ASBP: A Summer to Donate
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A Summer to Donate

09/08/2017
By Victor L. Shermer, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Summer time in the great northwest is a good time to have a blood drive. With the aroma of food in the air from the food trucks, and shopping only a few feet away at the Lewis Main Exchange, it’s the perfect time to have a blood drive outside.

One location that has many potential donors but does not have adequate space inside for a blood drive is the Lewis Main Exchange. The Armed Services Blood Bank Center-Pacific Northwest at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, conducts many blood drives a year, normally set up within the hosting unit’s facility. The 153rd Blood Detachment of the 56th Multiple Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade volunteered to provide their medical tents for the blood drive. The leadership of the Army Air Force Exchange Service at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was eager to host a blood drive.

On Aug. 17, the 153rd Blood Detachment set up their tents and by 9:30 a.m. the tent flaps were opened to accept donors.

The folding-frame tent system is is recognized worldwide as the most advanced, lightweight, rapid-deploying tactical soft-walled shelter system. A pre-installed floor, electrical wiring and HVAC plenum provide for climate control and lighting with the assistance of a generator.

Two tents were placed end-to-end to achieve the necessary room to establish a mobile blood drive. Using the 153rd’s system also reinforced deployment mission readiness requirements for the detachment’s personnel and provided ASBBC-PNW personnel a new experience.

One donor was Michele Patrick, Army spouse of Lt. Col. Shawn Patrick, commander of the 14th Engineer Battalion. Michele Patrick was coming to the Lewis Main Exchange to do some shopping and saw the blood drive sign.

She stated that every time she sees a sign, and has time, she tries to donate. When asked if she has donated with the Armed Services Blood Program before she was not sure, and since we had her undivided attention while she was sitting on the donation chair, she was educated about the ASBP and the ASBBC-PNW.

When informed that the 14th Engineer Battalion has a future blood drive scheduled she stated that she, as a lead for the spouses association, will definitely get the word out to the spouses. When asked that now she knows more about the ASBP what would she do and she stated: “I will now do better at being a regular donor. I will make it a priority.”

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.