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Published November 12, 2010, 06:38 PM

Minnesota Soldier Remembers A Local Soldier Who Gave All

This Veteran's day ceremony at the Red Lake Falls High School was different this year. That's because they heard the story of a fallen soldier who was one of their own. As part of a Veterans Day ceremony, John Kriesel, who was riding with Corey, talked about that day and his recovery after the explosion.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

This Veteran's day ceremony at the Red Lake Falls High School was different this year. That's because they heard the story of a fallen soldier who was one of their own. Four years ago Corey Rystad from Red Lake Falls was killed when the vehicle he was riding in hit a road-side bomb while serving in Iraq.

"The Rystad family asked me to come up and be part of this ceremony. And it's the least I can do. They are just a great family. Corey was a close friend, and I miss him so anything I can do for this family at anytime," Kriesel said.

During the ceremony John talked about his fight to survive the bomb explosion that took the life of Corey Rystad and another Minnesota native Bryan McDonough. John would spend nine months in rehab after losing both of his legs. Today he walks with a cane with his prosthetic legs. But he told the community of Red Lake Falls he's lucky, and will not forget his buddies who did not make it.

"Losing Corey and Brian in the same blast. Would really open my eyes. I was very close to not living. And wouldn't get to see my boys, and wife. Do the little things so it really opened my eyes appreciate life," Kriesel said.

In addition to this soldiers story, John's visit gave community members a chance to say something they were not able to say to Corey.

"We say thank you for your service, loyalty, and dedication to our country. Thank you," Kurt Philion said.

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