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National Blood Donor Month
Family Donates Blood, Honors Military on Memorial Day
By Linda Ellerbe, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Fort Bragg, N.C.
(From left to right) Kelly Berry, Teresa Berry and their daughter, Nyssa Breaux, donate blood to the Armed Services Blood Program as part of the Memorial Day holiday.
Earlier this week, Americans all over the country celebrated Memorial Day in their own ways. Some laid flowers at the gravesites of fallen family members and friends; others had their first barbeque of the summer. But for the Berry family, the Memorial Day celebrations included donating blood. In the true spirit of the holiday, the family came into the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center to honor the brave men and women who have served, and continue to serve, in the military.
Teresa Berry is no stranger to the military and the Armed Services Blood Program. In fact, she and her husband, Kelly, have donated several times in the past at the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Teresa Berry has also coordinated Armed Services Blood Program blood drives in Vinita, Okla. This time around, they traveled from Fairland, Okla., to see their daughter, Nyssa Breaux, and her husband, a soldier assigned to the 82nd Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.
“We were raised to respect the military,” said Teresa Berry, whose father was a Marine. “I only donate to the military—unless there is an emergency need like when the tornado hit in Joplin, Missouri.”
Teresa Berry is a nurse and her husband is a paramedic, so they recognize the importance of donated blood. As type O donors, Teresa Berry and Breaux, recognize that their blood type is commonly used in emergency situations so is highly sought after. Kelly Berry, a type A donor, knows that his blood type is also valuable, although he jokes, “I never get the same treatment as my wife and daughter.”
“The military supports us,” said Teresa Berry. “For all that they do for us, they can have my blood.”
For the staff at the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center, meeting Berry family served as a reminder of the true meaning of Memorial Day—honoring those who have sacrificed while serving the country.
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