By Mr. Perry Jefferies (Army Medicine)February 2, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas (ASBP, January 26, 2011) - On Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, blood donors, unit representatives and supporters crowded the rotunda of Fort Hood's Robertson Blood Center to watch and participate in the blood donor center's annual Donor Recognition Ceremony. Donors, volunteers, units and other organizations that schedule blood drives at Fort Hood were given plaques, certificates and pins recognizing their hard work and dedication to the Armed Services Blood Program.
Among the Robertson Blood Center's top donors was former Staff Sgt. Tim Stroud, a native of New Madrid, Mo., who joined the Army in 1999, serving with the 4th Infantry Division's 2-8 Infantry as a medic. In 2003, he both earned recognition as the Non-commissioned Officer of the Year and began donating to the Robertson Blood Center before deploying to Iraq.
"I still remember the briefing that [my first sergeant] gave us about the importance of donation," said Stroud.
Married, with two daughters he describes as "one hurricane and one tornado," Stroud was a vocal and effective supporter of veterans and their families and advocated for them as he began his civilian career after returning from Iraq.
When he first left the service, he was mentored by the late Paul J. Meyer, of Waco, Texas. A Korean War veteran himself, Meyer supported and developed leadership qualities in veterans and was Stroud's inspiration. Stroud's unit used Meyer's books to coach and teach Iraqis on how to govern and re-establish their economy while he was deployed. Upon redeployment, Stroud sought out Meyer, and together they hosted leadership programs and developed a curriculum that many state colleges use as part of their business curriculum. Throughout, they ran programs supporting veterans and families, giving away programs and hosting groups of veterans at the Meyer estate in Waco.
After Meyer's passing in 2009, Tim was contacted by the Texas A&M Health Science Center and became the manager of their military outreach effort and web portal, www.TexVet.org. Today, Stroud travels the state networking with veterans groups and supporters of the Texas Military Forces. Although he is based out of Round Rock, Texas, about 15 miles north of Austin, and travels frequently in support of the portal, he routinely schedules and keeps donation appointments at the Robertson Blood Center.
"I try to schedule my leadership meetings so that I can get to the center," said Stroud.
As the TexVet manager, Stroud's mission is to retrieve, catalog and properly display the benefits available to active duty troops, guardsmen, reservists, veterans and their family members. The portal was spearheaded by a partnership between Fort Hood's former hospital commander Gen. Lori Sutton and Dr. Kathryn Kotrla. Stroud's blood donations go more immediately for the physical care of those same populations.
"I know that every time I donate blood here at Fort Hood, 100 percent of it goes to military or their families," said Stroud. "Each unit can save up to three lives and more with apheresis. I've always made it a priority over the last seven years to donate at least a few times each year. The new apheresis program makes it easier."
The Robertson Blood Center was recently designated as the Army Center of Excellence for Apheresis Training and is preparing to train deploying medical laboratory specialists in the operations of portable apheresis equipment for deployments as blood bankers. Stroud was the fifth person in line for the new program.
Asked to comment on the recognition of his efforts to save troops by donating blood, Stroud displayed the energetic and sunny disposition he is famous for: "Attitude is everything," he said. "A positive attitude changes minds, hearts and souls of those who support them."
To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to make an appointment, please visit us online: www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with some of our staff or to get the latest news, visit us here: www.facebook.com/militaryblood.