Air Force Academy mourns the death of cadet who succumbed to injuries


Hugh Johnson

The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

May 4—The Air Force Academy announced on Wednesday the death of a cadet from complications caused by a fall last month.

Cadet 4th Class Christopher Scott Ryong Adams suffered “severe injuries” in a fall on April 23 during personal recreation, according to Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Paul Moga.

Conner Adams, who said he is Chris’ brother, posted on Facebook that Chris fractured his skull during an electric skateboarding accident. He succumbed to his injuries Tuesday. He was 23 years old.

Conner has known his adopted brother since Chris was 2, he said. He was in third grade when he and his mother visited an orphanage to bring food to the children.

“My mom walked in the rusty old gate as I followed behind her. Out of a mob of smiling little kids, this cute little 2-year-old Korean boy came up and hugged my mom’s leg tight,” Conner said.

Afterward, Chris ended up coming home with the Adamses every weekend, spending time with Conner’s biological brother, Colsen, who was about a month older.

“I’ve never known any different than those two. Chris has been in our life from the very beginning,” Conner said. “He always cared more about others than himself. This feels like a nightmare.”

Conner said that he and his family appreciate the support they have received online, saying they have seen the impact Chris had on many people and that they hope to carry on his spirit of love, selflessness and faith in God.

Conner, who is 5 years older than Chris, said that the three brothers shared a very close bond. Conner joined the Air Force in 2011 and that was when he started seeking a closer bond with his brothers, both of whom decided to join the military, he said. Conner was medically retired from the Air Force in September 2015. Colsen is a second lieutenant in the Army, stationed in Germany.

Conner described the feeling of seeing his younger brother get accepted into the Air Force Academy as “the proudest big brother moment ever.”

He was there to see Chris graduate from basic training and to see Colsen commission. The three brothers grew up in Tennessee and as their lives took them to different locations, the Volunteer State was always the place to meet for reunions and holidays.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of Cadet 4th Class Ryong Adams,” Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark said in a news release. “Ryong was a dedicated cadet and served our nation as an enlisted airman before his arrival at our Preparatory School.

“He worked hard to join the cadet wing, and he will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Ryong’s family and all of the lives he touched at USAFA and in the Air Force.”

Following his brother’s death, shared some kind words on Facebook:

“It’s unreal for me to imagine life without brother(S). It’s always been you, me and colsen (sic). I had never thought it would EVER be different. But like I told you at your bedside, don’t worry about us,” he said. “I know you’re prolly (sic) thinking the things you’re seeing right now is probably unreal. That’s how it feels for us too. I love you little brother. We will see you again.”


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