ASBP: Supporting the Mission Twofold
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Supporting the Mission Twofold

07/09/2018
By Wendy Binder, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Matis lends support to ASBP as an assistant lead petty officer and a regular platelet donor.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Matis lends support to ASBP as an assistant lead petty officer and a regular platelet donor.
“We should all help each other”; it’s a sentiment that many blood donors share as a motivation for their donations. One such donor is Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Matis. He is no stranger to the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Blood Donor Center, North Carolina. As the assistant leading petty officer there, his support to the Armed Service Blood Program is twofold: both in his professional and personal life.

As the ALPO and mobile blood drive supervisor, Matis takes his duties very seriously. He guides the team to make sure blood drives run smoothly and that each drive is maximized to ensure enough blood is collected to meet the mission. Outside of his work responsibilities, Matis is also a repeat platelet donor. He understands the importance of platelet donation and makes himself available as much as he can.

“I personally have always enjoyed donating my time- and in this case, my blood- to wonderful and amazing causes. I just enjoy donating,” says Matis. His efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Matis regularly donates. With a full work schedule, it is hard to donate during working hours but that doesn’t stop him from making time to do so. He often donates on his days off, showing just how important the ASBP is and how much he supports its mission.

The NMCCL is not the first blood donor center that Matis has worked at. Before his time at NMCCL, Matis worked at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center in Okinawa, Japan. That is where he first saw the need for blood products.

“I have seen the need for blood and blood products on many occasions since I have been in the service. There were a few nights and many days where there were mass transfusions at ASBBC-Okinawa, requiring more blood than they had on hand. We were required to ship 10-20 units of packed red blood cells, cryo, fresh frozen plasma and platelets in order to save the life of a fellow Sailor, Marine, Soldier, Airmen, family member or retiree,” said Matis. “And in my time now at the NMCCL BDC, I feel the same sense of importance and need no matter where I am in the military.”

With his background as a staff member at two blood donor centers and as a regular donor, Matis has words of encouragement for those who have not experienced the gift of blood donation.

“It is OK to be scared of the donation process. By all accounts, we need our blood to live and giving it away just seems like madness,” Matis said. “I thought the same thing until I joined the military. However, knowing that my donation will help save either a fellow member of the Armed Forces, their families and people who [I] will never know or meet makes it all worth it.

“I believe that the reason to give- even if you may not feel it’s important, [that it’s] frightening, or that someone else will do it- is that we should all try to help each other. No matter our opinions or motivations, it all matters.”

The NMCCL is lucky to have Matis as its ALPO and as a repeat donor. Without his guidance and support, the NMCCL BDC would not be able to meet its mission of saving lives.

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.