Cpl. Cassandra Zamora, a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, squeezes a ball to pump blood during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
1 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Cpl. Cassandra Zamora, a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, squeezes a ball to pump blood during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Shaundria Woodard, a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, raises her arm as an expression of courage with needles during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
2 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Shaundria Woodard, a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, raises her arm as an expression of courage with needles during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bruns, a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, fills the form to register for a blood donation during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
3 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bruns, a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, fills the form to register for a blood donation during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program observes a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
4 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program observes a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Soldier in the advanced individual training phase (AIT), watches as a laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program explains the steps for a blood donation during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. The event provided an experienced training environment for service members training to become laboratory technicians in the AIT phase on Fort Bliss. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
5 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Soldier in the advanced individual training phase (AIT), watches as a laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program explains the steps for a blood donation during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. The event provided an experienced training environment for service members training to become laboratory technicians in the AIT phase on Fort Bliss. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
Mr. Antonio Siba, a laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program explains blood donation procedures to Soldiers in the advanced individual training phase (AIT) during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. The event provided an experienced training environment for service members training to become laboratory technicians in the AIT phase on Fort Bliss. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
6 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Mr. Antonio Siba, a laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program explains blood donation procedures to Soldiers in the advanced individual training phase (AIT) during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. The event provided an experienced training environment for service members training to become laboratory technicians in the AIT phase on Fort Bliss. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program instructs Soldiers in the advanced individual training phase of initial training during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
7 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program instructs Soldiers in the advanced individual training phase of initial training during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program cleanses the arm in preparation to draw blood from a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
8 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program cleanses the arm in preparation to draw blood from a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
Ms. Mariana Ruelas, a laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program performs procedure for checking blood pressure on a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
9 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Ms. Mariana Ruelas, a laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program performs procedure for checking blood pressure on a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program inserts a needle in the arm of a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
10 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program inserts a needle in the arm of a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL
A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program draws blood from a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade)
11 / 11 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A laboratory technician with the Armed Services Blood Program draws blood from a donor assigned to 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, during a blood drive event on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021. Blood drive events are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. John Onuoha, 5th Armored Brigade) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Onuoha) VIEW ORIGINAL

The 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West, and the Fort Bliss Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) held a blood drive on Fort Bliss, Texas, May 16, 2021.

Blood drives are important because they provide quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. For 5th AR BDE, preparing Soldiers to go into harm’s way isn’t merely a cold, mechanical process; rather, it’s a dedication to individuals’ strengths and needs, focused on achieving the mission.

Ms. Jennifer Torres Aponte, a laboratory technician with ASBP said the blood drive is a weekly event with a set quota for each week, and the blood products are also used for patients of all ages for various reasons such as: battlefield injuries; a child with cancer; a family member in need of heart surgery, and more.

“I believe it is important because it helps out our battle buddies downrange,” said Pvt. Cody Raleigh, a Soldier in the advanced individual training phase of initial training (AIT) on Fort Bliss.

While some Soldiers learned about it through their leadership, some said they learned about it when they saw the blood drive bus.

Aponte said that leadership plays a vital role in informing their units about the importance of blood drives, and when and where it is happening ahead of time to ensure they take the opportunity to support the program.

In addition, the blood drive provided an experienced training environment for service members training to become laboratory technicians in the AIT phase on Fort Bliss.

“I feel kind of excited because this is a more hands-on section of our training,” Raleigh said. “In the first six months of our phase one, it was a lot of book work and tests, but here, we are kind of like hands-on learning and seeing what we were taught.”

Aponte mentioned that the blood drive experience will help AIT Soldiers gain real life experience on how to do their job as professionals. More importantly, it will prepare them for various military operations.

To ensure transparency, the blood drive was conducted step by step to ensure donors and AIT Soldiers understood every single step throughout the process. It was time efficient, and a simple process.

“It was really smooth,” said Capt. Scott Wolfe, a blood donor, assigned to Task Force Viper, 5th AR BDE. “I think I was in and out in about 20 minutes. So that is a pretty good time.”

Aponte expressed that taking a little time to donate blood makes a big difference, and goes a long way in saving the lives of service members, families and friends.

The ASBP donor center is located at 2489 Ricker Road, Fort Bliss, Texas, and it is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday. Donor centers are also available on various military installations.