Macayla Tompkins, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center phlebotomist, helps two Fitness Training Unit Soldiers donate blood to the Armed Services Blood Program March 30.
Macayla Tompkins, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center phlebotomist, helps two Fitness Training Unit Soldiers donate blood to the Armed Services Blood Program March 30. (Photo Credit: Photo by Carl Norman) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood volunteers helped save more than 2,100 lives the first three months of 2021, while relaxing in a chair and watching movies.

From Jan. 1 through March 31, nearly 1,100 people donated blood at the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center. Since each donation can create two life-saving blood products, these volunteers donated enough to supply one blood product to each Soldier in two average size Army battalions.

“We’re thankful for everyone who chose to donate, despite the anxiety the pandemic caused,” said Maj. Manuela Bauldry, officer in charge of the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center. “Whether it’s during a pandemic, war or peaceful times, we simply cannot help medical providers save lives without people volunteering to donate blood.”

As a training installation, the lion’s share of donations here come from trainees, Bauldry said. Although 32 donations came from permanent party service members, Department of Defense civilians and family members, the remainder came from Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and One Station Unit Training companies.

Bauldry called these men and women “true heroes.”

“We don’t have a formal competition to see who donates most, we just like to have a friendly rivalry between units on post,” she said. “There’s no prize for those who donate the most; they do it because they want to help others. The real winners are the service members and their families who fall victim to injury or illness and need blood.”

While all who donate deserve thanks, below are the top 10 donating units for the first quarter:

— No. 1 is the 5th Engineer Battalion, 82 units;

— No. 2 is Company A, 554th Engineer Battalion, 62 units;

— No. 3 is the Fitness Training Unit, 61 units;

— No. 4 is Company A, 35th Engineer Battalion, 59 units;

— No. 5 is the Marine Corps Detachment leadership and professional development section, 48 units;

— No. 6 is Company D, 35th Engineer Battalion, 47 units;

— No. 7 is Company C, 795th Military Police Battalion, 45 units;

— No. 8 is Company B, 58th Transportation Battalion, 42 units;

— No. 9 is Company B, 169th Engineer Battalion, 40 units;

— No. 10 is Company D, 787th Military Police Battalion, 39 units.

“No one ever expects to need blood, but they want it to be there if they do,” Bauldry said. “The consequences can be fatal if it’s not. There’s no substitute for human blood, so we really need as many people as possible to donate.”

To schedule a blood drive or individual donation appointment, call 573-596-5385. The Blood Donor Center is now located in Bldg. 759. Unit-level blood drives are scheduled Sundays through Tuesdays. Individual appointments and walk-in donors are welcomed from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.