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UVa ROTC Blood Drive Sees Record-breaking Success
By Maliha Jahangiri, The Cavalier Daily
The University of Virginia ROTC program partnered with the Armed Services Blood Program for a blood drive, Feb. 27. All blood collected at the drive directly supports ill or injured service members and their families worldwide. (Photo by Nick Zurgis, Cavalier Daily)
The University of Virginia’s ROTC programs held a blood drive Monday, Feb. 27 in support of the U.S. military, raising a record-breaking 79 units of blood in the process. While donors were encouraged to register online, dozens of students, faculty and local community members also participated in walk-in donations in Newcomb Ballroom throughout the day.
The annual event, organized primarily by cadets in the university’s Army ROTC program, is in its third year after now 1st Lt. Kaitlyn McQuade started the program four years ago. Since then, cadets from the School of Nursing have continued to run the blood drive and fourth-year nursing student, Cadet Lauren Odegaard, has continued the legacy this year.
“Specifically, these [donations] go towards providing blood for service members,” said Lt. Col. Mark Houston, professor of military science and head of the Army ROTC program. “It’s safe to be used in military installations and abroad when we’re doing military operations.”
This year, the ROTC programs teamed up with the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center, which is one of 20 Armed Services Blood Program blood donor centers. The program has been the sole provider of blood donations to the U.S. military since 1962.
“This is why the drive is important — the blood goes directly to a Soldier wounded in combat, or a veteran that has served in previous wars, or a Soldier’s child diagnosed with cancer at home,” Odegaard said.
The event carries personal significance for Houston, as he was a recipient of blood donations while serving overseas.
“It’s a sense of pride, doing something that will potentially help somebody that is serving others,” Houston said. “That’s kind of what we’re all about it in the military — we’re all about serving others. The message was, ‘help those who are serving our country by giving blood today.’ It’s a big day to our military and specifically our military medical professionals.”
The blood drive also hits home for Madison Briggs, a second-year college student and regular blood donor.
“My brother is currently active duty in the Navy so when my mom told me that it was being done by ROTC and Fort Bragg, it was especially important because all of the donations go towards military personnel (and) military families,” Briggs said. “(It’s) definitely a cause close to my heart.”
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
. 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.
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