Last salute for a soldier

Adams is 45th in military with S. Arizona ties to die in current conflicts
2010-06-23T00:00:00Z 2014-08-01T11:43:22Z Last salute for a soldierCarmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 23, 2010 12:00 am  • 

SIERRA VISTA - A 21-gun salute marked a farewell Tuesday to Army Spc. Christian M. Adams during a funeral service at the Main Post Chapel at Fort Huachuca.

Maj. Gen. John Custer, commanding general of the Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, presented folded flags to loved ones, including Adams' mother, Donna Adams, his wife, Amanda, and their 2-year-old daughter, Faith Marie.

Tears flowed among the crowd of more than 100 gathered at the military honors ceremony when little Faith Marie reached out, then held onto the flag presented by Custer in the chapel courtyard.

A private funeral Mass took place in the chapel before the honors observance.

Moments earlier, Faith Marie sucked her finger while staring at the dark-wood casket in front of mourners. Heads bowed during the playing of taps by an Army bugler, while the honor guard stood at attention. The Patriot Guard Riders, a volunteer group, held poles with flags swaying in the breeze during the ceremony.

"We are here to show support for the family," said Ryan Yearicks, who was among 45 Patriot Guard Riders who arrived at the fort.

Evergreen-dotted hills and mountains were at a distance from the chapel in Sierra Vista, about 75 miles southeast of Tucson.

Adams, 26, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on June 11 of wounds from "a non-combat-related incident," according to the Defense Department.

No details have been provided about how he died.

He was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas.

The soldier was a 2003 graduate of Buena High School in Sierra Vista. He was the 45th military member with ties to Tucson and Southern Arizona to die while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Adams joined the military shortly after high school as a vehicle mechanic, Maria Hamilton, a family friend, said in an earlier interview. He served three years, left the military briefly, re-enlisted and was serving on his second wartime tour, she said.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or cduarte@azstarnet.com

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