• Soldiers from the 1-44 ADA Battalion wait to donate blood at a blood drive in memory of their friend Sgt. Javier Gonzales

    On line

    Soldiers from the 1-44 ADA Battalion wait to donate blood at a blood drive in memory of their friend Sgt. Javier Gonzales

  • Sgt. Javier Gonzales, leader and friend to 1-44 ADA, died in January 2009

    Sergeant Javier Gonzales

    Sgt. Javier Gonzales, leader and friend to 1-44 ADA, died in January 2009

  • Laura Kasel, daughter of Capt. John Kasel, donates blood while on break from her Army ROTC nursing program

    Family member offers support early

    Laura Kasel, daughter of Capt. John Kasel, donates blood while on break from her Army ROTC nursing program

  • First Sgt. Christopher Titus completes paperwork before donating blood to the Armed Services Blood Program

    First Sergeant sets the example

    First Sgt. Christopher Titus completes paperwork before donating blood to the Armed Services Blood Program

FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, May 22, 2009) - Sergeant Javier Gonzales may have fallen, perishing during open heart surgery earlier this year, but his memory inspired his comrades to save lives. On May 21, 2009 the Soldiers of the 1st Battalion (AMD), 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment conducted an Army blood drive in his name, collecting over thirty units of blood to send to the battlefield to save others.

Among the donors was the Headquarters Battery First Sgt. Christopher Titus. "I always believe in donating. If I can help someone with my blood I am always willing to do so. It might be me that needs it someday." First Sgt. Titus has only been with the unit since March, arriving from Fort Bliss, but he inspired dozens of other Soldiers to donate.

"This was a good blood drive for us," said Sgt. First Class Ramon Quinones, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the donor collection team. "It comes at a good time and just before the long weekend. We may be able to take a break at Fort Hood but these donations will help troops in Afghanistan and Iraq who don't get a break."

The blood drive was coordinated by the unit Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers (BOSS) representative, Spec. Tessa Moore with the Robertson Blood Center. She worked with her Command Sgt. Major Jerry Faulk and the chain of command to select a day just before Memorial Day to remind her fellow Soldiers of the importance of both the holiday and blood donation.

Some of her efforts even turned up extra donors like Laura Kasel, daughter of Capt. John Kasel, the brigade surgeon for the 36th Engineer Brigade. She drove in after seeing signs posted along Hell on Wheels Avenue at Fort Hood. Enrolled in Army ROTC and studying to be a nurse, she is following the example of her father's service. "This is my second time donating blood. My father is really good at what he does. He inspired me."

To find out more about the ASBP or to arrange a military blood drive, visit the official web page at www.militaryblood.dod.mil.

Page last updated Tue May 26th, 2009 at 12:48