Events

January 24, 2013

Military, civilian blood donors provide ‘gift of life’

Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – January is National Blood Donor Month and Defense Department employees are encouraged to “roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life,” said Air Force Col. Richard McBride, Armed Services Blood Program director.

The military blood program also celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, with “60 Years of Donors — We Thank You,” as its theme, McBride said.

The program coordinates support between the military services and the combatant commands to ensure sufficient blood products and services exist wherever troops serve, McBride explained.

The blood program is a tri-service effort involving the Army, Navy and Air Force, he said.

“Without the three services’ support, we wouldn’t have a military program,” McBride said.

The military’s blood program began during the late 1940s, when organizations such as the Red Cross supplied blood to wounded warriors during World War II, he said.

“We realized we needed a program to support the military,” McBride said. “As the population increased, it became more difficult to support the civilian and military [sectors]. The military began its own blood program so civilian blood supplies would not be compromised.”

In the past 60 years, blood donors have helped save wounded warriors in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, and Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, McBride said.

Both civilian and military programs comply with the same federal regulations, test for infectious diseases and process, manufacture, store and distribute blood wherever it’s needed. DOD has the added mission of supporting wounded warriors and DOD beneficiaries worldwide, McBride said.

“If there’s a doctor and a nurse [who] need blood, it’s our responsibility to make sure they have it,” he said. “We have a tremendous record and now have the highest survival rate in the history of modern American warfare, which is a testament to the impact our blood program has had in bringing wounded warriors back to their loved ones.”

The need for blood at military hospitals around the world always exists, he said.

Potential donors must be at least 17 years old and free of medical conditions or diseases that would prevent them from donating, McBride said, adding that donors can contribute blood every 56 days. Blood is perishable and only considered safe to use at a maximum of 42 days by law, he added.

McBride offers a good reason to donate blood to those who are unsure.

“If you have anyone who’s a wounded warrior, a loved one, or anyone who’s been in the military and has received medical care, that blood comes from people like you,” he said.

For people who cannot donate blood, volunteers always are needed to help advertise blood drives, and to take care of donors before and after their blood is drawn, McBride said.

“We always need people in leadership positions to encourage troops to go out and donate,” he said.

McBride says some donors have contributed blood for years.

“We call them our ‘gallon donators,’” he said.

McBride told about a young Army lieutenant who recently received more than 500 units of blood from his point of injury through his recuperation and convalescence.

“That’s a tremendous testament to the impact blood has had on wounded warriors,” McBride said. “It’s not just the blood — it was the dedicated service of the doctors, nurses and medics who helped him, but we’d like to think those 500 units played a big role.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Local Briefs July 2, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park. Single Airmen can sign-up beginning July 6. All others may sign-up beginning July 13. Final deadline is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more...
 
 

D-M’s Fourth of July Celebration

For July 4, D-M is scheduled to hold a few evening events to celebrate the holiday. Shuttles for the fireworks are scheduled to start running at 5:30 p.m. from Heritage Park, the Sonoran Science Academy and Borman Elementary School. Pre-firework events are slated to begin at 6 p.m. at Bama Park featuring live music by...
 
 

Local Briefs June 26, 2015

Summer Swing Weekly Bowling  Mondays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. – D-M Lanes From June 1 – Aug. 31, the D-M Lanes will host a weekly tournament from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Mondays. Cost is $20/bowler. Three game minimum. Each player receives participation points and additional points for position each week. For more info, call 228-3461. Sunset Horseback...
 

 
FP_pict

AZ’s Meteorite crater rescue event concluded Angel Thunder 2015

WINSLOW, Ariz. — Arizona’s Meteorite Crater served as the final training site for this year’s Angel Thunder exercise, where four simulated-patients were hoisted 570 feet out of the crater into an Army Air National G...
 
 

Local Briefs June 19, 2015

Deadlift Competition June 19, 3 p.m. – Haeffner A deadlift competition will be held at the Haeffner on Friday, June 19 from 3 – 4:30 p.m.. Register at the Benko by June 18 at 11 p.m. Salt River Kayaking July 25 Escape the Tucson heat and enjoy the cool water of Salt River while kayaking...
 
 

US, partner nations’ rescue personnel participate in MASCAS

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 66th Rescue Squadron flies over Southern California during Angel Thunder 2015, June 11. Angel Thunder is the largest personnel recovery exercise in the world combining joint, coalition and interagency personnel that will train through the full spectrum of personnel recovery capabilities with numerous types of aircraft....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>