ASBP: ASBP Kicks Off Annual Blood Drives at Cadet Summer Training
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ASBP Kicks Off Annual Blood Drives at Cadet Summer Training

08/15/2018
By Deylon Douglass, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Bliss, Texas
More than 1000 cadets attending basic and advanced camp training entered Smith Gym at Fort Knox, Kentucky as the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) kicked off the annual Cadet Summer Training (CST) blood drive on July 2. Cadets from all over the country registered and rolled up their sleeves to give blood to those facing injuries while serving at home and around the world.

The ASBP was on site to educate and collect blood from cadets. ASBP personnel explained what the organization’s mission is and why it is so pertinent that Soldiers donate with the military’s official blood program. Sharing information about the ASBP is key to getting Soldiers and civilians to donate to the program. Since cadets are the future leaders of the Army, educating them early about the importance of blood products and the ASBP’s mission helps reach more Soldiers for years to come.

“This is my first year at CST and I hadn’t heard about ASBP or what they do,” said Cadet Cole Sanford, Alpha Company, 3rd Platoon, 1st Regiment. “At first, I was kind of hesitant to donate, but after hearing where the blood goes and that it helps Soldiers who are deployed, I wanted to do my part. I encouraged all my fellow cadets to do the right thing and donate.”

“I always donated with the other agencies because I thought the blood was going to help people in the military,” said Cadet Ashley Carson, Bravo Company, 2nd Platoon, 1st Regiment. “Now I know that only ASBP provides blood products to service members, I will always donate with them.”

Denise Walker was among many volunteering their time and lifesaving blood; she works for the cadet command as a human resource assistant for 2nd Regiment. Walker’s daughter recently joined the military and is currently at basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

“Once my daughter completes basic training, she will go train to become a combat medic. She could potentially be on the front line saving lives, so I felt obligated to donate blood that could possibly save a life as well,” Walker said.

The goal of CST is to collect 4,000 units of blood by the conclusion of 14 scheduled blood drives. This kick off drive was split into two separate, two-day drives. 850 cadets were registered and screened over four days, yielding over 750 units. After the first two drives, thanks to the support of the Cadet Command at Fort Knox, the CST collection goal is right on track.

The cadets going through summer training at Fort Knox are the Army’s future leaders. Their support of the ASBP will have a major influence on the amount of participation that transpires within their units.

“I am glad I learned about this program,” said Cadet Channing Churchwell, Charlie Company, 1st Platoon, 2nd Regiment. “I hope I get to donate with ASBP again when I get to my unit.”

The Cadets are passing with flying colors in their summer training. Knowing how to save lives for their fellow brother and sisters in arms through blood donation will prepare them to be an exceptional class of future leaders.

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.