So Others Might Eat Center, Washington, D.C. --
Marines at Marine Barracks Washington donated blood to the Armed Services Blood Program Oct. 13, 2011.
The ASBP collects blood to be used exclusively for service members and their families. Collections help meet a variety of patient needs from those with cancer to troops with battlefield injuries.
A team of more than 10 Navy corpsmen and civilian phlebotomists from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center set up a temporary donation center at the Barracks to collect the blood, much of which they said would be used to save the lives of deployed service members in Afghanistan and around the world.
“I feel like I can be with my deployed brothers in spirit and in blood,” said Lance Cpl. Corbett Smith, Bravo Company police sergeant. “This is my duty. I know I don’t have to do it, but I feel like I’m supposed to.”
More than fifty Marines gave blood during the four-hour blood drive. Each Marine was screened for eligibility based on their medical, deployment and blood donation history before contributing.
The more than six gallons of blood was collected and will be transported to the ASBP blood processing center in Rockwell, Md. Technicians at the center will separate the red blood cells from the plasma before packaging and preparing the blood for shipment. The collection to distribution process takes approximately three days.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this, especially working at the hospital and seeing service members with injuries and in need of blood at least twice a week,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jayanta Mohanty, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Corpsman.
Most of the personnel that helped collect blood, including Mohanty, said the blood drive was very successful and was a testament to how Marines are willing to do whatever they can to support the war.
The ASBP hopes to conduct additional blood collections at the Barracks in the future to help achieve their goal of collecting 1,000 pints of blood each month.
For more information about ASBP blood donation centers and scheduled blood drives visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil.