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    Airmen from 9th ASOS hosts blood drive

    Airmen from 9th ASOS host blood drive

    Photo By Sgt. Whitney Woods | Airmen assigned to the 9th Air Support Squadron, Fort Hood, Texas, receive...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Whitney Woods 

    4th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas - Each year during the holidays many people purchase gifts to share with loved ones and spread the Christmas spirit, but for one organization, they have elected to give one of life’s most precious gifts, blood.

    Airmen from the 9th Air Support Operations Squadron assisted Liberty Hill Middle School with their annual blood drive in Killeen, Texas on Dec. 15, 2015.

    “During the holiday season, blood banks get really short on donations,” said Jennifer Roden, assistant principal for Liberty Hill. “Now is a really good time while everyone is giving that our school can impact someone else’s life.”

    Members from the squadron volunteered from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. assisting both teachers and students during the event.

    Airmen administered scheduled tests to students and sat in classrooms while teachers completed donation paperwork and prepared to give blood.

    “Without the help and support from the 9th [ASOS] we would not have been able to pull this off,” said Roden.
    Approximately 40 staff members from the middle school committed to donating blood and invited family and friends from the local community to assist in beating last year’s numbers.

    “Last year we had 89 donations and about 68 units of blood,” said Roden. “This year we hope to get at least 100 donations.”

    With the help of school staff and the 9th ASOS, Scott and White Hospital phlebotomists parked the blood drive bus in the parking lot and began to cycle people through.

    Roden said it is important for their school to stay community-minded and be able to impact beyond the classroom.

    “It shows a good example to our students by donating,” she said. “Hopefully one day, they too will decide to give.”

    According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

    Approximately 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do each year.

    One blood donation can save three lives.

    “This was a great opportunity for our squadron to not only help our sponsored school, but also the community,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Alex Heyman, 9th ASOS director of operations.

    For many of the airmen, the blood drive was a way of giving back, but for Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Cates, a civil engineer with the 9th ASOS, it touched very
    close to home.

    “My mother needed blood when I was younger,” said Cates. “When she gave birth to my brother she lost a lot of blood and needed a transfusion.”

    Cates, who said he donated blood many years before joining the military, believes everyone who can give, should give.

    To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors must be evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood. The final determination will be made on the day of the donation at the blood drive or blood donation center. If you were prevented from donating in the past, you may be able to donate again.

    If you would like to donate blood on Fort Hood visit the Robertson Blood Center, located on 761st Tank Battalion and 57th Street. Hours of operation are Mon. - Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.



    Date Taken: 12.15.2015
    Date Posted: 02.05.2016 12:16
    Story ID: 188024
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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