FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Fort Campbell’s community donated 236 units of blood, Feb. 3-5, during an Armed Services Blood Program drive at the Soldier Support Center.
The blood donations will be distributed to military treatment facilities across the country, as well as overseas, and have the potential to save hundreds of lives.
“This many blood units can become blood products that could help save the lives of over 350 Soldiers, Family members or beneficiaries within the military community,” said Maj. William Ceballos, chief, Blood Donor Center, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The ASPB is the armed forces’ official blood product provider and collects donations from installations across the country. Fort Campbell hosts two ASBP drives a year to promote mission readiness and make sure blood is available for emergency situations.
“If there’s a casualty, if somebody gets hurt or needs a blood transfusion, then the blood will already be there,” Ceballos said. “When these Soldiers are deployed, we can pull out their names, so if we need to collect blood from them, we can look up their eligibility.”
That means it is critical for ASBP to work with donors like Pfc. Tyler Baccardo, Headquarters and Head-quarters Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), whose blood type is compatible with any recipient.
Although Baccardo dislikes having blood drawn he said his “Soldiers supporting Soldiers” mentality led him to overcome that and pitch in.
“It feels good to help out,” he said. “Usually I have struggles donating blood, but the doctor was quick. That makes it really easy to donate blood, and I like knowing that it’s going toward a good cause.”
Sergeant Mickey Cawley, 41st Medical Detachment, 531st Hospital Center, also decided to donate be-cause of her experience as an Army medic.
“I’ve donated in the past, just not to this organization,” Cawley said. “It’s something I like doing, giving blood. It saves lives. I’m a medic so I know the importance of needing blood.”
We’re just giving back to our community, our brothers and our sisters.”
Ceballos said he sees that same level of enthusiasm each time he visits Fort Campbell for an ASBP drive.
“We’d like to let the community know we’re very grateful they welcomed us and were willing to come and donate,” he said. “Without them I don’t have a mission, so I’m very grateful they came and I love the support we’ve gotten.”
Although the next drive at Fort Campbell hasn’t been scheduled, donors can visit www.militarydonor.com to find out about the next ASBP drive or www.redcrossblood.org to find a local blood drive.