He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Michael was born in Cascade, Iowa but grew up in the Rockford area. He enlisted in the Army in 2004. He attended Initial Army Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
He deployed with his brigade to Afghanistan in December 2011. This was his second deployment. He previously deployed with 3rd Stryker Brigade to Iraq from June 2006 to August 2007.
|Angels of God, pray for Michael|
His awards and decorations include Army Achievement Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal (two awards), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver – Wheeled Vehicles.
Comrades describe him as a brave, quiet young soldier.
Friends stated that he was an avid competitor in rodeo and was often in cowboy mode in his off-duty times.
Family stated that Michael died doing what he loved and that they are proud of his service to his country.
Michael is survived by many loving friends and relatives including his wife, Elizabeth; and two sons.
Let us pray that Michael Ristau is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.