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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Gen. “Hawk” Carlisle to assume ACC reins Nov. 4

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – Gen. “Hawk” Carlisle will assume command of Air Combat Command from Gen. Mike Hostage in a change of command ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 4, at JBLE.  The ceremony will be of...
 
 

Trick-or-treat safely this Halloween

Excitement is in the air and ghosts, ghouls, monsters and princesses will be out in mass, October 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Accidents and mishaps increase during this event. To prevent them use common sense, be aware of potential hazards, and take precautions. Halloween Costume Safety: · Wear flame retardant costumes. · Hem your costumes so you don’t...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by: Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz)

355th CES spread the “I am energy” campaign

October is Energy Action Month throughout the federal government and in the U.S. Air Force. Airmen, here, educated themselves and future generations on base and in the local community about the importance of saving energy. This...
 
 

Exchange service to extend return policy for holiday purchases

To make gift giving easier, the Army & Air Force Exchange service is extending its return policy for items purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, 2014. The Edwards Air Force Base Exchange’s standard policy allows returns anywhere from up to 15 to 90 days of purchase with a sales receipt. The holiday return/exchange policy...
 
 

Airmen lead the way in last pre Ranger course

CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada – Twenty-one Airmen from around the Air Force were put to the test both physically and mentally in their pursuits to attend the U.S. Army Ranger school during the Ranger Assessment Course Oct. 2-16, 2014, at Silver Flag Alpha range, Nevada. The course has existed in Nevada since the early 1980s, and...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin