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POW dad sees son on TV: 'That's him'


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LITHIA SPRINGS, Georgia (CNN) -- "That's him," said Ronald Young Sr., after seeing an image on CNN of his son, Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Young Jr., one of seven U.S. troops found safe and sound on Sunday, weeks after their capture by Iraqi forces.

"I'm ecstatic," he said, saying he was so happy he could "kiss the world."

On March 24, his son became a prisoner of war. Under heavy fire, the 26-year-old Apache helicopter flyer's chopper went down in Karbala, Iraq, about 60 miles southwest of Baghdad. Captured along with Young was David S. Williams, 30, of Florida.

Both are chief warrant officers with the Aviation Battalion, 1/227th Company C, 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas. Williams is a 12-year veteran, and Young enlisted three years ago.

Three weeks ago, Young's mother, Kaye, said she wrestled with a foreboding feeling and feared something horrible had happened to her son.

"I just had a mother's feeling. I just felt like Ron was there with me, I felt like he put his arms around me," said Kaye Young.

Young said she started worrying earlier in the day when she saw televised news video of a fallen Apache helicopter that had the bat-wing insignia of her son's unit, the "Vampires" -- so called because they usually fly at night.

Young Jr., a graduate of Douglas County High School in Douglasville, Georgia, studied mechanical engineering at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia, before joining the Army.

He'd almost experienced battle in 2001, receiving deployment orders for the war against terror in Afghanistan just after September 11, 2001. But the orders were canceled before he had to go.

Kaye Young said the family had a very open discussion back then about the possibility Young might not come home.

"He had told me if he was ever asked to give his life for his country, he hoped that he'd be able to do that honorably -- and he seemed very glad to do that, if that was needed," she said.

Young Sr. said his son was living out his dream of being a pilot.


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