After a major blood drive was cancelled at the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center, a post-wide call for blood donors went to everyone on the installation. It didn’t take long for the call to be answered. The two-day blood drive, conducted May 20 and 21, produced more than 100 units of blood and servicemembers, Families and civilians alike — all wanting to support the mission of the Armed Services Blood Program.

Some of the participants, such as Sgt. Tevin Johnson from the 257th Dental Company, were first-time donors but all were more than eager to roll up their sleeve.

Both days brought a steady stream of donors, and it was just what the blood donor center needed to meet its weekly collection goals. All blood collected during the blood drive will be shipped to deployed servicemembers and others at home who are in need.

“I have not donated in a long time and I just decided to donate when I received the email,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Yurchak, assigned to the 440th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Bragg Army Air Field.

Because of the large number of personnel at Fort Bragg, it is easy to think that the blood donor center would have no problem collecting blood locally.  However, it’s just the opposite.  Due to deployments, travel restrictions often reduce the number of the installation’s eligible donors.  Soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are deferred for a year and the civilian work force is composed largely of retired military members, therefore they also have a high deferral rate. That’s why the blood donor center needs anyone who is eligible to donate, to do so.

Kastley Likens’ husband is assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg, so she is a regular donor. However, once she received the urgent call for blood, she decided to donate again.

“I am a regular donor, so I decided to come in today,” she said.

In the end, the blood drive was a huge success and the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center would like to thank everyone who came out to donate.

If you would like to sponsor a blood drive, contact the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center at 396-9925.

To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to schedule an appointment, please visit us online: www.militaryblood.dod.mil. To interact directly with some of the staff, see more photos or to get the latest news, visit www.facebook.com/militaryblood, www.flickr.com/militaryblood and www.twitter.com/militaryblood.