In 2004, retired Army Lt. Col. Don Adamick was reading his newspaper when he ran across an article discussing the need for blood for the military. After a brief discussion, he and his wife, Clare, decided to drive two and a half hours to Fort Bragg, to donate blood.

Almost 10 years later, the Adamicks are still donating, coordinating drives and working with a team of volunteers from the community to support the Armed Services Blood Program.

“As we sat in the recovery area, I commented to a staff member that there did not seem to be much activity (on the installation) that day,” Adamick said as he recalled his first donation.  “She noted that many of the Fort Bragg troops were deployed and even when they returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, they could not donate for a year.  (She said that although the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center) received donations from others, it was not enough to meet needs.  I was informed of the mobile team, which went to training centers and military schools to collect blood. My wife and I thought we should see if we could get the people of Winston-Salem to donate blood.  We were successful with the first drive on May 6, 2005.”

Over time, the drive expanded to three cities, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Burlington, and has been come to be known as the “Carolina Tour” at the blood donor center.  Additionally, the Carolina Tour is special as it gives veterans the opportunity to continue to support the military and gives others in the community a chance to say “thank you” to those who serve by donating blood.

“I think it important to remember that we still have troops in harm’s way in Afghanistan.  As long as they are there, we need to support them by donating blood,” said Adamick.  “There are casualties virtually every day but we hear little about them.  The other team members who help in coordinating the blood drives in Winston-Salem realize this and I think our dedicated donors do too.”

Adamick is one of the original members of the Special Operations Command — a command that continues to play a key role in Afghanistan and other places around the world.

Just like his old unit, Adamick continues to support the military in any way that he can.  He and his team have created a website, http://asbpdrives.blogspot.com, to inform the community of upcoming events, and from time-to-time, Adamick posts upcoming blood drive information on the website or share his thoughts about the need for blood.

After 21 years of service, Adamick continues to be a Soldier. He’s no longer on the front line, but he’s still in the fight.

To find out more about the Armed Services Blood Program or to schedule an appointment, visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil.