Ian Ralston benefit later this month - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ian Ralston benefit later this month

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Severely injured by an Iraqi IED last May, 25-year old U.S. Army Sergeant Ian Ralston, a 2004 graduate of Waterloo West High School, has high hopes he can come back home to Iowa soon. 

You can help make that happen by taking part in a special ‘Help Us Bring Ian Home' fundraiser set for Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Cedar Falls AMVETS Post #49. This special fundraising event will be a traditional Poker Run, with all kinds of vehicles welcome.

The cost is $ 10.00 per hand, with the first vehicle out at 10:00 AM and the last vehicle out by Noon. The last vehicle back in that day will be back by 5:00 PM. To participate, just show up that Saturday morning, or call the AMVETS Post #49 ahead of time at 319-277-6655. AMVETS Post #49 is located at 1934 Irving in Cedar Falls.


Ian Ralston was paralyzed when shrapnel from the exploding improvised explosive device lodged in his spinal cord. The IED exploded on an Iraqi roadway, blowing up Ian's Army vehicle May 29. The explosion occurred during Ian's second tour of duty in Iraq, where he was a U.S. Army Combat Medic.

Nearly four months after the explosion, Ian remains hospitalized but is making progress. He hopes to return to Waterloo to live with his parents, Sue and Steve Ralston. At first, Ian was sent to the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. to begin his long road to recovery. Ian has since been transferred a little closer to home for intensive rehabilitation at the V.A. Medical Center in Minneapolis. 

"He was just talking with us in full sentences and just really communicating. It was hard work, but he's strong. He's not going to put up with this. He's going to push the envelope all the way," Steve Ralston said of Ian's recovery.

The Ralston family has been working hard to get its home ready for Ian's long-awaited return to Iowa. They need to change their house by expanding rooms, revamping the electrical system to handle Ian's medical equipment and adding wheel chair ramps. They will turn the dining room into ‘Ian's Rehab Room.'

A special Ian Ralston benefit account has been established at the main branch of the Veridian Credit Union, at 1827 Ansborough Avenue in Waterloo.

If you'd like to send Ian words of encouragement, here is his address at the VA Medical Center in the Twin-Cities.

Sgt. Ian Ralston
V A Medical Center
Attn: SCI/D Inpatient Unit Room 174
1 Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417


Online Reporter: Ron Steele







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