By Deylon Douglass | Armed Services Blood ProgramJuly 5, 2018
Summer is the season when Army ROTC cadets from universities around the country come to Fort Knox, Kentucky, to complete their Basic and Advanced Courses; a time for developing and evaluating leadership skills and officer potential.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Armed Services Blood Program is proud once again to partner with the U.S. Army Cadet Command to conduct blood drives at Fort Knox in July and August of 2018. ASBP collection teams from Fort Benning and Fort Gordon, Georgia, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, will conduct 18 drives in a 53-day period and are asking everyone at the Kentucky post to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life.
The ASBP is the official blood collection agency for the U.S. military and is tasked with providing blood to ill or injured service members and their families worldwide. Donations acquired directly support locations from military hospitals and ships to combat support hospitals and medics on the frontline. While ASBP's priority is providing for wounded warriors in overseas operations -- some of the blood collected from the drives will reach Iraq or Afghanistan within 72 hours of collection- ASBP also provides blood to service members, their families and retirees at military treatment facilities around the globe.
Large-scale blood drives -such as the upcoming drives hosted at Fort Knox- provide critical support to the ASBP. They also create opportunities to educate future leaders about the ASBP, the mission and why it is so pertinent that Soldiers and civilians donate with the military's blood program. This two month drive is especially important to the ASBP mission as the summer months generally yield low national donor collection rates.
Last year's effort collected nearly 3,000 units of blood in 13 drives. Since a single blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives, thousands of blood products were made available to the ill and injured. This year's goal is to collect 4,000 units.
Everyone in the Fort Knox and surrounding communities are encouraged to stop by Smith Physical Fitness Center and donate between 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Donors are welcome at any point during this timeframe; cadets will be scheduled at specific donation times and processed separately. All donors will receive snacks, refreshments, an ASBP T-shirt and a heartfelt "thank you."
In addition to the ASBP blood drives, American Red Cross collection teams will be conducting drives at Fort Knox July 17-18 and Aug. 1-2.
All ASBP drives are open to people 18 years old and older -- military or civilian. Potential donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and have been feeling well for at least three consecutive days. They must also be well hydrated and have eaten something before donating. Those wanting to donate should bring a list of foreign countries they have traveled to -- be sure to include when, where and for how long -- and a photo ID, such as a military ID or driver's license.
For more information about the Fort Knox blood drives, call ASBP blood donor recruiter Rick Lumzy at (706) 544-9427 or his cell phone at (334) 235-0261.
The ASBP will conduct all drives at Smith Gym on the following dates: