Recently I had the opportunity to do something really cool – I got to donate blood to a great cause! I have never done this before, so I was a little nervous (needles and I don’t usually get along too well) but I was so inspired by my husband that I really felt called to donate.
My husband is a Lieutenant in the Medical Services Corp, so military medicine is something that is a huge part of our family. For the rest of his military career, he will be caring for service men and women and their families. I wanted to do something that would make a difference as well. So I did something very small, but unquestionably important.
Volunteering and donating is one of the best ways for military spouses to get involved… and it can really make a difference! One small way that we can make a difference is by donating blood. I donated to a tri-service (Army, Navy, and Air Force) military collection agency called Armed Services Blood Program, which has a collection site where we are stationed. You can read all about ASBP here!
It is always a great thing to give blood! There are so many organizations that do this good work, such as Red Cross. But, if you are near a military base that serves as a blood donation site, a strongly encourage you to give blood at that site. The blood that you donate then goes to saving the lives of soldiers, veterans, and their families. It is a way to sacrifice a small part of yourself to help the men and women who sacrifice for this great country.
There are a few different organizations that collect blood donations for military members and their families. But the most important common thread that agencies like ASBP all have, that sets them apart from other blood collection sites, is just that: the donations go directly to members of the military community.
ASBP has blood donation centers at many military hospitals around the country and the world. Some of the Army posts with blood donation centers include:
- Fort Benning, Georgia
- Fort Gordon, Georgia
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Fort Bliss, Texas
- Fort Sam Houston, Texas
- Fort Hood, Texas
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland
- Tripler, Hawaii
- Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
- Landstuhl, Germany
A lot of people don’t think about the need for military medicine until it is a reality in their life. But it is a part of thousands of military families lives every day. And a huge misconception that people have when it comes to military medicine is that soldiers receive blood from civilian collection agencies. For the most part, this is not true. Yes, military collection agencies like the ASBP work with agencies like the Red Cross in times of need; but, soldiers and their families typically receive blood from military agencies alone. That is a lot of soldiers and military families relying on donations meant specifically for them.
If you are part of the military community, or even if you are not, I strongly encourage you to volunteer or give back to those serving this country. You can literally save a life by giving blood. You can save the life of a soldier or a soldier’s son or daughter. It is a small thing that you can do that goes an immeasurable way.
I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without spreading the word! I hope you’ll consider it and, if it’s not right for you, consider other ways to give back to the heroes of this country.
Give blood today! Click here to go to the Armed Services Blood Program Website.