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ASBP celebrates 60 years of blood donations in Pacific Northwest

Armed Services Blood Program

Published: 11:15AM January 31st, 2013

The Armed Services Blood Program has turned 60. Since January is National Blood Donor Month, the Armed Services Blood Bank Center-Pacific Northwest took the opportunity to celebrate both the Armed Services Blood Program’s 60th anniversary and the donors who have made saving lives possible.

On Jan. 16, ASBBC-PNW recognized donors and military commands that supported the program in 2012. The ceremony, held at the McChord Field Collocated Club, was attended by whole blood donors and military commands from the Army, Army ROTC, and Navy. Petty Officer 2nd Class Christian Garrido, a former member of the ASBBC-PNW

staff currently on his second deployment to Afghanistan, spoke via Skype.

“It’s actually incredible how much each unit (of blood) can do, and for some patients how many units they end up receiving that makes all the difference,” Garrido said.

He emphasized the importance of donating blood, with examples he had witnessed of donations saving lives. He showed the containers of plasma from the ASBBC-PNW at his location.

Following Garrido, whole blood donors were recognized for donations of from one to seven gallons. Randy Berg reached his seven-gallon goal and is working on his eighth. Apheresis donors who achieved milestones by donating six to 21 times during the years were also recognized, including Dennis Vernon, who reached 100 donations overall, and Charles Dowd and Leslie Gracey who both reached 200 donations.

Organizations recognized for support of blood drives were the 17th Fires Brigade, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and the 8th Brigade, U.S. Army Cadet Command ROTC. The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard supported the Armed Services Blood Program with a collection of 662 units of blood, mostly from a civilian force. The 8th Brigade cadets donate each year during the Warrior Forge exercise and in 2012, 1,958 units of blood were collected.

Patrick Meyers, an operations officer for Madigan Army Medical Center, and Roberta Antry, the chief of the Military Personnel Division for the Human Resources at Waller Hall, were recognized.

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