Soldiers of the 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, took part in a one-day blood drive June 4 at Fort Hood’s Robertson Blood Center.

After phlebotomy nurses administered a required questionnaire and checked their vital signs, soldiers from the 215th lined up to receive their donor bag.

Spc. Nathaniel Murray, an intelligence analyst in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, participated in the blood drive. Murray’s term of service will soon expire, but he wanted to donate blood one last time before he transitions back into the civilian world.

“My experience was great. The nurses were very friendly and charismatic.” He also said the nurses’ care helped ease any needle phobia he may have experienced.

Catherine Tharpe is donor recruiter for the Armed Services Blood Program, a tri-service organization for Air Force, Army and Navy personnel.

“It takes the donation of 40 soldiers to save the life of one in theater. I truly appreciate the support of the (battalion) because every ounce counts,” she said.

Once the nurses collect the blood, it is treated with an additive that keeps it from coagulating and thereby extends the life of the blood for up to 42 days. Within the first seven days the blood is transported from the Robertson Blood Center to McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. From there it is flown overseas to help wounded warriors. Tharpe added that although it seems like a lengthy process it’s all worth it in the end. The soldiers of the 215th have a motto, “No task too tough.”

This day those who donated blood proved that giving blood was not too tough for them.


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