NE Iowa native killed in Afghanistan July 13th by an IED


July 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Department of Defense, Thursday, announced the death of a northeast Iowa native in Afghanistan. Officials say 25-year old Army Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, a native of Cascade, died  July 13th, in Qalat, Zabul province of Afghanistan.

Sgt. Michael Ristau (DOD photo)

Ristau was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was attacked by an Improvised Explosive Device. He was assigned as an infantryman to the Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Army, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Ristau joined the U.S. Army in July, of 2004, and was stationed at Lewis-McChord. He deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in 2006-07 and deployed to Afghanistan in December 2011. He is survived by his wife and two sons, his parents, one sister, and two brothers.

The family of Sgt. Michael E. Ristau issued the following statement: “Michael was loved by his family, friends and community. His passion, other than his family, friends and country, was bull-riding and off-road mud climbing in his four-wheel-drive. Michael was also involved with the Patriot Guard Riders in honoring other fallen Soldiers. As a young child, he loved to skateboard and ride go-karts. He also loved to spend his childhood days outside with his family and friends. For the past eight years, Michael had a passion for the military and was going to re-enlist. He will be sadly missed, but not forgotten. Michael was always looking out for others and helping them in any way possible.”

Funeral arrangements are pending. Services will be held in Washington state, with a memorial service being held in Iowa at a future date.