By Mr. Perry Jefferies (Army Medicine)November 24, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, 28 October, 2009) - Leaders and trainers of the 120th Infantry Brigade at Fort Hood provide for the safety and security of other Soldiers every day by training them to perform their missions with a high degree of skill and professionalism. Beyond that mission, they provide for other troop's welfare with a well-rounded slate of community support activities. As autumn swept through Fort Hood, they helped save lives and limbs by conducting an Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) blood drive.
The blood drive was arranged by Cpt. Cheryl Bordwine with the full support of the 120th Infantry Brigade commander, Col. John Smith. In an effort to provide the right products at the right time, Cpt. Bordwine worked to make appointments using the automated donor recruitment web application (DRM). Instead of one large blood drive, the brigade is targeting donors throughout the year so that their donations may be distributed smartly. "The commander intends to send 350 donations to the program over the year. Instead of them all coming at once, we are spreading it out to get the most effect out of each donation," said Cpt. Bordwine.
Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Butts of Beaumont, Texas may take a bit of ribbing from his fellow non-commissioned officers in the 120th Infantry Brigade for his age and experience. Nevertheless, the motor transport NCO led the pack when it came to what is too often at Fort Hood a young man's game. He donated a unit of blood to the Robertson Blood Center in support of the brigade's blood drive while many of his buddies were deferred or not allowed to donate due to past travel and recent assignments. "The command sergeant major said that everyone is going to come. But there are a lot of people who can't donate so I thought it was important that I do. I had to show these younger NCOs how to do it."
Sgt. 1st Class Darin Morgan, of Rancho Cucamonga, California donated as well. "The battalion wanted 100 percent participation but not everyone can donate. I can."
Both NCOs serve as Observer-Controller-Trainers with 120th Infantry Brigade, teaching and mentoring Reserve and National Guard Soldiers on proper force protection before their units deploy overseas. While the 120th Infantry Brigade has been established on Fort Hood for more than a year, it recently relocated to the main post and assumed its place as part of First Army, Division West.
Over the space of the week, Soldiers and family members from the brigade provided 50 donations. The drive was very successful and was key in completing the blood center's mission for both the week of the drive and part of the following week. Blood donations collected by the Robertson Blood Center are tested, labeled, and delivered worldwide in four days. This requires a steady flow of donors to maintain. All blood types are important but since some types occur less frequently, donors in blood group AB or with O negative blood are highly encouraged to give. The automated DRM is available online at www.militarylifeforce.com.
To find out more about the ASBP or to arrange a military blood drive, visit the official web site at www.militaryblood.dod.mil.