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902nd SFS provides life blood to troops, local community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stormy Archer
  • Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs
A recent blood drive, hosted by the 902nd Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, took the notion of giving to others to another level.

The blood drive, coordinated with the Armed Services Blood Program, will help supply blood to wounded service members deployed to Afghanistan, San Antonio Military Medical Center and to local Veterans Affairs hospitals.

“We have a few different missions; the biggest is to support troops in Afghanistan,” Cheryl Parmer, Armed Services Blood Program blood donor recruiter, said. “Shipments are sent there every week. We get blood there by the time it is four days old. So, if you donate on a Monday, your blood could be in Afghanistan on Friday. We deliver 500-600 pints of blood every month to Afghanistan.”

Donating blood is a way to help those in need, Tech. Sgt. Nathan Combs, 902nd SFS NCO in charge of anti-terrorism, said.

“Any donations provided are going to benefit wounded war fighters, people undergoing surgery or involved in a traumatic accident,” Combs said.

The donor center at JBSA-Lackland is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and can be contacted at 292-8145 to check where the nearest blood drive is taking place or to organize a blood drive.

“I called the JBSA-Lackland Blood Center and they were able to tell me how easy it was to set up a blood drive,” Combs said. “They just needed a place, a time and donors. Getting donors is the hardest part.”

“The needle can be intimidating for some that are not very experienced with IVs or donating blood, but the process is easy and the people will make you feel very calm,” Combs said. “You go in, they hook an IV up to you and hopefully you can save a life.”

Those who are donating blood are advised to be well-hydrated, take all of their normal daily medication and eat a good meal before and after donating.

“I always say, ‘you just saved someone’s life, you deserve a steak and potatoes,’” Parmer said.

Donating blood is a simple way to help those in need at home and in harm’s way.

“One of our core values is service before self, and when you donate blood you can save the lives of up to three people,” 2nd Lt. Sol Grosskopf, 502nd Air Base Wing chaplain candidate and blood donor, said. “So, a finger prick and a needle in the arm are a small price to pay. It’s a great opportunity to serve others.”
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