Louis Robert Carista was born in Brooklyn, New York, in February 1935. Enlisted in the US Navy in 1952, at age of 17. Served for six years on the USS McDermut, a destroyer escort, supporting operations of the coast of Korea and China, during the Korean War. Separated from the Navy and joined the US Army becoming a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. Attended all the good schools at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Went to Fort Benning for Ranger School graduating in October 1959.
He joined the Sport Parachute Club at Ft. Campbell, later accepted by and served with the US Army Golden Knights at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina from 1965 to 1968. Assigned to "The Black Team" as ATL and TL. Completed 2250 free falls. Performed "Cut-aways." Earned his "Golden Wings" with the Golden Knights.
Served in Vietnam with Troop C 1st Squadron, 17th Calvary, 82nd Airborne Division 1968-1969. Extended and re-enlisted for Company H, 75th Rangers, and 1st Calvary Division. Was a platoon sergeant for the Ranger Company, Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol.
Awards and decoration:
He retired in 1972 after a storied career as both a sailor and a soldier. Lou died on January 20, 2016. He is survived by three children who reside in Texas. Lou was a solid Ranger who truly "Led the Way!"