Roll up your sleeves to help the Armed Services Blood Drive

Roll up your sleeves to help the Armed Services Blood Drive
Set-up is underway inside the Military Science Building at Arkansas State for the Armed Services Blood Drive. (Source: City of Jonesboro)
The ASBP will be collecting blood donations from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on April 17 & 18. (Source: Armed Services Blood Program)
The ASBP will be collecting blood donations from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on April 17 & 18. (Source: Armed Services Blood Program)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - What can you do in an hour—maybe even less? That stretch of time could allow you the chance to save lives.

The Cadets of the Red Wolf Battalion are hosting the Armed Services Blood Drive. Arkansas State University will serve as the site for the city-sponsored blood drive on April 17-18.

A collection team from the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center in Missouri will welcome donors from 8 a.m.- 5 p .m. each day at the Military Science Building, 1921 Aggie Road. The ASBP is partnering with the city of Jonesboro to conduct this drive.

"This is the fourth year that ROTC will host the Armed Services Blood Drive and the program is honored to do so, as the blood that is collected is processed and immediately sent directly to those servicemen and women in need," stated Lt. Col. Brian Mason, senior assistant professor of military science. "They are doing great and wonderful things all over the globe and the need for blood is critical and could probably mean the difference between life and death.

"I know of no other blood drive more important than this one. This year, ROTC is going to provide a special gift to the student group who submits the greatest number of donors."

The ASBP is the official blood collection agency for the U.S. military, tasked with providing blood to the Military Healthcare System that requires 400 units every day. Blood is a single-source commodity and only comes from people voluntarily giving it, said Army Capt. Patrick Kaer, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center officer in charge.

"Every hour of every day someone, somewhere needs blood," Kaer stated. "This blood drive with the Jonesboro community will play a vital role in us being able to meet those needs. Our partnership with the great people in Jonesboro reflects their desire to help others, now and in the future. America's wounded service members and their families will benefit greatly from everyone's generosity and teamwork."

Potential blood donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and have been feeling well for at least three consecutive days. They must also be well hydrated and have eaten something before donating. Those wanting to donate should bring a list of foreign countries traveled to - including when, where and how long -a photo identification, and any medication taken within the last seven days. These items help confirm the individual's ability to donate.

The ASBP drive is open to people 17 years old and older - military or civilian.

"Our thanks and gratitude go out to everyone who had a hand in making this drive a reality," Kaer said. "Now, it's up to all of you. Donating blood is an easy process that everyone can and should do. It only takes a few minutes of your time and can have lifesaving effects for others."

Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and their families worldwide.

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