A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade soldier who “had a tremendous love for life” was killed Friday in Afghanistan after his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device, his family and the Defense Department announced Sunday.
Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, 25, of Rockford, Ill., died in Qalat in Zabul province. He is the 19th soldier Lewis-McChord has lost in Afghanistan this year and the first JBLM soldier killed in Zabul province this year.
His family said in a statement that Ristau died serving the country he loved.
“He will live on forever in our memories. Though his time on earth was short, his impact was huge. We have lost our Michael, but we are still so proud of him and his choice to serve our nation,” the statement read.
Ristau leaves behind a wife, Elizabeth, and two sons.
He enlisted in the Army in July 2004 and was assigned to 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. He arrived at JBLM after he finished his training in November 2004.
Ristau was on his second deployment and had been gone since December. He previously deployed with 3rd Stryker Brigade to Iraq from June 2006 to August 2007.
His family said Ristau also loved bull email@example.com