ASBP: 615th ASB Holds Blood Drive, Supports Deployed Teammates
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615th ASB Holds Blood Drive, Supports Deployed Teammates

07/04/2018
By Dave Conrad, Robertson Blood Center, Fort Hood, Texas
Rear detachments often share their “blood, sweat and tears” with their deployed counterparts but some Fort Hood, Texas units are finding a way to share their actual blood as well.

The 615th Aviation Support Battalion hosted an Armed Services Blood Program blood drive at their headquarters March 7 with a team from Robertson Blood Center, to help take care of their deployed teammates.

“The primary purpose of Home Station Mission Command is to support the deployed unit,” said Army Capt. William Horne, 615th HSMC commander. “The blood collected in this drive will help satisfy the medical needs of all deployed Soldiers from 615th ASB and 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.”

With sections of the 615th deployed throughout Central Command, their potential need for blood is higher than it might be otherwise. Many of the donors have been on multiple deployments and understand first-hand how important the drive was.

“If you go to Afghanistan enough times, you can see a thing or two happen,” said Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas Arsenault, the noncommissioned officer who organized the blood drive. “This is a way of doing what we can from here.” According to blood center staff, all the blood collected at the drive will be processed and sent on to medical treatment facilities in CENTCOM.

Command emphasis on the blood drive - making space on the training schedule, putting out information at formations, direct participation from front line supervisors - helped make the event a success.

“It’s important to lead by example,” said Army Staff Sgt. Jerry Klatt, a power train mechanic and a donor at the drive.

In addition to blood donation, the 615th provided the opportunity for participants to register for the C. W. Bill Young Bone Marrow Donor program. This program works “exclusively with military personnel and their dependents, DOD civilian employees, reservists, and Coast Guard and National Guard members to facilitate marrow and stem cell donations,” according to their website. Eligible participants can request a registration kit online at www.salutetolife.org.

By the end of the drive, more than 20 percent of available personnel had volunteered to donate and more that 30 units of blood were collected.

“The military still faces a blood shortage due to heavy winter weather in the North East, and we appreciate every donor who makes the time to help us save lives,” said Army Maj. Molly House, Robertson’s medical director.

Volunteers can schedule a blood drive for their own organization by contacting the Robertson Blood Center at 285-5808 or 287-7113, or by emailing david.m.conrad4.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.