ASBP: The Hope and Goodwill of a Last Minute Donor
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The Hope and Goodwill of a Last Minute Donor

03/05/2018
By Wendy Binder, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Thomson donates platelets to the Armed Services Blood Program at the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Blood Donor Center, North Carolina.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Thomson donates platelets to the Armed Services Blood Program at the Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune Blood Donor Center, North Carolina.
The Armed Services Blood Program depends heavily on its donors to help ensure that all active duty, family members and retirees have blood and blood products when needed. The Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune blood donor pool is made up of repeat and first time donors ranging from active duty, civilians and NMCCL staff.

The ASBP blood donor center at NMCLL is able to meet their mission due to the dedication and support of from all of these groups. At times, the center has to find donors last minute to help with an unexpected need or to replace a donor who does not make it through the process or has to cancel. For example, platelet collection can be extremely challenging. Because the platelet donation process can take on average 60-90 minutes, last minute donors are very hard to come by. That’s where Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Stephen Thomson comes in.

Thomson is the leading petty officer of the NMCCL Blood Donor Center and is always ready to roll up his sleeve and donate if the center is in a bind. His dedication to the ASBP is unwavering through his leadership and willingness to do what it takes to save lives.

“I believe in the hope and goodwill of citizens across our great nation in uniting in a common goal,” said Thomson. “[This includes] supporting those in need, especially patients seen here at NMCCL.”

After 15 years as a corpsman, Thomson was recently given the opportunity by the NMCCL Intensive Care Unit to observe a blood transfusion.

“Watching the transfusion helped me realize how great the need for blood truly is. It is such a simple lifesaving measure to give,” said Thomson.

Thomson is extremely proud to be part of and support the ASBP and its mission. Whether in his role giving time as LPO of the BDC or by giving platelets, his dedication to the program is steadfast.

“Unlike civilian agencies, the ASBP doesn’t charge the military for the products it collects,” he states. “The ASBP is independent on collection, processing, storage and transporting blood across the globe to aide in the vital care of active duty, family members, retirees and those who come in need.”

Thomson doesn’t stop there. He leads by example and offers words of encouragement to other NMCCL staff that might be on the fence when it comes to donating blood or platelets.

“As part of the ASBP, we do everything ourselves here in house. Therefore, we are constantly in need of both blood and platelet donors to support us. Without the support of donors, we would not be able to accomplish mission by sending blood to the fleet, to troops on the ground and in the air. We play a huge role in supporting our armed services in their greatest time of need, so I encourage everyone to call, email or stop by your local ASBP to see how you can help touch a life!”

The success of the NMCCL BDC is due in part by the daily commitment and sacrifice of its donors. Thomson is no exception. His support as a leader helps the NMCCL and ASBP continue on its path of saving lives.

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.