ASBP celebrates National Blood Donor Month

An Airman donates blood in 2015 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Ho‘okele file photo

Armed Services Blood Program

Every January, the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) celebrates National Blood Donor Month to honor the men and women who took time from their schedules to roll up their sleeves and donate blood.

An ASBP blood drive will be held Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Naval Health Clinic Hawaii Makalapa Clinic.

According to Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, Defense Health Agency ASBP director, blood donors are the heart and soul of the military blood program’s mission to provide safe, quality and potent blood and blood products to service members worldwide — whenever and wherever they need it the most.

“Without them, the ASBP wouldn’t be able to provide lifesaving blood, without interruption, to patients in need,” Fahie said. “Whether that blood recipient is a service member wounded on the battlefield, a child with leukemia being treated at a military hospital or supporting natural disasters worldwide, the blood we provide saves lives.”

Fahie said National Blood Donor Month is a special time of year for the ASBP and “an excellent time for us to thank the thousands of people who rolled up their sleeves every year.”

“A large portion of our donor pool is deferred due to previous deployments or travel to malaria-endemic countries,” Fahie said. “So we heavily rely on our military families — active duty, reserves, retired and civilians — to ensure that we have enough blood on our shelves to save lives in peacetime or war.”

Many of the ASBP’s donor centers will hold special ceremonies this month to thank the men and women who have worked hard to ensure blood and blood products are readily available for military families year-round. You can join in on the celebrations by donating blood. To make an appointment, visit: www. militaryblood.dod.mil.

“It’s hard to know exactly what 2018 will hold for the Armed Services Blood Program, but we know for sure that we can count on the unwavering support of our donors,” Fahie said. “I extend my personal thanks to everyone who donated in 2017 and look forward to another great year. Thank you for making a difference and giving hope to our patients and service members in need!”

Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. The ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide.

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Category: News