Northwest War Casualties Mount As Fighting Season Heats Up

Jul 16, 2012

The summer fighting season in Afghanistan continues to claim the lives of Northwest soldiers. So far this year, 19 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been killed. The Army announced the latest death over the weekend. Correspondent Austin Jenkins has more.

Sgt. Michael Ristau of Rockford, Illinois was just 25. But he leaves behind a wife and two children, including an infant son. According to the Army, Ristau was killed in Zabul Province in Southern Afghanistan when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. This was his second wartime deployment. Ristau previously served in Iraq during the peak of action there in 2006 and 2007. He was a member of the 3rd Stryker Brigade.

Four Lewis-McChord soldiers have been killed this month. May was the deadliest month so far this year with six killed in action. Typically, fighting in Afghanistan heats up during the spring and summer months. Lewis-McChord currently has about 10-thousand soldiers deployed to Afghanistan including two Stryker Brigades.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network