"Black Jack" Soldiers give blood to save lives
July 19, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- Soldiers and spouses throughout the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st
Cavalry Division filled the seats at Robertson Blood Center, here, in support of a 13-14 July blood drive.
The blood drive is the first this year sponsored by the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., and is in support of Soldiers serving overseas, said Perry Jefferies, a blood donor recruiter for the Robertson Blood Center.
The center exceeded its donation quota by receiving more than 45 units of blood from the blood drive, said Jefferies. The blood collected during the event will be processed, tested and then shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan within four days.
As opposed to walk-in donors, blood drives are an efficient way to receive blood due to time sensitivity and Soldiers' work schedules, said Jefferies.
Regardless of his work schedule, Sgt. Stephen Turner, from Locust Grove, Ind., was the first Soldier to donate day one of the blood drive.
Because of deployments, this is the first time Turner was accepted as a donor, he said.
Turner was not the only first-time donor. Kathryn Barr, of Snowflake, Ariz., the Family Readiness Group leader for A Company, 15th BSB, understands the importance of donating, she said. Two of her family members received blood multiple times.
"It definitely does have the chance of saving someone's life and it makes a difference,"
As a Soldier who received blood while in Iraq, Capt. Erin Thomas, a Houston, Texas native and the brigade medical supply officer for Charlie Company, 15th BSB, 2 BCT, 1 CD, encourages everyone to donate because you never know who is going to need it, she said.
"Blood goes forward, it really gets used," said Thomas.
Encouragement to donate came in the form of incentives. Every donor in support of the
15th BSB received a t-shirt and Soldiers were given time off work as compensation for donating, said Jefferies.
Coordinated by Cindy Ruedi, the FRG's battalion advisor and spouse of Lt. Col. Matthew Ruedi, 15th BSB commander, she organized the event to help save lives and send a message to those who have not donated.
"I have a son that's going in the Army and my husband is in the Army, and what if something happened to him. That one person that could have donated to him didn't want to take the 45 minutes it took to donate the blood," said Ruedi.
A second blood drive sponsored by the 15th BSB is scheduled for February, said Ruedi.
For information on donating blood or organizing a blood drive, contact the Robertson Blood Center at 254-285-5808.