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National Blood Donor Month
Another Year, Another Good Blood Drive
By Victor L. Shermer, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Sailors aboard the USS Stennis line up to register for an Armed Services Blood Program blood drive after filling out their donor cards.
The crew of the USS Stennis and the Armed Services Blood Bank Center—Pacific Northwest have changed since the last time these crews held a blood drive. But that didn’t stop either team from taking on the task of collecting as much blood as possible aboard the aircraft carrier.
With some help from a crane, all the ASBBC-PNW equipment was moved from the dock to the hanger deck, to an elevator, and finally down to the second level to the Forward Mess Deck. Despite the limited amount of space on the mess deck, 64 sailors lined up to donate over the course of the five-hour blood drive. One such donor was Chief Warrant Officer Two Robert Fletcher.
Fletcher has been in the Navy for 17 years, more than one of which he has spent on the USS Stennis as an aircraft intermediate maintenance department avionics officer. Although it has been two years since he’s been able to do so, this wasn’t Fletcher’s first time donating to the Armed Services Blood Program. While stationed in Japan, he had a chance to donate at another one of the Armed Services Blood Program blood donor centers, the U.S. Pacific Command Armed Services Blood Bank Center in Okinawa, Japan. According to Fletcher, his family has a tradition of being regular blood donors, so he wants to follow in their footsteps.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Yleanada Cangbay, an aviation structural mechanic, is fairly new to the Navy. After several months of schooling, the USS Stennis is her first assignment. Originally from Baguoi, Philippines, Cangbay came to the U.S. because she wanted adventure and travel. For her, the Navy offered both. Cangbay attempted to donate to the Armed Services Blood Program while at the Navy training base at Great Lakes, Ill., but due to the flu, was unable to participate. So when she found out that the USS Stennis would be hosting a blood drive, she was eager to try donating again. “[Donating is a] nice way to give back to men and women on the front lines, [a] simple way to save lives,” said Cangbay.
For Lt. Christy Sibley, her father was her inspiration. She has been donating ever since she has been old enough. She became familiar with the military blood program when she would watch her father donate at an Armed Services Blood Program blood donor center—which one exactly, she couldn’t remember. According to Sibley, her father proudly displays plaques commemorating his donation milestones at home. Watching her father donate and be proud of each donation, Sibley knew that one day, she would do the same.
Sibley has been with the Navy for 12 years, but has been serving as a training officer on the USS Stennis for only three weeks. During her first duty assignment at the Navy Nuclear Site, Fort Bragg, N.C., Sibley was able to make her first donation to the Armed Services Blood Program. She continued to donate while at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif., and now on the USS Stennis.
By the end of the blood drive, the ASBBC-PNW was able to collect 60 units of blood! It was a good day and another good blood drive aboard the USS Stennis.
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