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National Blood Donor Month
Blood Battle Streamers Flyin’ High
By Mark Salcedo, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Capt. Anthony Sabatini, company commander of the 264th Medical Battalion, attaches the Blood Battle Streamer to the company's guidon while soldiers from the unit watch. From January to March 2012, the Bravo Company had more than 31 percent of their soldiers donate blood to the Armed Services Blood Program.
Blood collected by the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, directly supports deployed service members and the San Antonio Military Medical Center. However, without the support of its donors, the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center would not be able to provide lifesaving blood, so the team found a way to say thanks to its supporters.
“Our blood collection mission is dependent on two things,” said Capt. Paul Ambrose, officer-in-charge of the blood donor center. “First, command support and emphasis on the military’s blood programs. Second, and most important, having our soldiers, sailors and airmen in training donating blood every day for the wounded warriors and patients in need at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. When our training units go above and beyond, it’s important that we recognize them for their outstanding support.”
To do so, the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center awarded its 1st Quarter 2012 Blood Battle Streamers to units that excelled in their support to the Armed Services Blood Program from January to March 2012—the Bravo Company, 187th Medical Battalion; Bravo Company, 264th Medical Battalion; and Echo Company, 232nd Medical Battalion.
"It is already an honorable thing to have enlisted in the Army to serve your country. You are here to learn a skill that you can go out and use to save soldiers’ lives on the battlefield. But what you have done to earn this streamer goes even further,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Hudson, an Army nurse and commander of the 264th Medical Battalion, as he spoke to his soldiers before the award presentation. “You honor those that are in harm's way today. In essence, you have decided to bleed today because a brother or sister in arms is bleeding today on the battlefield. Giving blood, knowing that the blood you give can be on the battlefield in a matter of weeks just shows me the caliber of soldier you really are. Even though you are not even finished with your initial training as a soldier, you show me that you can't wait to do your part, so you give blood. I am humbled to be your commander."
“I cannot be more proud of the Bravo Company, 264th soldiers,” said Capt. Anthony Sabatini, company commander. “They see the big picture by helping their brothers and sisters downrange with their own blood.”
“Our command teams educate, motivate and encourage our young service members to engage their personal courage and donate blood for their battle buddies injured in combat,” said Ambrose. “With nearly 1,100 units of blood and blood products transfused each month at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, having a continuous supply of blood donors is critical to the blood donor center’s success.”
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