ASBP: The City of Jonesboro Gives Back, Saves Lives
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The City of Jonesboro Gives Back, Saves Lives

By Carl Norman, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Army Spc. Nestor Maldonado, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center, checks Marc Foster, a Jonesboro, Ark., resident as he donates blood at the Military Science Building April 18. (Photo by Carl Norman)
Army Spc. Nestor Maldonado, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center, checks Marc Foster, a Jonesboro, Ark., resident as he donates blood at the Military Science Building April 18. (Photo by Carl Norman)
In a great show of support, the Jonesboro, Arkansas community showed up to save lives at the Armed Services Blood Program blood drive April 17-18.

Over 130 people made their way to the Military Science Building on the Arkansas State University campus during the two-day drive. Accounting for deferrals and other eligibility requirements, the ASBP’s Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center collection staff gathered 91 good units. Since every unit can help save at least two lives, these units have the potential to help almost 200 people in need of blood and blood products.

The FLW BDC collects blood for the ASBP, the official blood collection agency for the Department of Defense. Collected blood goes to medical facilities in Afghanistan and other Overseas Contingency areas, as well as military hospitals throughout the DOD.

The military healthcare system requires about 400 units of blood every day, according to Marty Ricker, ASBP donor recruiter director.

“It's the ASBP's mission to ensure that blood is available to medical providers, but we can’t do that without volunteer donors like you,” he said.

The Honorable Harold Perrin, mayor of Jonesboro, helped spearhead the ASBP drive and said the city was ready to give back to its protectors.

“I am an Army veteran and know we owe a lot to our men and women who stand in harm’s way for us,” Perrin said. “The blood collected at this drive was very much needed. It can save a life or help someone recover from illness. The feeling you get from donating is something everyone should have.”

Jeff Presley, Jonesboro E-911 director, was instrumental in helping bring the ASBP team to town. He said his family history and current service motivated him to schedule the drive and donate himself.

“It’s just a few minutes of time that can save lives,” he said. “My brother is a lieutenant colonel in the Army and I have two nephews who served in the Gulf War. I also serve with Jonesboro’s first responders and know how much a drive like this can mean.”

Donors came from all walks of life. Some were Arkansas State students, some church members and others retirees just enjoying life in Red Wolf country. Marc Foster was one of those individuals.

“I just wanted to give back; donating blood is better than giving money,” Foster said while donating. “I was in the Marines for 23 years and know blood is vital to life. It’s one lifesaving measure everyone can do.”

“We’re thankful to everyone who came out to donate,” said Army Capt. Patrick Kaer, FLW BDC officer in charge. “The city welcomed us with open arms and has shown their generosity and compassion by donating. Every unit is a second chance for someone and for that we are extremely grateful.”

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.