Family remembers fallen soldier with Iowa ties - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family remembers fallen soldier with Iowa ties


Sergeant Michael Ristau enjoyed bull riding, spending time with family, and serving in the Untied States Army. 
In the week since his death in Afghanistan, his parents say they've received an incredible amount of support.
"Yesterday more mail came and there's mail coming from all over Illinois, just from total strangers," said Sue Ristau, Michael's mother.  "It's just wonderful the support that you get from people that you don't even know."
The father of two was born in Kansas, but spent many of his childhood summers in Dubuque.  
His parents later moved to Cascade, where the soldier loved to visit on leave.
"It would always go back to family," said Randy Ristau, Michael's Father.
Ristau served eight years in the army and planned to re-enlist. He posthumously received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. 
"That was his life and that's what he enjoyed," said Sue.  "It's just so sad that it has to happen this way but we know Michael died doing something that he extremely loved."
Ristau's wife and one of his sons live in Tacoma, Washington, which is where his funeral services will be.
Funeral services are scheduled at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington on Saturday, July 28th. His parents plan to have a memorial in Cascade next month.

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