50 miles southwest of Baghdad. The two warrant officers eluded pursuing Iraqi soldiers for several hours but were ultimately captured under strong gunfire. They were held for twenty-three days. Two unsuccessful attempts were made to free the pilots, but the Iraqi posts were heavily armed.
Ultimately, Ron Young, Williams and five other POW's were rescued in an heroic raid by Marines. Young later recalled, "It was amazing. Beyond words…I felt like I had won the lottery of life."
Since his rescue, Young has worked as a cable news special contributor, competed to the finals of CBS' The Amazing Race and is currently serving as a White House Political Appointee to Housing and Urban Development. He has also worked in Press Advance for the President.
As a speaker, Ron Young credits the leadership and training he received in the military for his survival. His insight into the American spirit receives glowing reviews from corporate events, association functions and political galas.