ASBP: Fort Bliss ASBP Recognizes Top Donors
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Fort Bliss ASBP Recognizes Top Donors

05/25/2018
By Marcy Sanchez, William Beaumont AMC PAO, Fort Bliss, Texas
On June 3, 2008, during a mission to build a school in the Zormat District in Paktia Province, Afghanistan, a roadside bomb exploded, killing two Soldiers, Army Spc. Derek Holland and Army Maj. Scott Hagerty, and seriously injuring a third. About 90 seconds after the explosion, Army Staff Sgt. Earl Granville, an infantryman with the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division, awoke to the chaotic scene of a tattered Humvee before looking down and noticing his own injuries.

“Nobody had got to me when I came to, I was just covered in blood and thought to myself, ‘This is it now, I’m going to go’,” said Granville, who was medically retired from the Army. “I went under for surgery in Afghanistan, woke up in Germany and doctors told me ‘We are removing your left leg and salvaging your right’.”

After a through-the-knee amputation, Granville recovered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, and began competing in adaptive sports. Today, he is an advocate for wounded warriors and was invited as guest speaker during the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) Fort Bliss Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony at Army Community Services, March 26.

“When I got hit I thought about my career, my life, but at that immediate moment you don’t think about (blood transfusions),” said Granville, a Scranton, Pennsylvania native. “(Advocating for donating blood) is the least I could do. The ASBP saved my life and countless other veterans out there.”

While Granville does not recall all the medical treatments performed since his injury, he does recognize the role and value blood donations played in saving his life and recovery thereafter.

“As a service member, you don’t ever think about where your blood is coming from when you get wounded,” said Granville. “It’s important to give [blood donors] gratitude, they deserve it. They are saving lives and are unsung heroes keeping guys alive. I got an artificial limb, but you can’t make artificial blood.”

The ASBP is the official military blood program and is comprised of donor centers from the Army, Navy and Air Force with over 20 blood donor centers worldwide. In 2017, the Fort Bliss ASBP held 130 blood drives and collected 3,831 units of red blood cells and 275 units of platelets. These donations are sent overseas to support contingency operations. The ASBP donor center at Fort Bliss provides about 20 percent of total Army blood requirements in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Department of Defense missions around the world, and to William Beaumont Army Medical Center for daily transfusions at the hospital.

The ceremony recognizes local partners along with individual donors who have donated one gallon or more of blood during the year.

One donor, Air Force Staff Sgt. Douglas Bartlett, said donating [platelets] is something he does consistently every two weeks.

“If I was ever in that position [of requiring a transfusion] I would want something to be there for me if I needed it,” said Bartlett, an air liaison officer with the 7th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Bliss. “It’s something I can give that doesn’t require anything from me except time.”

The Rutherfordton, North Carolina native donated over three gallons during 2017, potentially saving up to 72 lives. Bartlett considers himself lucky to be able to donate at Fort Bliss since not every military base has a blood donor center.

“They don’t have [a blood donor center] at every base, you can’t just go and donate like you can here. I would miss that, it’s a freebie,” said Bartlett, who has been donating to the ASBP for three to four years now.

“An hour of your time is going to help your fellow comrades downrange, or during operations,” said Granville. “Just like the blood I received, I don’t know where it came from but know that your contribution is making a difference out there, you may not even know it.”

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 article originally appeared on the DVIDS website, dvidshub.net, on April 5, 2018. Republished content may have been edited for length, clarity and to follow the ASBP style guidelines. View the original article here.