Long before I ever considered getting married, never mind getting married to a soldier, I started donating blood. I followed my dad to the local blood drive whenever possible. After 9/11 I went to donate blood and was turned away due to the large outpouring of support. Throughout college I donated blood through the Red Cross.
After I married a Soldier and moved across the country, I looked for opportunities to continue donating blood. Luckily the Armed Services Blood Program traveled out to Fort Huachuca, Arizona once every few months to run a donation center. And my relationship with the ASBP was formed.
There are so many reasons to give blood and support the ASBP that I wanted to take some time to share them with you.
- The ASBP provides blood directly to the service members on the battlefield, and so many more places. The blood donated goes to family members and service members throughout the world, and often extends outside the military community in cases of humanitarian missions or natural disasters.
- It’s a trusted program. Under President Truman the military blood program started in 1952 and after the Korean War took over the blood donation process for the military from the Red Cross. It works with the other programs in the country regarding blood donation and is quick to join forces in the case of an emergency.
- You can see if your donation is going to the troops directly by looking for the red, white, and blue blood drop at donation points.
- If you aren’t military, you can still donate through the ASBP as long as you can access the blood donation center. You can also help out by spreading the word and even passing out cookies and juice to donors.
In times of national crisis, people flock to donation centers, but what programs like the ASBP really need are consistent donors. You can donate blood every six weeks, so if you are eligible, make an appointment for the next blood drive at your installation.
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