Thunderbolts scheduled to host blood drive event

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- When service members and civilians are sent down range, it is often said having safe, available blood supplies is just as critical as having available ammunition.

Thunderbolts are scheduled to host the Armed Services Blood Program blood drive in the Bryant Fitness Center on Dec. 7, to provide donations that directly support service members and their families worldwide.

“The ASBP mission is to provide blood products to service members and civilians who are downrange fighting for our freedom,” said Deylon Douglass, Fort Bliss Blood Donor Center recruiter and public affairs specialist. “The ASBP is the official military blood program and is a tri-service organization comprised of donor centers from the Army, Air Force and Navy. We manufacture safe, potent blood and blood products to the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for the security of our nation.”

The program is the sole provider of blood to U.S. service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, Douglass said. All blood donated is reserved to be in either location within 72 hours of collection. One donation could save up to three lives.

“Although the blood drive at Luke is only one day, it is vital people know about ASBP and how pertinent we are to the blood supply down range,” Douglass said. “It’s important for the Airmen and civilians at Luke AFB because it gives them a way to contribute to the current fight from here. No one ever plans on needing blood, however, when accidents, injuries or illness occurs, military service members and their families worldwide can rest assured that a single donation could save a life.”

Being a tri-service organization, blood supply products are shared between military hospitals, clinics and to deployed service members in all branches of service, said Douglass.

“Blood and blood products are used by patients of all ages, for many reasons,” Douglass said. “From cancer patients to battlefield injuries, military service depends on blood donors every day. Anytime someone asks, ‘How can I help support the troops who are deployed?’ The answer is simple - donate a pint of blood.”

The blood drive is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thunderbolts who plan on donating should ensure they eat and are properly hydrated before participating.

For more information, visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil