Riggleman walks the talk

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I’d like to take a moment to really commend U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, who represents Virginia’s 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As USA Today reported Tuesday, the federal government’s partial shutdown became the longest in American history on Saturday, “stretching into its 22nd day to surpass a 21-day record set in 1995. And it’s still going.”

As Gazette Community Editor Italia Gregory reported, Riggleman recently announced in an online post across social media platforms that while the government is shut down, he would be reallocating his pay to an organization in need that we’re familiar with.

“During the recent government shutdown I will not take a paycheck,” he said. “Instead, I will donate my check to Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department in Charlotte (County). They were recently devastated by Hurricane Michael. Their community came together after an awful tragedy. We can learn from them.”

That Riggleman would focus his generosity on the department and Drakes Branch is not necessarily out of the blue.

Gregory noted that Drakes Branch Fire Chief Kenny Tharpe said Riggleman visited the town after Hurricane Michael to do a walk-through and seemed genuinely concerned. He saw some of the fallout, which included extensive damage and the flooding and temporary closing of the Drakes Branch Post Office, the flooding of local businesses and the flooding of the municipal building, which includes the fire department.

During divisive political times like these, Riggleman’s actions mean a great deal. They communicate kindness in general, but they also help affirm the genuineness of his specific concern for Drakes Branch and Charlotte County.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.