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The Armed Services Blood Program Thanks Supporters During National Blood Donor Month

Image of In a 1969 proclamation signed by President Richard Nixon, January was designated as National Blood Donor Month to create a time to thank those who have donated throughout the past year and to address the decrease in donations during the winter season. The Armed Services Blood Program is grateful for all the support it has received from donors and supporters in 2023.  (credit: Swati Agane). In a 1969 proclamation signed by President Richard Nixon, January was designated as National Blood Donor Month to create a time to thank those who have donated throughout the past year and to address the decrease in donations during the winter season. The Armed Services Blood Program is grateful for all the support it has received from donors and supporters in 2023. (credit: Swati Agane)

In a 1969 proclamation signed by President Richard Nixon, January was designated as National Blood Donor Month to thank those who have donated throughout the past year and to address the decrease in donations during the winter season. The Armed Services Blood Program is grateful for all the support it has received from donors and supporters in 2023. The ASBP is the official blood program of the U.S. military, tasked with a mission of providing quality blood products to military operations worldwide.

ASBP Division Chief U.S Navy Capt. Leslie Riggs underlines the significance of National Blood Donor Month. sharing that this is “when we pause and take a moment to extend our gratitude to each of the selfless donors who supported their military family and the ASBP in 2023.”

Blood supply is ultimately a readiness mission at a global scale, Riggs said. “Your support has had an incredible impact on the ASBP mission.”

The program relies on donations from individual volunteer donors to ensure there is always a steady supply of blood products available for those in need. Donors who come in consistently and on a frequent basis, of all blood types, are needed. Service members, their families, government employees, contractors, and others can donate blood with the ASBP. From the one person who decides to donate during the holidays to the one person who volunteers to coordinate a blood drive, each creates a life-changing action that leads to lives being saved.

An analysis of past annual donation trends reveals a seasonal decline in donor numbers during the holidays and winter. The causes of this vary. Seasonal illnesses, planned vacations, altered schedules, challenging weather conditions, and work leave can all potentially be factors for not being able to donate. With many blood products having a limited shelf life, the ASBP needs consistent donors year-round because the need for blood is constant.

ASBP donors understand how critical donors are for the military community, and their dedication to the mission makes the “heart” of the program. Each one makes a difference, like donor Steven Green, at Armed Services Blood Bank-San Antonio, who celebrated joining the two-gallon blood donation club this year and is a supporter of their sickle cell program. Another example of an exemplary consistent donor is Seth Cohen, who has been regularly attending USO Fort Belvoir blood drives with Armed Services Blood Bank Center-National Capital Region.

Beyond donating, one can impact many, like U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Axel Gonzalez, who successfully coordinated blood drives for the ASBP while working with the United States Indo-Pacific Command Armed Services blood bank center team.

Donors coming together also had a big impact in 2023. Hundreds upon hundreds of lifesaving donors turned out in force for annual academy drives at the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and more. Donors also found success together at installations who were a part of units joining the 100-donor club for the first time, such as Bravo Company, 787 Military Police Battalion, and many more at Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center. “When you donate blood, you have the opportunity to give someone the gift of life. This January [and throughout the year], support the ASBP mission and combat the decline in donations by scheduling a time to give blood or by attending your next local blood drive,” explained ASBP Deputy Division Chief U.S. Public Health Capt. Janet Cliatt. She continued “Blood is one of the most vital tools we have. Medical staff could have endless expertise, but without the right tool for the job, that expertise doesn’t matter.”

“It’s the generous donors who make the mission possible, especially our routine donors,” explained Riggs.

“I wish I could personally thank everyone who has supported the ASBP in 2023. Your actions have had a lifesaving impact on the military community,” he said. “My sincere thanks go out to the programs 2023 supporters, and to those who hear this call to donate and schedule a donation in 2024. “Each and every one contributes to the mission of providing quality blood products and support to the military community worldwide, leading to a positive impact for everyone.”

In 2024, it starts with only one to join the ASBP in a mission to save lives. Be one. Tell one. Save many. Change lives.

About the Armed Services Blood Program

Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program is the official blood program of the United States military. Our mission is to provide quality blood products and support to military operations worldwide; from the battlefield to the local hospital, whenever and wherever needed. The ASBP collects, processes, stores, transports, and distributes blood products to service members, their families, retirees and veterans in peace and war. In an ASBP Enterprise view—Military Health Affairs, Defense Health Agency, Service Blood Programs and Combatant Commands—we operate under common goals, metrics, procedures, and work together to shape the future.

The ASBP is one of four organizations tasked with providing a safe blood supply to the Nation. Our program also works closely with our civilian counterparts in times of need to maximize the availability of this national treasure.

To find out more about the ASBP or schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.militarydonor.com To interact directly with ASBP staff members or get the latest news, follow us @militaryblood on Facebook and Twitter, and @usmilitaryblood on Instagram.

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Last Updated: April 09, 2024
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