ASBP: Army, Navy Battle it Out in Donor Chairs: 2017 Blood Donor Challenge Underway in Washington Metro Area
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ARMED SERVICES BLOOD PROGRAM OFFICE

For more information contact:

Navy Lt. Tamara Belin | Deputy Division Chief, Policy
703-681-8348 | tamara.r.belin.mil@mail.mil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE




ARMY, NAVY BATTLE IT OUT IN DONOR CHAIRS: 2017 BLOOD DONOR CHALLENGE UNDERWAY IN WASHINGTON METRO AREA

FALLS CHURCH, Va., Oct. 23, 2017 — Donors from all over Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland will help the Armed Services Blood Program save lives during the seventh annual Army-Navy Blood Donor Challenge. This year, the challenge will run from Nov. 2 through Dec. 5 and culminate with an on-field presentation during the Army vs. Navy football game Saturday, Dec. 9 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“All blood collected during the challenge will directly support ill or injured service members and their families worldwide,” Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, ASBP director, said. “The long-standing rivalry is what makes this challenge so great. It encourages both the Army and Navy communities to donate blood. We look forward to this event every year, and this year is no exception. The best part for us is that lives are saved because of the blood that is donated during this challenge.”

This is the seventh year the ASBP has conducted the Army-Navy Blood Donor Challenge in the Washington metro area. According to Donna Onwona, ASBP blood donor recruiter for the Armed Services Blood Bank Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, service members from all three services as well as civilians with access to the donation sites are able to roll up their sleeves.

At each of the blood drives, donors will get the chance to vote for either the Army or Navy. The service with the most votes wins. Last year, the Army won, beating out the Navy 549 votes to 474. However, Fahie said the Navy is looking to avenge that win, adding to their previous wins from 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

“The Army is determined to keep this trophy,” said Army Col. Audra Taylor, director of the Army Blood Program. “The rivalry and football game are great motivating factors, but the most important part is the donated blood. The Army is going to do whatever it takes to win this challenge again and help ensure that service members have the blood they need whenever they need it the most.”

“A win during the Army-Navy Blood Donor Challenge is a win for our wounded comrades in arms,” said Army Col. Jason Garkey, 81st Regimental Commander, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), said. “Giving the gift of life to the medical facilities supporting our troops and their families is a great way to serve our community and beat Navy! I always give blood to do my part and ensure our medical facilities can provide the best possible care for our service members and their families. A little friendly competition during the Army-Navy Blood Donor Challenge is a great way to get the blood pumping and show we are Army Strong!”

The challenge kicks off Nov. 2 at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. All drives are open to individuals from all services and civilians who can access the blood drive location, unless otherwise noted. Proper identification is required to access all drives.
  • Thursday, Nov. 2: Defense Health Headquarters, Salon A/B, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 7: United States Naval Academy, Mitscher Hall, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Recreation Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 16: Fort Detrick, Building 1520, Auditorium, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 20: NSA South Potomac, Dahlgren, Virginia, Chapel Annex, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 22: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Building 9, 1st Floor, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 27: Raven Rock, Fire Station, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (not open to the public)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 28: USAG Fort Belvoir, USO Warrior and Family Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 29: Washington Navy Yard, Sail Loft Building, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 30: Aberdeen Proving Ground South, Edgewood, Maryland, Stark Recreation Center, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 4: Marine Corps Base Quantico, Yale Hall/Building 2006, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5: Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Fort Myer Fitness Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“As men and women for others, Marine sand Sailors dedicate their lives to selflessly serve,” said Marine Col. John B. Atkinson, commanding officer of the Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. “While all Marines and Sailors who are not in the fight yearn to be forward alongside fellow Marines and shipmates, Marines and Sailors will always seek and find ways to serve. Giving blood is one of those ways (they) demonstrate their commitment to their nation and its citizens and is an example of Semper Fidelis — Always Faithful in action.”

Due to the popularity of the Army-Navy Blood Donor Challenge blood drives, donors who can commit to a donation time are urged to make an appointment by using the ASBP’s online scheduling system at www.militarydonor.com.

“No matter who wins the challenge or the football game, the real winners are the recipients of the blood that is donated during this event,” Fahie said. “Good luck to both services this year!”

For more information about any of the challenge blood drives, contact Donna Onwona, ASBP blood donor recruiter, at 202-294-6674 or donna-lee.onwona.civ@mail.mil.

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.