Military News

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blood brothers and sisters support each other

by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


11/20/2015 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- A crimson streak leaves an Airman's arm and is collected in a bag. The gift is stored away safely, to save a life sometime in the future.

The Armed Services Blood Program operated a blood drive here, Nov. 18, at the Fitness Center, collecting blood donations from Team Shaw members. This was the ASBP's first drive at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

Being stationed near Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, Master Sgt. Stephanie Field, 51st Intelligence Squadron first sergeant, saw first-hand how much of a need there was for blood.

"I was able to support the transition of injured members landing at Ramstein (Air Base, Germany) and being transported to the LRMC, many of them coming in as critical, and all of them needing blood," said Field.

The ASBP is the official blood collection, manufacturing, transport, and transfusion program for the Department of Defense, according to the ASBP website.

They provide quality blood products and services for all customers in both peacetime and war. Tasked with collecting, processing, storing, and transporting blood to ill or injured veterans and their families, worldwide, for all the branches of the military, the ASBP has been collecting blood for the military since 1962.

Donating blood can be a perfect real-world example of exemplifying Air Force values.

"In less than an hour you can put someone else's needs before your own," said Field. "What better way to emulate Service Before Self, donating blood so that others may live."

Since its inception, the ASBP has provided more than 1.5 million units of blood to treat battlefield illnesses and injuries. Blood is also collected and distributed to family members of service members, extending their reach to the community. Beyond the military community, the ASBP donates blood during natural disasters and is called upon during times of crisis or humanitarian missions.

"The blood collected here at Shaw will be packaged, processed, and ultimately sent to support those injured in theater," said Field. "It makes me smile to think that the blood collected here will end up at the LRMC; the place where I first learned about the ASBP and how impactful blood is on our brothers and sisters in arms."

For more information about the ASBP, visit: www.militaryblood.dod.mil.

The donation only takes a few minutes, one prick of a needle, and a moment of temporary pain to save a life.

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