Written by Jason Epner, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CASCADE (KWWL) -
Memorial services were held for an Iowa native killed while on active duty in Afghanistan. 25-year-old Sergeant Michael Ristau was killed July 13th after an I-E-D hit the vehicle he was in.
People in the town of Cascade came together to remember the life of one of their own. Sgt. Michael Ristau was buried last week in his current hometown in Washington state.
His family in Iowa asked for a memorial service in Cascade. "They approached us to give the family some closure and since he was killed in action we were happy to do so," said Bill Donovan with American Legion Post 528 in Cascade.
Saturday the Ristau family was given a traditional military service. Michael's uncle William Ristau says the family is thankful for to have this moment. "It's heartbreaking and I appreciate all the people that came out today," Ristau said.
The streets in Cascade were decorated with some 1800 American flags set up by 100 volunteers.
Ristau will be remembered for his passion for serving his country, his strong will, and his love for family. "Loving kid, enjoyed military, family, friends," Ristau said. Ristau had hoped to make a career out of serving in the military. He had just re-enlisted for three more years prior to his death. "He was really a good kid," Ristau said.
Saturday's service a sobering reminder of the sacrifice given for American freedoms.
"We really need to show this to the next generation so they realize what the responsibilities are that the military does give us our freedoms," Donovan said.
Michael Ristau was buried last week in Kent, Washington. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
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