FORT CARSON, Colo. -- The Fort Carson and Colorado Springs communities rallied for the troops May 12-13 at the annual blood drive held at the Special Events Center.

The William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Texas, team came to Fort Carson with a goal of collecting 150 units per day, and with the help of the communities, that goal was surpassed by 67 units. This total represents an almost 100-unit increase compared to last year's drive.

The official U.S. military blood program, ASBP provides an opportunity for servicemembers, their Families and civilians to support the military and is a direct connection between those who give and the sick and injured who need help.

"Giving blood is the closest a nonmedical person can come to saving a life," said Maj. Robin Johnson, medical director, WBAMC.

"The blood you give today can save the life of a Soldier downrange."

The ASBP goal is to have donated blood and plasma on the battlefield within four or five days.

The ASBP has a history of providing quality blood products for servicemembers and their Families in both peace and wartime. Since its inception more than 50 years ago, the ASBP has collected nearly 5 million units of blood to support servicemembers, according to the ASBP website. Blood donated to the ASBP by active-duty personnel, government employees, military retirees and military Family and community members has saved the lives of fellow military community members in their time of need.

The nation's military has come to depend on ASBP to provide a sustained, secure and safe blood supply across the country and around the world, according to the website.

"My husband was a wounded warrior, and it makes me happy to know I am saving a life," said Family member Angela Scudero, as she prepared to give blood.

The ASBP collects blood for contingency operations, but is also responsible for supplying medical treatment facilities with blood products for daily operations. In direct contrast to these increasing needs are the decreasing numbers of personnel who are eligible to donate, which proves to be a challenge when trying to meet set goals, according to the ASBP website.

"Donating blood is the one thing I can do for the Soldiers and have done so several times. It makes me feel humble. I just wish I could do more," said Jack Casey, a Colorado Springs resident who responded to the blood drive after hearing about it on TV.

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