By Carl Norman
Special to GUIDON
Twelve months of appreciation will be handed out Jan. 30 as the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center staff conducts its Donor Appreciation Ceremony at Pershing Community Center.
The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and will recognize the more than 50 on-post units who donated blood to the Armed Services Blood Program in 2019.
The staff will also recognize individuals who have donated one or more gallons of blood. Eight individual donations earns the one-gallon moniker.
“Our donor center has a very special mission,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael McNaney, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center noncommissioned officer in charge. “It’s one of seven Army donor centers whose primary mission is to support Central Command’s theater blood requirements.”
“Every week we collect, process and ship blood within a four-day timeline to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, retirees and their families around the world,” he added. “But none of this happens without people volunteering to give blood.”
In 2019, the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center collected more than 6,400 units of blood for the ASBP. This made nearly 13,000 blood products available to ill and injured service members and their families throughout the Department of Defense.
To help put this into perspective, the blood donated could make one blood product available to every man, woman and child in the Waynesville-St. Robert area of Missouri.
“It’s only through volunteer donations and command support that the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center meets its missions and helps save lives,” McNaney said. “On Jan. 30, we’ll salute those organizations and individuals that made a difference in somebody’s life that they don’t even know. Rest assured, the people receiving their generosity are eternally grateful.”
Everyone is invited to attend and thank those who gave so generously to others. For more information about the Donor Appreciation Ceremony, call 573.596.5385.
(Editor’s note: Norman is an ASBP blood donor recruiter.)