CASERMA DEL DIN, VICENZA, Italy— At the Del Din Fitness Center, amidst the state-of-the-art gym equipment and fitness enthusiasts, selfless individuals lined up to donate the gift of life.
Andreea Tulloch, a phlebotomist from the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, joined the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) for a deeply personal reason. Her husband, a former soldier, once faced a life-threatening injury on the battlefield and relied on a life-saving donation. "I know the medics here were the same kind of heroes who saved my husband's life during his service. I think how someone else's loved one might need help, and I'm here to make a difference,” Tulloch said.
The ASBP hosted a blood drive 11-12 September, 2023 for the Vicenza Military Community. Sponsored by both the American Red Cross, Vicenza, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABN DIV), the event saw over 170 people donate 172 pints of blood, with 85 being Low Tier O whole blood, crucial for operational missions.
Spc. Saif Al Bayati, a medic with the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, shares his perspective on giving blood, stating, "I can do without a unit of blood, in order to give it to someone who needs it more than I do. If you are able to donate, I believe you should." His selfless attitude embodies the spirit of service and sacrifice that drives the military community to come together for causes like this.
While the ASBP's primary mission is to provide high-quality blood products and support for military healthcare worldwide, the ASBP Blood Drive goes beyond this role.
It not only showcases the vital role of military-community collaboration but also emphasizes our international missions within the NATO alliance. As a joint effort, the ASBP serves all military branches and is responsible for collecting, processing, storing, transporting, and distributing blood and blood products to serve the healthcare needs of service members, their families, retirees, and veterans worldwide.
All blood donated to ASBP from this event stays within the military: to forward-deployed Soldiers throughout Europe & Africa, special forces missions, and patients in military hospitals. Each drop of blood donated at this event is a testament to our spirit of coming together, making sacrifices, and spreading goodwill. It saves lives and brings hope to those who need it, embodying the values that mean so much to our military community.
"We collaborate with ASBP to make this blood drive happen. I encourage everyone to get involved, as we'd love to make this event happen more often throughout the year," said Ron Jefferson, the regional program manager for the American Red Cross at Caserma Ederle.
Together, we can make a difference, one drop at a time.