Waterloo West High grad wounded in Iraq - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo West High grad wounded in Iraq

Ian Ralston Ian Ralston
Ian Ralston and David Wissman Ian Ralston and David Wissman
Ian Ralstan and Emerald Ralstan Ian Ralstan and Emerald Ralstan

WASHINGTON (KWWL) - Waterloo West High grad Ian Ralston was wounded in Iraq when the vehicle he was traveling in was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED) Saturday morning.

Ian's parents Sue and Steve Ralston of Waterloo are at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington attending to their son.

"He's super outgoing, very caring. He's a combat medic. His job is to save lives. He's on his second tour over there. The second tour has been quieter than the first," said his mother.

Ian is a 2004 graduate of Waterloo West.

He enjoys playing guitar and target shooting.

He joined the Army right after graduation.

"His Stryker (combat vehicle) was moving under an overpass and that's where there was a suspended IED. He was standing in the guard hatch of the vehicle when the IED was detonated. A piece of metal lodged in his spine. The doctors say they can't operate on this. It's too risky to operate," said Sue Ralston via the phone.

After the attack he was taken to Germany and then Andrews Air Force Base. He was later transferred to Walter Reed.

"Ian is currently paralyzed from the shoulders down," added Ralston.

Sue Ralston said that the hope is that in a month her son will be transferred to a poly trauma specialist center in Minneapolis for rehab.

Ian's sister Emerald was just recently deployed to Afghanistan with the Air Force. After hearing about Ian's injuries, she was allowed to travel with Ian back to the U.S.

Below is a posting on caringbridge.org by Sue Ralston:

      Our son, Ian Ralston, was critically injured on May 29th, 2010, while on a mission in Iraq Ian's Stryker vehicle encountered an IED and Ian sustained a spinal cord injury.  One of his best friends, David, saved Ian's life. Ian is a Combat Medic in the U.S. Army and is loved by many and we know that by now there are thousands of people around the world praying for his recovery.  Because of Ian being in the Military, we would ask that any comments you make not include unit names, locations or any other vital information about our Soldiers and other Military Personnel.

Online News Director: Nate Leding


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