FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, October 29, 2010) - Staff Sgt. April Martinez knows a good deal when she sees it. The young non-commissioned officer works hard at Fort Hood to ensure her brothers and sisters in the military get the best deal possible when they are injured or hurt. As a cadre member at one of the Army's largest Warrior Transition Units she organized a series of blood drives to fulfill a dual purpose-save the lives of the troops on the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as those recovering at home.

Dozens turned out to support the troops in need of blood. Terry Shaw, from the Patient Administration Division of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, did not originally have plans to donate.

"I walked in to ask a question and saw the blood drive. So, I decided to donate." When asked what she thought about the Armed Services Blood Program blood drive and the donation's destination of Afghanistan or Iraq, Shaw gave a big thumbs up, saying "That's great!"

Spec. Raysa Rondon is assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit and donated to help look after her fellow soldiers.

"I know somebody who needed some blood, so I decided to do a good deed," said Rondon. "I want to help the others."

The Warrior Transition Unit offers troops a chance to recover and refit, preparing for the next phase of their military careers or preparing for life in the civilian world if necessary. For Sgt. 1st Class Jason Stack, it has been a place of refuge and healing.

The Syracuse, N.Y., native served in Iraq three times, beginning in 2003 with the 3d Infantry Division's 5-7 Cavalry. On his third tour, with the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Stack and his unit encountered a set of stacked improvised explosive devices.

Seriously injured by this incident, Stack knows the importance of giving blood, and wants to make sure those that were not as lucky as he was in the attack are remembered. "I'm donating in memory of friends that gave their lives in Iraq-six in 2006, and two more in 2008," he said. "[I am] donating in memory of them, to give a gift of life."

Stack encourages others to donate if they can. "Somebody needs it. If someone can give blood, they should," he said.

By the end of the blood drive, dozens of units of blood were collected and prepped for the front lines by the Armed Services Blood Program. The cadre and troops of the Warrior Transition Unit gained the satisfaction that comes with making a real difference in the lives of the men and women fighting our nation's wars.

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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16