By Andrew SharbelFebruary 18, 2010
FORT BELVOIR, Va. -- Fort Belvoir's Echo Company, 169th Engineer Battalion hosted another blood collection Friday in conjunction with the Armed Services Blood Program. Soldiers in the company donate to ASBP every nine weeks or every other month.
Capt. Laura Schroeder, company commander, inherited the partnership from the previous commander.
"I have just tried to continue this program because it is obviously a great cause," Schroeder said. "All of our Soldiers have just graduated from basic training and are new to the Army. They have only been in for eight or nine weeks and they are here for about 18 weeks.
"In addition to the culturization and training that we give them, it's also good to teach them about giving back to the community and the Army," Schroeder said.
The blood taken Friday will go to servicemembers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as those that need it here in the National Capital Region.
Schroeder explained the difference between ASBP and the Red Cross.
"ASBP is different from the Red Cross because the blood we are giving here today is strictly for members of the armed services and their families where the Red Cross' supply is more for whoever needs it," Schroeder said. "It differs in that it is more specified in terms of its destination to support those servicemembers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center or Bethesda Naval Hospital.
According to its Web site, ASBP plays a key role in providing quality blood products for servicemembers and their families in both peace and war. As a joint operation among the Army, Navy and Air Force, the ASBP has many components working together to collect, process, store, distribute, and transfuse blood worldwide.