148th Honors With Salvation Army Toys

Father, Son and Husband Remembered

DULUTH, Minn. — The Christmas spirit was in the air at Duluth’s Salvation Army Headquarters Monday. The 148th Fighter Wing used ground transportation to deliver some Christmas cheer.

Santa’s sleigh came in the form of a truck loaded with gifts that they’ve purchased as part of their annual Christmas toy drive. The presents were rounded up by the 148th family to give to other families.

The effort is in honor of former 148th member Ryan Ewald, who died in an ATV accident nine years ago. Ryan loved Christmas and liked helping out. His family was on hand to take in the moment.

His father, Greg Ewald said, “The beauty of it is the base and folks–Brian, Frank, John–continue to carry on the legacy. And we hope this lasts forever, if there is such a thing.”

A friend, Master Sergeant Frank Talarico, said, “Ryan was a great role model, great friend, and really big family man. He was involved in skiing, and football, and the youth community. And he was super involved in everything. ‘Always involved’ sums it up.”

All the toys will certainly bring lots of smiles to kids this Christmas, but the sight also brings smiles to Ryan’s daughters. It is a moment and scene they cherish every year.

Looking at all the toys, Emmy Ewald said, “Yeah, it’s always like that, always a lot of toys.” Her sister Kayla agreed. “It’s nice. Like, I look at the pictures from the last couple years, and it makes me like, tear up in school.”

The 148th collected enough funds to purchase $10,000 worth of toys that will make their way to children this coming weekend.

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