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440th 'Blood Runners' return home from 9 month deployment

By Lori Newman | JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Public Affairs | Dec. 3, 2012

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON — The Soldiers of the 440th Blood Support Detachment returned home to a roomful of family and friends Nov. 19 at Roadrunner Community Center after being deployed for nine months to Afghanistan.

"During their deployment the 440th Blood Support Detachment accomplished their missions on one of the world's most treacherous and hostile battlefields," said Lt. Col. Dirk La Fleur, 61st Multi-functional Medical Battalion commander.

"Their efforts to sustain the warfighter are a testament to their ability to partner with allies in a complex coalition environment."

During their tour the unit processed 45,000 units and maintained over $8 million in blood and blood components, oversaw more than 27,000 blood transfusions and 850 platelet products. They also participated in a blood transfusion pilot program.

"This program provides life-saving transfusion capability for Army air medical evacuation flight crews as they administer live-saving blood to severely wounded combat casualties through air evacuation missions," said La Fleur.

"These Soldiers performed their day-to-day mission with poise, professionalism and dedication."

He also thanked the families for "their everlasting faith, steadfast support and loving compassion" for their Soldiers.

The unit known as the "Blood Runners" reactivated at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston June 16, 2002. Since activating here, the unit has deployed five times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Thank you Soldiers of the 440th for a great job while deployed. You all worked very hard in accomplishing the mission every day," said Maj. Jose Quesada, 440th BSD commander.

"I want to congratulate each of you for your professionalism and dedication, you are true Soldiers, warriors and fine American heroes."

Quesada also thanked the families for their constant support and dedication to the Soldiers.

Following the ceremony Cpl. Christopher Conner received an additional surprise. His wife, Sara and father, Ron, were called to the front of the auditorium to help promote him to the rank of sergeant.

"It was special being here with him today for his promotion to sergeant," his father said. "I'm an old retired first sergeant myself."

Conner's mom, Cindy Cavazos said she is very relieved her son returned home safely. "I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me."

The Soldiers of the 440th Blood Support Detachment returned home to a roomful of family and friends Nov. 19 at Roadrunner Community Center after being deployed for nine months to Afghanistan.

"During their deployment the 440th Blood Support Detachment accomplished their missions on one of the world's most treacherous and hostile battlefields," said Lt. Col. Dirk La Fleur, 61st Multi-functional Medical Battalion commander.

"Their efforts to sustain the warfighter are a testament to their ability to partner with allies in a complex coalition environment."

During their tour the unit processed 45,000 units and maintained over $8 million in blood and blood components, oversaw more than 27,000 blood transfusions and 850 platelet products. They also participated in a blood transfusion pilot program.

"This program provides life-saving transfusion capability for Army air medical evacuation flight crews as they administer live-saving blood to severely wounded combat casualties through air evacuation missions," said La Fleur.

"These Soldiers performed their day-to-day mission with poise, professionalism and dedication."

He also thanked the families for "their everlasting faith, steadfast support and loving compassion" for their Soldiers.

The unit known as the "Blood Runners" reactivated at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston June 16, 2002. Since activating here, the unit has deployed five times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"Thank you Soldiers of the 440th for a great job while deployed. You all worked very hard in accomplishing the mission every day," said Maj. Jose Quesada, 440th BSD commander.

"I want to congratulate each of you for your professionalism and dedication, you are true Soldiers, warriors and fine American heroes."

Quesada also thanked the families for their constant support and dedication to the Soldiers.

Following the ceremony Cpl. Christopher Conner received an additional surprise. His wife, Sara and father, Ron, were called to the front of the auditorium to help promote him to the rank of sergeant.

"It was special being here with him today for his promotion to sergeant," his father said. "I'm an old retired first sergeant myself."

Conner's mom, Cindy Cavazos said she is very relieved her son returned home safely. "I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me."