JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. – Sailors and their family members from Naval Air Facility Washington and Navy Intelligence Reserve Region Washington donated blood in support of the Armed Services Blood Program on July 9.
The ABSP plays a key role in providing quality blood products for service members and their families in both peace and war. As a joint operation among the military services (Army, Navy, Air Force), the ASBP has many components working together to collect, process, store, distribute and transfuse blood worldwide.
“There’s always a need for blood and blood products,” said Cmdr. Richard Graham, director of the Armed Services Blood Bank Center.
While the Armed Services Blood Bank Center is located at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, the men and women that make up this team travel as far south of the National Capital Region to Naval Station Dahlgren, Va., and as far north as Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn.
During the blood drive, more than 35 sailors and their family members signed up to give blood and nearly 25 units of blood were collected.
“It was a great opportunity to donate as this was coordinated on a drill weekend,” said Lt. Joe Farlese, assigned to Office of Naval Intelligence unit 0766. “Everybody was very professional, very through and they handled things very well”
Blood collected can be turned into three different products; packed red cells which last 42 days, fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate which last a year, said Graham. The military and the ASBP utilize technology at its finest with the ASBP Management System, a globally connected network of computers which update and notify others of high and low supply of blood products.
“I recommend any service member to take the time to come out and give blood,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dennis Ebersole, assigned to ONI unit 0766. “This goes to benefit our brothers and sisters fighting overseas.”
“The units that we collect go to our wounded warriors and their family members, but we like to call our donors the unsung heroes,” said Graham. “We know that for each donation that they give saves the life of another and we’re very appreciative of their donations.”
For more information about the Armed Services Blood Program, visit http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/.