News: 987th BSD hosts blood drive for a WAREX first
Story by Spc. Kayla Benson
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. - U.S. Army Reservists with the 987th Blood Support Detachment, stationed in Ogden, Utah, held a blood drive during the Warrior Exercise here June 22, 2012.
“It’s something that’s never been done before,” said Cpt. Robert Valencia, the commander of the 987th BSD. “This is the first time ever live blood draw in a field exercise and I’m very pleased to see that it’s going so well.”
The 987th coordinated with other military branches to make this blood drive possible.
“This is not a one-unit success story. This is done with a lot of different units, a lot of people, a lot of things behind the scenes,” said 1st Lt. Barbara Blanke, the chief of laboratory services with the 987th BSD. “It’s a huge group effort and it’s great to be a part of it.”
The 987th laboratory technicians are excited to be part of WAREX. For many of them it’s their first experience conducting a blood drive in a field environment.
“It’s our next step. We got the training and now we’re actually able to do our mission, what we’re supposed to be doing,” said Spc. Amanda Willey, a medical lab technician also with the 987th.
The unit screened each service member before they donated blood to make sure their samples were sterile and usable.
“When a donor comes in, what we’re looking for is someone who is not a high-risk person: so no drugs, no risk for AIDS or anything you could pass on,” explained Willey.
The Air Force will pick the blood up after the event and drop it off in San Diego, explained Sgt. 1st Class Leonard Miller, the detachment non-commissioned officer in charge with the 987th BSD. From there, Navy personnel will process and store the blood to be used wherever it is needed.