HONOLULU, Hawaii (April 6, 2015) -- Every semester, the University of Hawaii Army ROTC program supports the Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) by sponsoring a blood drive.

As many as 50 cadets started lining up as early as 6:30 a.m. eager to donate.

The coordinator, Army Sgt. 1st Class Edgar Campos-Flores, training noncommissioned officer-in-charge, has been a blood donor since joining the military.

"Through time, I have taken a personal interest in this program," he said. "I've been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. I've seen brothers and sisters in arms needing blood transfusions; and with the help of the medics and medical personnel it saved their life."

Over the course of the three-hour blood drive, more than 50 percent of the university's Army ROTC program rolled up their sleeve to donate blood.

According to program leaders, the turn-out says something positive about tomorrow's leaders.

Army Staff Sgt. Edward Davis, an instructor at the university, said that the ROTC program supports the ASBP blood drives because donating blood exemplifies the philosophy and meaning of the Army Values.

"These are the values we are instilling in our cadets, the future leaders of this great nation," Davis said.

Campos-Flores knows the importance of donating blood firsthand.

"I think of it as paying it forward," he said. "I've been a wounded Solider myself. I would like to personally thank every individual that donates blood, and I do what I can."

A statue resembling a Hawaiian warrior stands eight-feet-tall in front of the University of Hawaii ROTC building in honor of 14 ROTC cadets and two cadre members who gave their lives in conflicts during World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is a daily reminder of the sacrifices service members have made, both past and present, and it honors the spirit of the warriors who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

"Through these blood drives, it is the hope of the cadre that the cadets realize they are going to be a part of something much larger than them," Davis said. "It is also a way to show the world and to remind our brothers and sisters in the armed forces that we stand as a unified team -- which these cadets are ready to become a part of and lead that team."

All donations made through the Tripler Blood Donor Center will directly support Tripler Army Medical Center, deployed service members and other military treatment facilities within the Department of Defense.

The TAMC blood donor center is one of more than 20 ASBP blood donor centers worldwide.

The ASBP is the official military blood program of the United States and provides a direct connection between those who give and military service members in need of lifesaving blood.

The Tripler Blood Donor Center is currently searching for local commands to host mobile blood drives or individuals who would like to donate blood, please contact the ASBP Tripler Blood Donor Center at 808-433-6148.

About the Armed Services Blood Program:
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military.

As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide.

As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure.

To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or to get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest and YouTube. Find the drop. Donate.