ASBP: Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center Recognizes Top Donors
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Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center Recognizes Top Donors

02/13/2017
By Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs Office, Fort Bliss, Texas
Army Col. John A. Smyrski III (left), commander, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and Command Sgt. Maj. Donald George, command sergeant major, WBAMC, present a plaque to Command Sgt. Maj. Brian C. Vogl, commandant, Fort Bliss Noncommissioned Officer Academy, for the unit’s overall blood donations equaling 24 gallons of blood. (Photo by Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs Office)
Army Col. John A. Smyrski III (left), commander, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and Command Sgt. Maj. Donald George, command sergeant major, WBAMC, present a plaque to Command Sgt. Maj. Brian C. Vogl, commandant, Fort Bliss Noncommissioned Officer Academy, for the unit’s overall blood donations equaling 24 gallons of blood. (Photo by Marcy Sanchez, WBAMC Public Affairs Office)
The Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center held its annual Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center, Fort Bliss, Jan. 26.

The ceremony welcomed Army units and federal agencies across El Paso and Southern New Mexico to recognize generous unit and individual contributions in supporting the Armed Services Blood Program’s mission of providing quality blood products and services for all worldwide customers in peace and war.

“The donor center is the supplier of blood transfused on a daily basis at WBAMC,” said Army Col. John A. Smyrski III, commander, William Beaumont Army Medical Center. “The center also has a mission of supporting service members deployed in support of overseas military operations.”

During the ceremony one, two and four-gallon individual donors were recognized along with top-donating units, WBAMC, 31st Combat Support Hospital and the Basic Leaders Course with donations equivalent to 20, 22 and 24 gallons, respectively.

“We rely on our healthy donors to supply blood,” said Smyrski. “Your gift of blood helps save the lives of service members at home, beneficiaries, and those around the world.”

One Soldier, Lt. Col. Jeff Burbank, the Fort Bliss garrison chaplain, witnessed the need for blood during operations in Kosovo and Iraq.

“In warfare there’s an awful lot of need for blood and platelets,” said Burbank, a native of Topeka, Kansas. “Soldiers give all that they have even through the last full measure.”

According to Burbank, while assigned with the 67th Combat Support Hospital, he would rally up service members to donate for Soldiers in need. Burbank said troops would stop what they were doing and happily volunteer to help fellow service members.

“There were days when there was as much blood on the floors as there was going into the veins,” said Burbank. “It’s all one fight, even though you may not be carrying a rucksack, what you are carrying is still valuable.”

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.

This story was originally published on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, Feb. 7. Republished content may have been edited for length, clarity and to follow the ASBP style guidelines. View the original article here.