ASBP: Big Thinkers Give Big: NASA Holds ASBP Blood Drive
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Big Thinkers Give Big: NASA Holds ASBP Blood Drive

By Ralph Peters, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Portsmouth, Va.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, located in Hampton, Virginia, has an established track record of being been both a historical and modern day technology center. Recently, the center welcomed the Armed Services Blood Program’s (ASBP) Naval Medical Center (NMC) Portsmouth Blood Donor Center (BDC) to conduct its first blood drive with NASA Langley ahead of Memorial Day. Along with sharp and exceptional minds, the donors at NASA are well-equipped with warm and giving hearts too.

From past to present, NASA has performed critical research and development in aeronautics, including projects with the moon, Mars, Earth science and electron beam freeform fabrication; their contributions to science ongoing. While these scientific fields are the roots of NASA’s historical and modern time success, the people involved recognize that their personal service to others can also be something to excel at and volunteering to donate blood is a great way to demonstrate this service.

With the keen understanding that the ASBP supports those who are deployed and in harm’s way and with a national day of remembrance on the horizon, Vicki O’Neill, primary coordinator and point of contact for blood drive scheduling, said, “What better way to help our men and women in uniform and in honor of Memorial Day [than an ASBP blood drive]?”

The drive was a success with nearly 70 donor volunteers who understood the necessity and varied circumstances of people in need of blood donation. Donor Michael Raiford explained that he wanted to help people and perhaps might someday need such help himself. Vic Tumwa added that he was aware that accident victims have a dire need of blood. Men and women like Savior Giuliana and Raven Carey recognized that “somebody has to help”. Others such as Christopher Harris, a repeat donor, David Lewis and Kevin Larman hoped that by donating blood that they could give back to those serving our country. Stephen Wood, a first-time donor, echoed this sentiment but with a personal connection.

“I am fortunate enough to have family members and high school friends who are serving in the military and I want to support those who are serving our country,” said Wood.

For people like Joseph “Mac” Price, blood donation had a more specific inspiration. Price has been donating for seventy years, having started after his father was diagnosed with Leukemia.

The NMC Portsmouth BDC is grateful for the show of support by those who came out to donate. The great success of the drive demonstrated an understanding from those who participated that the need for blood is constant and never takes a break. The donors at NASA Langley Center found a fitting way to honor the fallen and to help supply blood to those in need.

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 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.