ASBP: ROTC Cadets Donate Blood to Save Lives
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ROTC Cadets Donate Blood to Save Lives

09/05/2018
By Dave Conrad, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Hood, Texas
Army Spc. Jennifer Griffin (left) prepares Army ROTC Cadet Cristina Taylor to donate blood during an ASBP blood drive at Fort Knox, Kentucky’s Smith Gym, July 12.  Taylor is one of 331 volunteers who successfully donated blood during the drive.
Army Spc. Jennifer Griffin (left) prepares Army ROTC Cadet Cristina Taylor to donate blood during an ASBP blood drive at Fort Knox, Kentucky’s Smith Gym, July 12. Taylor is one of 331 volunteers who successfully donated blood during the drive.
U.S. Army ROTC Cadets from Cadet Summer Training (CST), 3rd Regiment Basic and Advanced Camps, helped the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) save lives by donating blood at Fort Knox, Kentucky as part of their end-of-cycle activities, July 12.

Each summer, cadets from across the country spend a month at Fort Knox for their annual CST. Cadets in Basic Camp develop the leadership skills, focusing on individual and junior leader tasks. Advanced Camp trains cadets to Army standards, developing leadership skills and evaluating their potential as Army officers.

In addition to taking graduation photos, cleaning and returning issued gear and other typical end-of-cycle activities, cadets can participate in blood drives with the ASBP. Even though the primary reason to donate is to save lives, each cadet has their own motivation for donating.

Cadet Christina Taylor, a junior at Austin Peay State University and a former service member, was originally stationed at Fort Hood in 2001.

"I was a cook; I did three years, and one year overseas for OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] 1, while I was stationed at Fort Hood with the 104th MI [military intelligence] Battalion," she said. "My husband is on active duty and is getting out, so we're swapping places.

"While I was at Fort Leonard Wood in 2014, I was in the hospital and lost a lot of blood, and I ended up getting a transfusion of about 2 liters of blood, so I want to give back, since I received it," Taylor said.

Cadet Cassidy Fox, a junior at Texas A&M Central Texas, also felt compelled to donate due to her history.

"My mom is a nurse, and I was a CNA [certified nursing assistant] for a long while, so we knew a lot of people who needed transfusions," she said.

The ASBP is responsible for providing blood and blood products to deployed service members on the battlefield, hospital ships, aircraft carriers and medical treatment facilities around the world. Any U.S. service member receiving blood or blood products in a combat area will receive blood through the ASBP.

The ASBP collected 331 units of blood during this last blood drive, one of the many drives that took place this summer in conjunction with CST. While the primary focus was on the cadets, everyone in the Fort Knox community could participate, open 1000-1630 each drive day.

ASBP Fort Knox blood drives are open to military and civilian volunteers 18 years old and older, with a valid photo ID such as a military ID or driver’s license. Volunteers should be well hydrated, have eaten something before donating, must weigh at least 110 pounds and been feeling well for at least three consecutive days. Those who have traveled to foreign countries, whether for leisure or business, should bring a list of countries they've traveled to and what dates they were there.

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.