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Donors Honor Family Members by Giving Blood
By Cesar Fontanilla, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Pictured from left to right: Pvt. Joshua Graef, Pfc. Kevin Botkin, and Pvts. Nicholas Reyna, Isaias Ruiz and Anthony Traut. All five Marines took advantage of the opportunity to donate blood with the Armed Services Blood Program during the company’s blood drive.
Marines from Marine Combat Training Golf Company took some time away from their busy training schedule to support the Armed Services Blood Program. Several Marines had expressed their desire to donate blood because it reminded them of how blood saved their loved ones and could potentially save their fellow service members.
Marine Pfc. Kevin Botkin remembers the time both his father and mother needed blood. Knowing just how important blood donations were for his family, Botkin makes it a priority to always give blood because it’s his way of paying it forward during his parent’s medical treatment.
“It was always tough for me to see both my parents suffer from medical issues. My dad had a heart transplant while my mother had kidney and diabetes,” Botkin said. “Both of my parents received blood transfusion which allowed them to live a longer life than expected. It enabled me to spend quality time with them. However, their condition deteriorated and I eventually lost both of my parents. Now, I donate blood every opportunity to remember my parents and to help those who are in need of blood.”
For Marine Pvt. Isaias Ruiz, his mother had a surgery which gave her a chance for a better life.
“My mom went in for surgery to remove her chance of breast cancer,” Reyna said. “She needed blood during the surgery which helped her recover. My mom is the reason why I always donate blood. I am also very thankful for the donors that gave my mother the chance to live.”
Many accidents happen without notice. For Marine Pvt. Anthony Traut, a family’s car accident became a lifesaving ordeal.
“My cousin had a bad car accident,” Traut said. “The only chance for my cousin to live was to have a massive blood transfusion. My family and I are thankful for the amount of blood my cousin received. Without the blood, my cousin would not be here with us. I donate my blood because I know many people out there need blood at any given time. I want to make sure blood is available to anyone at any time.”
First-time blood donors Marine Pvts. Joshua Graef and Nicholas Reyna were inspired to donate blood because of the stories shared by their fellow Marines. According to Graef and Reyna, the benefit of giving blood to the ASBP is more than enough to make them life-long blood donors with the program.
“Just knowing that our blood will help our brothers and sisters — as well as other family members — makes it worth the time to come out,” Graef and Reyna said.
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
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The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the
Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award
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