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    U.S. Army Reserve Soldier Gives Back, Helps Local Community

    U.S. Army Reserve Soldier Gives Back, Helps Local Community

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Christopher Sofia | From left to right; U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Richard Midkiff, Spc. Gavriel...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Sofia 

    78th Training Division

    Trenton, N.J., October 29 - President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” This famous quote perfectly describes the values and actions of Staff Sgt. Richard Midkiff as he not only serves his country, but also helps to serve the people in local communities.

    Originating from Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Midkiff serves as a U.S. Army Reserve noncommissioned officer currently supporting Task Force Dagger, Operation Cold Steel III at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

    For the second day in a row, Midkiff went to the Rescue Mission of Trenton homeless shelter, which is about 20-minute drive away from base and assisted in feeding about 55 homeless individuals.

    Today, he was accompanied by Lt. Col. Kedraa Segler and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Timmons. Spc. Gavriel Arshadnia, another task force Soldier working the night shift with Midkiff also came along to help out.

    Arshadnia is also no stranger to volunteer work, having previously dedicated his days off to aid his local fire department in New York as an EMT and firefighter.

    Midkiff’s motivation to help other goes all the way back to his roots.

    “My parents were preachers and as missionaries they would travel down to Mexico and Costa Rica by ground and help people that were homeless and give clothes to people that didn’t’ have any and stuff like that,” said Midkiff.

    “I looked up the shelter online because I wanted something to do while I wasn’t working, so I first got in contact with Anchor House which is a shelter for kids that have aged out of the orphanage,” said Midkiff. “Their stuff they needed help with was sporadic and so I went back on the internet and contacted the director for the Trenton shelter. She said to ‘come on down’ so I went down there and helped feed and went back today. I’ll be going Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.”

    During the exercise, he works nights, but optimizes the free time he has during the day by sticking to a schedule.

    “I make the time to help by using a split sleep schedule. I get off at seven in the morning and then I sleep until ten. Then I get up and do this [volunteer] then go back to sleep for about two until five, go to the gym and after that I go to work then I start all over again,” explained Midkiff.

    The Army Value of selfless service and his experience as a Soldier over the years also play into his willingness to help others.

    “The army values help lay the groundwork for stuff like this. You want to give yourself, selflessly,” he said. “We’re not getting paid for this. There’s no check to be gained from this. What’s gained is the fact that you’re helping somebody else out. That’s what you gain.”

    “They (homeless) say thank you and they smile. That’s payment enough,” said Midkiff.
    “Others Service members can help too,” exclaimed Midkiff. He went on to say, “Every city or every base has a community outreach program outside the gate. Here all they have to do is go to the internet and any one of these shelters all want people to help them to come volunteer and serve food. They have other things you can do to help like working at a thrift store, helping people pick out clothes, you can wash dishes, help organize stuff. There’s tons of stuff you can do. You could help do paperwork.”



    Date Taken: 10.30.2018
    Date Posted: 11.14.2018 15:05
    Story ID: 300005
    Location: TRENTON, NJ, US 

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