ASBP: One Leader's Powerful Commitment to Saving Lives
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One Leader's Powerful Commitment to Saving Lives

12/12/2012
By Jeffery Diffy, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, North Chicago, Ill.
Navy Command Master Chief Leon R. Walker Jr. of the Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., leads by example this holiday season.
Navy Command Master Chief Leon R. Walker Jr. of the Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., leads by example this holiday season.
Command Master Chief Leon R. Walker Jr. is committed to leading sailors each day of the week. One look around his office at the Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., and his dedication to the U.S. Navy and to training great sailors is readily apparent.  What isn’t so readily apparent, however, is his commitment to saving lives through blood donations.  

Walker is a regular blood donor with the Armed Services Blood Program who takes pride in what he does to help others on a regular basis, but as a modest man, he doesn’t boast about it. After enlisting in the Navy, Walker had his first experience with saving lives in May 1987 in the Persian Gulf. He was part of a boarding party to assist with recovery of the USS Stark’s crew when two missiles exploded in the crew’s quarters. The experience stays with him to this day.

After 29 years in the Navy, Walker continues to lead today. During a holiday drive in 2010, he completed his first donation to the Armed Services Blood Program. Since then, he has continued to support blood drives at the Naval Service Training Command.  

Walker shows his dedication every day through his command leadership position and through his direct contributions to help others.  This was no more apparent than when he took the selfless and extremely generous steps to donate his own stem cells to an unnamed 52-year-old woman, a process requiring more time than a regular whole blood or platelet donation. This is the kind of leader, donor and man that Walker is.  

“We were given life, so we need to continue to give life,” said Walker when asked about his motivation for such a generous act. “We are servants in our jobs and we need to give from our hearts and from our flesh.”

Walker has shown he means what he says and he leads by example. This dedication to helping others through donations has made a difference for those most in need. In this season of giving, his generosity is an example for all to follow.
 
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