ASBP: 4-1 FA Supports ASBP Blood Drive
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4-1 FA Supports ASBP Blood Drive

By Deylon Douglass, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Bliss, Texas
Fort Bliss, Texas, is home to an Army rapid deploying unit, the 1st Armored Division. The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center (FBBDC) conducted a blood drive at the 4th Battalion 1st Field Artillery Regiment (4-1 FA) on Sept. 14; the Soldiers convened to donate on behalf of their fellow service members.

“Selfless service” is part of the warrior’s ethos; donating blood is the pinnacle of that. On this installation at any given time, there is a brigade that is deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. With the number of deploying Soldiers increasing, the need for blood donations- and therefore blood donors- is of great importance. For Soldiers in combat, these one-pint bags of blood can be the deciding factor between life and death.

With the relocation and deployment of several Fort Bliss units to theatre and other overseas locations, the Soldiers from 4-1 FA wanted to ensure they are doing their part to directly support their fellow brother and sisters in arms. During the ASBP-FBBDC blood drive held Sept. 14, the chairs remained filled with people filling out paperwork and giving blood.

Army Spc. James Steward from Alpha Battery understands the importance of donating blood and was eager to roll up his sleeve to help. “I deployed with this unit last year, so I know how important it is to have a surplus of blood downrange. I am PCS-ing [permanent change of station] in the next couple of weeks, so I wanted to do my part before I left.”

Another donor at the drive, Army Spc. Gabrielle Cummings, Bravo Battery said, “Donating blood is special to me because I enjoy helping people and if I can help a complete stranger by volunteering my time to donate, then it makes me happy. I am not even quite sure where [exactly] the blood goes, but I know it is going to help Soldiers in need.”

With the unit scheduled to deploy to the Republic of Korea in the next couple of months, it was important for Master Sgt. Elias Page, operations sergeant major, to do his part prior to departing.

“I have been donating with the Armed Services Blood Program since I was stationed at Fort Knox back in 2002. I understand the importance of this program and what it means to my fellow battle buddies who are down range,” said Paige. “I know that it is a two-year deferral upon returning from Korea- so I wanted to ensure my Soldiers contributed to the cause because they will be ineligible for a while.”

“I just wanted to come out and give to those in need,” said Army Pvt. 1st Class, Kyle Hestermann, Charlie Battery. “It is important because it helps those who need it. By donating blood, I have the opportunity to give someone a second chance at life.”

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.