Kugels make saving lives a family affair
Marie Magee, Maj. Kevin Kugel, Kelly Kugel, Matthew Kugel, Amy Sullivan, and Brian Sullivan wait to donate blood at the Phantom Command Blood Drive held at the III Corps Headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas on Friday, August 13, 2010.

FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, August 19, 2010) When Spec. Marie Sanon, Phantom Command's administrative specialist, arranged a military blood drive for her brothers and sisters deployed overseas, she had no idea it would turn into a genuine family affair. For the family of Maj. Kevin Kugel, it was a way of participating in a fun event that could save the life of a soldier just like theirs.

The Phantom Command blood drive-a recurring event for the unit, even while deployed-was held on Friday, August 13, 2010 at the III Corps headquarters building and was a rousing success! Sanon contacted donors early on and signed up more than 40 people using the Armed Services Blood Program's online scheduling system. Other donors found out about the drive through advertisements or electronic messages. Held in the spacious atrium, members of the Fort Hood chain-of-command stopped by throughout the day to ensure the blood drive was running smoothly.

Kugel's family accompanied him on a visit to his office in the III Corps headquarters. Home from Iraq for his two-week R&R (rest and recreation leave), as the executive officer of the Corps Special Troops Battalion, Kugel stopped by to check on his unit. Although he was unable to donate, he encouraged his family, the Kugels and the Sullivans, to donate. "I am usually at work in the office. My family wanted to come with me today to participate in the blood drive," said Kugel.

Kugel, deployed several times, and, like many soldiers at Fort Hood, has been ineligible to donate blood due to travel in foreign countries. Joining his family in the waiting area, Kugel said of their donations, "I really appreciate what they're doing, it's great they are donating and helping out. I wish I could donate too." His wife Kelly added, "That's why Fort Hood is truly the 'Great Place,'" referring to the camaraderie of the military community on base.

The family was soon on their way, with small bandages on their arms, T-shirts, and smiles to show that they did their part for the troops deployed worldwide. With the support of people like the Kugels and Sullivans, and because of the great work of Sanon, the blood drive was successful even though much of the Phantom Command is deployed. This unit serves as an excellent example of what can be done through hard work, perseverance, and a family-oriented attitude.

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Page last updated Thu August 19th, 2010 at 17:21