ASBP: El Paso’s FBI and DEA Branch Contribute to the Cause
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El Paso’s FBI and DEA Branch Contribute to the Cause

07/18/2018
By Deylon Douglass, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Bliss, Texas
Special agents from the El Paso Branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Texas, rolled up their sleeves and donated during their most recent Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) blood drive held this June. The ASBP has been conducting blood drives with these two organizations for a little over a year; they team together during each drive to maximize participation. The agents choose to donate blood specifically through the ASBP because they want to support the troops who are downrange fighting for their freedom and know that blood donated through ASBP is distributed to those men and women first.

Understanding that all blood collected with the ASBP’s Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center is used for military members, veterans and their families in need, provides a compelling incentive to donate with them. Blood is allocated to theatre requirements first, but once those needs are met, the remaining supplies are distributed amongst local military medical treatment facilities. Because of the shelf life of blood, it is vital to continually collect, year-round.

“I used to donate with the Red Cross and other local civilian blood banks, because I thought the blood was going directly to the Soldiers,” said DEA Special Agent Jose Saucedo. However, after discovering that it did not, Saucedo said he loves the ASBP because it’s run by the military and the blood goes directly to the troops.

Some agents donated to support service members, veterans, or their families in need while others donated simply because they think it is the right thing to do.

“It’s a great cause and the blood goes to help all the troops who are overseas fighting for our freedom. You could potentially save the life of someone who is in the field or overseas putting their life on the line for me and my family’s freedom,” said FBI Special Agent Gen Martin.

DEA Special Agent Vianey Monila has a father and brother that are military retirees so she feels called to contribute to the cause. Molina also has a direct connection to the blood transfusion process and knows the importance of having of blood available when needed.

“My mom had to receive a blood transfusion a couple of years ago and the only reason she was able to receive the blood she needed was because others had already taken the time to donate, so I feel it is my turn to pay it forward,” she said. “I always encourage people to donate because you never know when you could be the one on the receiving end.”

Lucy Holcomb of the DEA is one of the points of contact who schedules and coordinates all the ASBP drives that are conducted. When she found out that ASBP sends blood directly to the troops fighting overseas, she felt she had to do her part.

“I donate because it is for a great cause and I have the potential to save the life of a complete stranger,” she said. “If I have the opportunity to save a life by taking an hour or so out of my day then that’s a no brainer to me.”

The ASBP has been conducting drives at the FBI and DEA for just over a year, and every drive yields a great turn out. There is an average of 50 units that are collected each drive. “There is a great partnership with the ASBP and the FBI and DEA. We all have a great time contributing to a wonderful cause,” said Holcomb.

DEA Special Agent Jesus Hernandez said he has been donating with the ASBP for over a year and will not donate with anyone else; he likes contributing to Soldiers.

“Being a veteran myself, I understand the importance of having a surplus of blood for those who put themselves in harm’s way. A person never knows when they might need blood so if you are healthy and eligible, the right thing to do is to donate,” he said.

Special thanks to everyone at the FBI and DEA for their selfless service and their continued support of the ASBP.

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.