By: Katie McGuire
This weekend was the start of the annual blood drive the Armed Services Blood Program puts on every year at Fort Knox, KY during Cadet Summer Training.
The ASBP is designed to serve the United States Army, Air Force, and Navy servicemen who are in need of it. LTC Corley, Deputy Director of the Army Blood Program, explained the importance of donating blood and it’s correlation to being a future Army officer. “We are here for Cadet Command. This is where summer training camp is at. It’s a great way to maximize donor participation and at the same time educates these cadets, the future leaders about our program so then throughout their career they know who we are and what we do,” he said.
The blood collected this past weekend will be sent to a number of places to stock the supply. The blood collected will be sent to military hospitals, shipped overseas, in support of our deployed forces, and , to any military component in need of the blood. In total, on Saturday the drive collected 92 units of blood and 86 units on Sunday, this number of 178 units is equivalent to 300 possible lives saved. With numbers like these, the drive made its first dip into the overall goal of 2500 units of blood.
Each donor gave a pint of blood, which, according to Maj. James Burke, Officer In Charge of the event, is equal to two lives that could be saved. “The blood is used for separate components. We have the red cells and the plasma. The red cells are, of course, what helps circulate oxygen through the body and the plasma is used to stop massive bleeding,” he said.
Not only is this blood giving back to military servicemen but it is also a learning experience for the future officers of the Army. “The cadets they’re getting exposed to the Armed Services Blood Program. As future leaders, it is up to them to support this program and get their soldiers to donate to the program,” commented Maj. Burke.
For some of the cadets this was their first time giving blood. For Cadet Emily Anderson of Boston College, the experience was well worth the overall goal. “I was really motivated by the cause because our Soldiers need a lot of blood, so I was willing and able,” she said, and she was right.
Capt. Joshua Kuper, Chief of Transfusion Services at the Fort Bragg Donor Center, believes any blood could be the blood to save anyone’s life. “It could be your battle buddy, could be any civilian on post, it could be somebody’s kid, it doesn’t matter. Someone who participates at one of these drives can have a direct impact on someone you know, it’s all interconnected,” he said.
It is important to support the military and this is just one way military as well as civilians can do just that. This summer there will be a number of chances for the residents of Fort Knox to donate as there are multiple drives scheduled. Everyone is encouraged to participate in giving back to the armed services.
UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVES:
- July 1st
- July 9th
- July 10th
- July 11th
- July 13th
All drives are open to the Fort Knox community from 1300 to 1600 at Smith Gym