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FORSCOM/USARC Give the Gift of Life
By Timothy Hale, U.S. Army Reserve Command
A phlebotomist draws samples of blood from a donor during a blood drive at the U.S. Army Forces Command/U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters at Fort Bragg, N.C., May 31, 2012. This was the first blood drive held at the combined headquarters since both commands relocated from Fort McPherson, Ga. in Atlanta in 2011. (Photo by Timothy Hale, U.S. Army Reserve Command)
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The command conference room in the U.S. Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters building here was turned into a blood donor center May 31, 2012.
This was the first time a blood drive had been held in the combined headquarters since both commands arrived at Fort Bragg last year. Soldiers and civilians filled out forms, answered a battery of questions from screeners, and then rolled up their sleeves to give the gift of life.
Staff Sgt. Colin Green, a medical laboratory specialist, Womack Army Medical blood donor center, said that holding a blood drive at the workplace is a great way to meet collection needs.
“We try to get the donors in their place of work, which is easier for them,” said Green.
“They can come down, give a pint of blood, and go back to work.”
Green said that while every pint counts anytime a blood drive is held, the numbers are not the most important consideration for a successful event.
“For every unit that you get, it is one less that you have to acquire from somewhere else. Each unit (collected) is a success,” he said.
He added that since collected blood has a short expiration date, lab technicians quickly work to prepare the blood for shipment within five days.
Erika Miller, the FORSCOM/USARC Family Readiness Group leader, was one of the first civilians in line when the blood drive started.
She donated blood because she knew the pints collected would be going to those who need it – soldiers serving overseas.
And she should know about soldiers, her husband, Jason Miller, is the FORSCOM/USARC headquarters company first sergeant.
“It’s for a good cause,” she said.
Green said it takes the body about eight weeks to replenish one pint of blood donated as opposed to plasma, which takes about 72 hours to replace. Donors are eligible to donate blood again 57 days after a donation.
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This article was originally published on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System on May 31, 2012, in the News section. View the original article
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