JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
The Akeroyd Blood Donor Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston held its annual blood donor and military unit appreciation ceremony at the Sam Houston Community Center in February to thank them for their support of the Armed Services Blood Program.
The center counts on its blood donors and command teams to achieve its mission of providing a safe and adequate blood supply to the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Each month, the hospital uses between 1,000 and 1,100 units of blood to meet the needs of patients being treated for cancer, heart disease, leukemia, bone and joint disorders, as well as surgery and trauma. Each year, more than 2,000 lives at the San Antonio Military Medical Center benefit from the blood donations.
"When you're in a room full of more than 150 donors and command team representatives, you're in the company of some amazing people. Thank you to everyone who involved themselves in this lifesaving mission," said Col. Kyle Campbell, Brooke Army Medical Center commander.
"For every pint of blood you donated or championed, you directly touched nearly 170 patients each month at the Brooke Army Medical Center," Campbell added. "As the trauma center for south central Texas and a burn center, we see patients every day who have benefited from your donations."
"This was a record-breaking year for the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center," said Lt. Col. Barbara Bachman, BAMC chief of blood services. "Blood donors provided more than 8,300 units of blood during 2012.
"Without the dedication of our donors and their willingness to take the time to give, it would be harder to supply lifesaving blood to our wounded warriors, retirees, military beneficiaries and others who need it," Bachman added.
Gary Fisher and Gasper Farias were honored as the two top whole blood donors. Fisher has donated for several years and drives in from Houston to donate, even on the morning of the ceremony.
"I donated in the past, but then it got personal," Farias said. "I lost a cousin in Afghanistan when he was ambushed on patrol, so this is a small way for me to give back to those serving overseas."
Maj. Robert Fredregill, a resident in the Army-Baylor University Graduate Program in Health and Business Administration at BAMC, was the top platelet apheresis donor for 2012.
"It is the right thing to do," Fredregill said. "It is my civic and Christian duty to help my fellow man in his or her time of need. Very few opportunities exist where one's contributions can be directly linked to saving the life of another. Although I may never see the recipient of my donations, I know that I am positively affecting the recipients and their friends and family."
Three training companies received special recognition from Campbell: Company B, 187th Medical Battalion; Company B, 232nd Medical Battalion and Company B, 264th Medical Battalion. Each command team received a Texas state crystal with the Combat Medic statue engraved.
Also recognized were four unit blood drive coordinators, who serve as the liaison between the Akeroyd Blood Donor Center and their command. They were Air Force Master Sgts. Marlo Bearden and Lacittra Barnett from the 937th Training Group and Petty Officers 2nd Class Aaron Young and Rodney Hassel from the Navy Medical Training Support Center-Basic Corpsman School.
To find an upcoming blood drive and schedule an appointment, click on https://www.militarydonor.com
and enter sponsor code: ABDC.
Walk-in donors are welcome from 7:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 10 a.m. Friday. The center is located at Building 1240 on Harney Road, behind Budge Dental Clinic. For more information, call the Armed Services Blood Program blood donor recruiter directly at 295-4655 or 295-4989.
For more information about the program or to schedule a donation appointment, visit http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil