News: Giving blood, saving lives: 2nd MLG donates
Story by Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - While much of America was focused on St. Patrick’s Day weekend and the thought of grabbing a frosty pint, Marines and sailors with 2nd Marine Logistics Group were voluntarily giving up a different kind of pint here, March 14.
The Armed Services Blood Program sent a mobile team to the 2nd MLG headquarters building to screen, collect and process donors and their donations. In total, more than 90 Marines lined the sidewalk and crammed into buses to each give a pint of life-saving blood.
“I like contributing to saving lives,” said Sgt. Paul Valencia, a Virginia Beach, Va., native and information assurance and cyber security Marine with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd MLG. “I’ve known friends who needed blood before, so it’s along the same lines: save a loved one, save a friend.”
The mobile team split its efforts between two buses. The first bus obtained information about possible candidates and took each applicant’s temperature and iron level. The second bus conducted a final interview with each Marine and then, once they were approved to donate, they were given a chair to lounge in while blood was drawn.
“The blood we collect is used for active duty, dependents and retirees,” said Wendy Binder, the blood donor recruiter with the Armed Services Blood Program. “We supply the Naval Hospital here on base, the Naval Health Clinic at Cherry point, and we send blood overseas to the troops and supply contingency operations.”
One pint of blood can save up to three lives, noted Binder.
Once their contribution was complete, each donor was given a choice of color bandages to have wrapped around their arm and received a shirt, cup and key chain. They were also given snacks and beverages to maintain glucose levels, which drop during the donation process.
After waiting approximately 15 minutes, each donor was released to go back to their duties.
The mobile blood team collected 70 pints of blood, potentially saving 210 lives here and overseas. They will continue to have collection points three times per week at different locations.