Leaving a life-saving legacy
July 27, 2011
- III Corps Non-Commissioned Officer Academy conducted a blood drive in support of Sgt. 1st Class James Edwards after a serious traffic accident
- Sgt. 1st Class Edwards perished from his injuries but left a record of a loving family, living Army values and training Soldiers
- Many Soldiers at Fort Hood are deferred from donating blood but only a small percent of eligible donors do so on a regular basis
FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, July 22, 2011) " Sgt. 1st Class James Edwards died on July 22, 2011, from injuries he received in a traffic accident a few days prior. He left behind a legacy of service and reaching out to others that will leave a lasting impression on many others.
A consummate professional, Edwards served as a senior instructor at the III Corps Non-commissioned Officer Academy, helping form new generations of Army leaders. He was more than qualified for the job having served with the Army since he was 18 and deploying six times, including three times with the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas.
After his accident he was transferred to the intensive care unit at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas, where he received many blood transfusions. His wife, Lori, worked with other cadre from the Non-commissioned Officers Academy to coordinate a military blood drive with the Robertson Blood Center at Fort Hood.
After Lori Edwards contacted Sgt. 1st Class Derrick Hardy, a native of Montgomery, Ala., and a Senior Small Group Leader for the academy, Hardy reached out to the Robertson Blood Center for help.
“I think this blood drive is very important,” said Hardy. “Sgt. 1st Class Edwards and his wife give a lot of blood and he needs it now. Blood is needed here and around the world.”
When he isn’t teaching at the academy, Hardy works as a medic, so he knows the importance of donated blood. “I’ve been in situations where blood is needed. It is always better to be ready"always better to give life because there will always be a need.”
Although the Non-commissioned Officers Academy’s packed schedule and roster of senior non-commissioned officers make large blood drives a challenge, the turnout was solid and well organized, with over 20 people attempting to donate.
Edwards’ inspiration was the key to a few, including Staff Sgt. Daniel Miller, a cavalry scout currently serving as the Student Operations Sergeant in the S-3 Office.
“I’ve never given blood before,” said Miller, a veteran of three deployments. Although not a big fan of needles, Miller made sure he came out to donate. “I’ve made it a point to get in here after what happened to Sgt. 1st Class Edwards.”
Edwards’ family and friends have much to mourn. The loss of a great non-commissioned officer affects many. But, halfway around the world, blood and blood products donated in his name are saving others and making sure that troops deployed, as he once was, have the very best in medical treatment. He can never be replaced but others will survive in his absence because of the efforts of his family and friends"just one part of a great legacy.
You can read Sgt. 1st Class Edward’s obituary and leave condolences here: http://www.gracegardensfh.com/sitemaker/sites/GraceG1/obit.cgi?user=419951Edwards.
To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to make an appointment, please visit us online: www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with some of our staff or to get the latest news, visit us here: www.facebook.com/militaryblood.