“I Learned Something Interesting Today...”

Just as he does about every 60 days, Maj. Raymond Bradley, the operations training officer for the U.S. Army Reserve Command Surgeon, donated blood to the Armed Services Blood Program — but this time it was a little different. This time, his 14-year-old daughter, Sierra, accompanied him.

“I have given blood regularly since becoming eligible after returning from Afghanistan in 2005, where I was responsible for blood distribution throughout the medical task force,” Bradley said. “At the time, supply was extremely limited with the competing demand in Iraq.  I remember all too well the times when medical facilities exhausted their blood supply.  And resupply often took days with austere conditions a constant threat to our cold chain (product) management.  After that experience, I resolved to contribute, every 60 days, my share to the Army’s blood supply.”

As he moved through the process, the staff went the extra step to explain the importance of donating blood answering any questions Sierra had.

“My wife and I continually seek opportunities to teach our children by example the values important for their growth and development, giving blood is the perfect lesson,” Bradley said. “So, I asked my daughter to write about her visit to the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center last week”

Sierra sums up her experience in a short note she sent to the staff at the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center:

I learned a very interesting thing today.  I went to work with my dad and was excited to hear that we would be going to many places including the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center.  My dad was going to give a pint of blood.  I kept thinking of the needle, flinching each time I imagined it piercing the vein and drawing blood.  I imagined the people there would be quiet and boring, like someone who hates their job or at least didn’t care about the people around them.  I was taken aback by the kindness and gratitude of everyone there.  When we walked through the doors of the Blood Donor Center, we were greeted with smiles.  I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to watch the needle go in.  But a technician walked me through the process and I was amazed at how easy (and painless) it all looked.  When the needle went in and the blood started to pour into the tube, I didn’t look away or feel disgusted by it.

My dad explained how important donating blood is.  When I walked through those doors, I was afraid of the needle and what it must feel like to give blood.  Now, I can’t wait to turn 17 years old so I can donate.

-- Sierra Bradley

Blood and platelets are both in high demand, so donors are always needed and welcomed at the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center. If you would like to donate blood to support the military, please contact the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center, hours of operation are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., located in Building 8-4156, Souter Place. Call us at 396-9925 to schedule an appointment for platelets or walk-ins are accepted for whole blood donations.

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