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Memorial Day 2019 held a special significance for the Diagonal community as this year marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Private First Class Ronald Allen Yashack in combat in the Viet Nam War.
Monday, the Diagonal American Legion color guard conducted their Memorial Day tribute over Yashack’s grave in the Diagonal Cemetery.
A front page article in the May 29, 1969 Mount Ayr Record-News chronicled the May 24 tragedy:
“Army Pfc. Ronald Allen Yashack, 21, was killed May 24 by mortar fire in Viet Nam, according to word received Monday by his parents, Postmaster and Mrs. Allen R. (Dick) Yashack of Diagonal.
Private Yashack, who left for army service on Sept. 23, 1968, was sent in February of this year  to Viet Nam, where he was a member of Company A, 152nd Battalion, 198th Light Infantry Brigade, stationed at Chu Lai, south of Da Nang. A 1966 graduate of the Diagonal Community High School, Private Yashack attended the Southwestern Community College in Creston for two years before he entered the army.
Survivors besides his parents are two sisters, Marilyn, of the home, and Mrs. Ed Ford of Ellston; a brother, Andy, of the home, and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Yashack and Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Dowell of Diagonal.”