FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, January 20, 2010) - On Thursday, January 20, 2010, the Robertson Blood Center held the annual Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony, honoring dozens of top donors, organizations, and supporters on Fort Hood. January is National Blood Donor Month and ceremonies are held each year to recognize the efforts of those whose donations mean that troops and their families have the supply of blood they need.

The theme for this year's ceremony was "The Power of Blood Donors," in line with the Armed Services Blood Program's campaign for the year, "The Power of Blood". Lt. Col. Dennis Dombrowski, Robertson Blood Center's director said "Although a lot of hard work, testing, and scientific processing goes on behind the scenes, the bottom line is that without our great donors, there is no blood program. They are truly the power of this important mission."

In attendance at the ceremony was the first blood bank officer from Fort Hood, Col. (retired) Tony Polk. In 1975, while assigned to the laboratory at then Darnall Army Community Hospital, he opened the first Fort Hood blood bank in an old theater. Today, he is the Armed Services Blood Program Officer emeritus and holds the first gold medal Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASBP.

The guest speaker was Dr. Charles Clark, from Waco, Texas. A practicing dentist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon, he served in Iraq on a facial trauma team and was detailed to treat Saddam Hussein after his capture. Doctor Clark served as the staff surgeon at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, training residents in oral and maxillofacial surgery. An expert in all aspects of reconstructive and cosmetic repair of facial injuries, Clark is also a nationally known speaker and teacher of these techniques.

Five blood donors were honored for having the most donations and returning in the most consistent fashion. They were Mr. Ronald Decker, Major (retired) Prosper Walker, Colonel Joan Vanderlaan, Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Dombrowski, and Lieutenant Misty Youngblood. They were presented with plaques and the new ASBP coins.

Military units and organizations sponsoring blood drives or encouraging Soldiers to donate were honored as well. 13th Sustainment Brigade (Expeditionary) was honored as the top large unit on Fort Hood. III Corps' headquarters unit - the Phantom Command - earned the award for the top medium sized unit. Also recognized was their unit blood coordinator - Spc. Luke House. The 1st Cavalry Division Horse Detachment was awarded for being the best small unit on Fort Hood. The Horse Detachment is notable in that they are the only unit on Fort Hood that has recorded more blood donations in a year than their assigned strength. Key to this achievement was the involvement of their leaders, including the detachment first sergeant, Sgt. First Class Filiberto Fernandez, who was recognized for donating blood five times in the past year.

A number of pins and certificates were awarded to donors who crossed the threshold of a gallon or more donated. The center's director, Lt. Col. Dennis Dombrowski, explained that these numbers are calculated from the registration software at the blood center. "We really encourage people to sign up at and then each military recruiter can track their donations all across the system. We appreciate and really want to recognize each of these valuable donors."

Also in attendance was Mrs. Luann Zipp, Fort Hood's own Mrs. Killeen International for 2010. The wife of a deployed Soldier, Mrs. Zipp serves as an FRG Leader for 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation and competed on the basis of her campaign to reduce divorce in military families.

The ceremony was followed by a social hour and hors d'oeuvres were served. To find out more about the ASBP or to arrange a military blood drive, visit their official web page at A full list of the awardees and honorees follows.

Top blood donors

Mr. Ronald Decker
Maj. (ret) Prosper Walker
Col. Joan Vanderlaan
Lt. Col. Dennis Dombrowski
Lt. Misty Youngblood

Top organizations

13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
Phantom Command
1st Cavalry Horse Detachment
15th Sustainment Brigade
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
American Federation of Government Employees for the Austin and Temple Veterans Affairs hospital and clinic
Sam Houston State University Reserve Officer's Training Corps

Donated five times in 2009

Sergeant Dominick Anderson
Specialist Jason Boruch
First Sergeant Class Filiberto Fernandez
James Haney
Sergeant Victor Hernandez
Captain Justin Herrera
Specialist Curtis Hunter
Kristina Hunter
Justin Lambert
John Lauck, jr.
Master Sergeant Harl Marzan
John Sammis
Chief Warrant Officer Roy Stout
Patrick Thompson
George Tovar

Crossed a "Gallon Threshold"
1 Gallon
Master Sgt. Dawn Alvarado
William Ash
Adam Crispin
Neil Davidson
Sandra Delaune
Lt. Col. Dennis Dombrowski
Dennis Duffey
Tommy Eberhart
Sgt. First Class Filiberto Fernandez
Victor Gomez
Tatsuo Howard
John James
Kim Johnson
Keith Laird
Arnoldo Lopez
Harl Marzan
Charles McMurrey III
Reginald Swindell
Romeo Trevino
Matthew Vanderlaan
Lt. Misty Youngblood
Janet Yznaga

2 Gallon
Robert Boswell
Flor MacKenzie
Timothy Stroud
George Tovar

3 Gallon
Todd Campbell
Toni Graves
Kristina Hunter
Jerry Morris Jr.
Col. Joan Vanderlaan
Maj. (ret) Prosper Walker

4 Gallon
Elaine Perry

Other supporters recognized included:

Protestant Women of the Church
Texas Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.
Shirley Quick from Army Community Services Relocation Branch
Donna Smith
McGregor High School Reserve Officer's Training Corps
First Sgt. Donald Young
Master Sgt. Jay High
Cpt. Cheryl Bordwine
Timothy Stroud
The Fort Hood Sentinel
Debra White and the Material Supply Branch, CRDAMC
Dorothy Smith and Environmental Services, CRDAMC
Cpt. Donya K. Mosely and First Sgt. Van. B. Woodley