KILLEEN, Texas – Statistics show that one in every three people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their life. Blood shortages are common. However, soldiers with the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, are volunteering their time to help save lives.
Trimmier Elementary School and the 4th ARB hosted their second annual Blood Drive and Health Fair at TES Jan. 17, here.
During the event, more than 50 soldiers and civilians took time to donate blood. There were also raffles for free prizes, blood pressure and sugar screenings, and face painting and games for children of all ages.
“I’ve been anxious to donate blood for quite some time now,” said Pfc. William Jarred, Company D, 4-227th ARB, 1st ACB. “There’s always someone in need of blood for a variety of reasons, and I want to do my part to help them out and better their chances of pulling through and seeing their family.”
There was also a proclamation signing by Killeen Mayor Michael Lower proclaiming the month of January as National Blood Donor Month for Killeen in conjunction with it being National Blood Donation Awareness Month nationwide.
“I want to acknowledge (TES) for their commitment to blood donation through their partnership with the 4-227th,” Lower said. “I urge all citizens to pay tribute to those among us who give blood for others in need. I urge citizens in good health to donate blood regularly because the need is ongoing and we need to help maintain a quality blood supply for our community.”
The event kicked off at 1 p.m. as the Carter BloodCare bus pulled into the parking lot, opening its doors to service members and civilians awaiting their opportunity to donate.
Carter BloodCare is the community, nonprofit blood center responsible for delivering blood to more than 200 health care facilities in a 58-county area, including Bell, McLennan, Coryell and Falls counties.
More than 1,100 volunteer blood donors are needed each day for the organization to provide the supply for patients and maintain its sufficiency, as blood has a shelf life.
Sharon Roye, Carter BloodCare mobile supervisor, worked the event and spoke of the importance of taking time to donate blood when eligible.
“I drive 60 hours a week, and I have no problem going to sleep at night because I know I’m saving lives,” explained Roye. “One unit of blood can potentially save three adults or six babies. I cannot stress enough the impact that one donor has.”
As the event began winding down and troops began packing up, Kelly Wilson, TES nurse and spearhead for the event, said 4-227th soldiers once again provided great support.
“This year’s blood drive was a huge success - even more so than last years,” said Wilson. “This could not have happened if it weren’t for the soldiers who volunteered their time. We set the bar high this year, and we’re hoping to have even more volunteers next time.”