Soldiers of 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, and the Temple-Belton Board of Realtors gave blood for a worthy cause during a safety stand down Aug. 29.

About 200 “Gunslinger” soldiers, led by acting battalion commander, Maj. Donna L. Welch and Command Sgt. Maj. Jessie C. Bates, passed the screening process and donated blood to support the Carter Blood Center’s annual Boots vs. Badges blood drive.

Soldiers donated blood at two different processing sites - Killeen Arts and Activities Center and Schoepf’s Barbeque in Belton.

“I feel blessed that I was able to give back to our community, and that I was able to help a fellow citizen in need,” said 1st Lt. Sterling Griffin, the battalion operations officer.

At the Killeen site, soldiers also received training classes on boating safety, motorcycle safety and grilling safety, presented by the various companies within the battalion.

Debra L. Fourzan, the battalion’s family readiness support assistant, was excited and happy by the blood drive’s results.

“Together with our sponsors, Temple-Belton Board of Realtors, our total grew to 229,” Fourzan said.

“We gave 17 percent more than last year. Our donations will help 603 adult lives and 1,206 babies, which is a total of 1,809 lives all together.”

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