ASBP: The Last 15 Days of the Year
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The Last 15 Days of the Year

01/29/2018
By Carl Norman, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
More than 200 Soldiers and civilians raised their hands to give blood at the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center, Missouri the last 15 days of 2017. (Photo by Carl Norman)
More than 200 Soldiers and civilians raised their hands to give blood at the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center, Missouri the last 15 days of 2017. (Photo by Carl Norman)
Whenever the last two weeks of December roll around, this normally bustling Army basic training post turns into somewhat of a ghost town due to holiday block leave. Soldiers in training and permanent party service members departing for the holidays leave a very skeletal crew behind but the Military Healthcare System’s need for blood remains unchanged.

When the call went out for blood donors during those two weeks, the souls remaining at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri answered in high form, allowing the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center to meet its collection requirements for this most wonderful time of year. The FLW BDC collects blood for the Armed Services Blood Program, the official blood collection agency for the Department of Defense.

In all, more than 200 Soldiers and civilians raised their hands to give blood the last 15 days of 2017. And when the trees came down and gifts were unwrapped, the Missouri-based donor center shipped 159 units of blood to ill or injured service members around the world.

“And that’s all because of people having compassion for others and wanting to help,” said Army Capt. Patrick Kaer, FLW BDC officer in charge. “Not many people were around Fort Leonard Wood for the holidays; still many chose to come donate and we thank them for that. Without them, our blood supply would have been short and I don’t want to think about the possible consequences of that.”

The holiday donors came from a variety of sources. Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 701st Military Police Battalion and Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment started the holiday push by donating 34 and 26 units, respectively, Dec. 17.

Alpha Company, 31st Engineer Battalion and the staff and patrons at Davidson Fitness Center followed with 44 and 14 units, respectively, donated Dec. 19.

The following week, the holiday block leave holdover company donated 15 units Dec. 26 and General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital closed out the year’s donations with 26 units on Dec. 27.

“The need for blood never stops. When these people heard we had a need for donors the last two weeks of the year, they decided to do something about it,” Kaer said. “Their donations not only showed their compassion for their brothers and sisters in arms, but helped ensure we had the amount of blood injured and ill people around the world need. Again, we offer a heart-felt ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped us make it through our most difficult time of year and hope others will follow their lead throughout 2018.”

For more information on the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center or to schedule an appointment to donate, call (573) 596-5385 or e-mail Carl.A.Norman2.civ@mail.mil. For more information on the ASBP, visit www.militaryblood.dod.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.