ASBP: Outstanding Team Works to Meet the Mission
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Outstanding Team Works to Meet the Mission

03/07/2018
By Deylon Douglass, ASBP blood donor recruiter, Fort Bliss, Texas
The staff of the Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center, Texas, was awarded the Fort Bliss Outstanding Activity Certificate at the Senior Leaders Update on February 20, 2018.
The staff of the Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center, Texas, was awarded the Fort Bliss Outstanding Activity Certificate at the Senior Leaders Update on February 20, 2018.
Imagine being stuck inside a 16-passenger van for four to eight hours with the combined smell of energy drinks, beef jerky and orange-colored snacks while the only scenery is the lonely desert passing by. This is the life that the Soldiers and civilians of the Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center endure as they travel across Southwest Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in pursuit of blood to help fulfill the Armed Services Blood Program mission. This month, the FBBDC team was recognized for their exceptional efforts by the garrison commander with the Fort Bliss Outstanding Activity Certificate at the monthly Senior Leaders update briefing.

At least once a month and many times more than that, the FBBDC team spends time away from their loved ones to travel beyond their home base to help collect blood that is vital to mission operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. While traveling, the donor center crew spends their mornings unloading heavy equipment and setting up blood drives to accommodate donors that come to help their deployed fellow brothers and sisters in arms. Out-of-state drives consist of long days for the staff. From the set-up to collection and then tear down, the team works up to 12 hours a day. For the everyday Soldiers working in a line unit, that’s just another day in the office. But standing on your feet for over 10 consecutive hours can take its toll.

"The Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center team absolutely deserves this award; their hard work, combined with the generosity of our blood donors, saves lives on a daily basis. We appreciate the opportunity to showcase who we are and what we do, and are grateful for the spotlight this award puts on blood donation," said Army Capt. Annette Mott, FBBDC officer in charge.

As the donor center has a weekly quota to fulfill, the task of pursing blood never ends. Although there are 20 ASBP donor centers throughout the country, this donor center is unique.

“This is one of the most efficient donor centers I have seen, much less been a part of. They are a well-oiled machine and I am always impressed when I see how smoothly they can set up a mobile blood drive and process as many units as they do per week. I am so proud to be part of such a great team,” said Army Staff Sgt. Rita McGrath, FBBDC noncommissioned officer in charge. “They work hard year round to accomplish their mission of supporting the Army Blood Program. Their passion for their mission has shown through in their efforts and this recognition is well deserved.”

Collecting units from donors is only half the mission for the staff at the donor center. Educating others about the ASBP is vital as well because many believe the organization is associated with civilian blood programs. Though they all work together in times of emergency, the ASBP is different because it is the official and only blood program of the U.S. military and structured around service members meeting the needs of other service members, their families, retirees and veterans.

“Your blood donations go to the soldiers who are deployed in overseas locations. Military donor centers play a vital role in lifesaving intervention for those who are injured during combat missions. Save a life-donate blood with our organization,” said McGrath.

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.