For the first time in seventeen years the NPPA is momentarily setting aside its core mission to honor the memory and sacrifice of Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams and dismantling the perpetuation of lies, fabrications, myth and folklore of convicted murderer Leonard Peltier.
Jack and Ron, looking down and watching over us, will certainly understand.
With the promise of an exciting and productive life of new adventures and challenges, life-altering events can occur unexpectedly.
On April 8, 2017, nineteen-year-old 6’7” freshman and scholarship basketball player at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, RYAN CUSTER’s life changed in an instant.
Ryan and many other college students were celebrating Spring at a party in Oxford, Ohio. A makeshift pool of tarp and hay bales was part of the afternoon’s activities. Ryan flopped into the pool and accidently bumped his head on another student’s knee. In a million times a minor incident like this would have resulted in some bumps and bruises, but for this one time, tragedy struck and Ryan fractured a vertebra, injuring his spinal cord. He was airlifted to a Cincinnati hospital for surgery and evaluation. Paralysis was evident. Two weeks later Ryan was transported to a Chicago clinic and was one of a handful of patients to participate in a pioneering stem cell procedure injecting millions of stem cells into the injured area of his spinal cord. Ryan will remain in Chicago to undergo weeks of intensive physical therapy.
Ryan’s father, George, was an FBI Agent in the late 1980s serving his first office in Cincinnati. He was an effective and professional new agent, learning quickly and enjoying the challenges of his new profession.
George met Kim, a well-liked FBI support employee since 1984. Over time, the relationship blossomed into marriage.
As is expected in the Bureau, transfers to larger offices were always a possibility. George and Kim decided they wanted to stay in the Cincinnati area and George left the Bureau to start his own successful business.
The Custer family eventually grew with two daughters and two sons.
To be clear and unmistakable, the Custer family is incredibly wonderful, salt-of-the-earth people, admired and respected by all who know them.
Ryan faces a long, demanding journey to recovery and only time will tell how much he will recover from his injury.
NPPA supporters can follow Ryan’s progress on Facebook.*
Such a devastating injury, although largely covered by insurance, brings with it many additional out-of-pocket expenses which prompted Ryan’s teammates to create a fundraiser to help ensure that he has the care he needs and expert guidance to assist in his journey, hopefully to a full recovery.**
The prayers and thoughts of all the supporters of the No Parole Peltier Association are with Ryan and his wonderful family.
“In the Spirit of Coler and Williams”