News | Jan. 10, 2019

Western Hills Recruiting Station makes Christmas extra special for family

By Joshua Blair, Columbus A&PA Columbus Recruiting Battalion

Christmas is a time of giving and helping those in need. One local Army Recruiter took it upon himself to not only help those in need, but to go above and beyond the call of duty for one local family in remembrance of their recently lost loved one, a cherished Korean War Hero, Spc. Charles Tyler Ayers.

Ayers passed away Sept. 16, 2018 and left his daughter Lori Ayers-Brown with many unexpected expenses. With Christmas around the corner, Ayers-Brown needed assistance to ensure that her grandchildren would have the Christmas they deserved after such tragedy had struck the family. Desperate for help, she contacted the Western Hills Recruiting Station in Cincinnati Ohio for information about the local Toys for Tots program.

Upon contacting the station, Staff Sgt. Vladimir Medvedev provided her with information on how to get in contact with Toys for Tots, but his efforts did not stop there. The entire Western Hills Recruiting Station, in an act of selfless service, chose to “adopt” her grandchildren this Christmas and provide them with some special presents from Santa.

When delivering the gifts to the children, Medvedev was in for a humbling experience as Ayers-Brown went into her closet and pulled out her father’s dress uniform from the Korean War, in perfect condition.

 When I saw the uniform, it looked like it belonged in a museum. At that moment, I knew that I needed to do something special for her as well. She was going through some tough times too, and I realized it wasn’t only about the grandchildren anymore.”

Medvedev continued, “I wanted to do something special to showcase her father’s uniform. So, I asked her if I could take the uniform back to the station.”

Little did Lori know, an even more remarkable and emotional gift was in store for her. Lori explained that she thought he was going to borrow the uniform to show it to someone back at the station. She had no idea what was to come next.

Medvedev returned a few weeks later to deliver the uniform to its rightful owner, only this time, it was framed inside of a perfectly squared, black, two-inch thick shadow box, as if it were ready to be displayed in a national museum.  Lori was overcome with emotion and pride, but to Medvedev, this was nothing more than an act of Respect and Honor towards a true hero and his family.

“To me, he’s like an angel,” she said. “He just appeared at the right time. It’s more than I could ever imagine.”

Ayers-Brown explained that she “wanted people to know that the guys at the recruiting station are more than just men who talk to kids about going into the service, they are true heroes, and have been angels in my life.”