Wounded Warrior Blood Drives

Posted: November 24, 2010 in Editorial Comments
This piece was written about a year and a half ago.  We had had a real problem with scheduling a Wounded Warrior Blood Drive, and our congressman, Chet Edwards helped us get things rolling with the VA hospital in Waco.  The photo below is a drive held at the National Guard Armory.

Organizers of the Wounded Warrior BLood Drive 2010

Dear Editors:

The average deployment of a United States Marine is 7 months.  The gestation period for a human baby is 9 months.  We found that It sometimes takes 8 or more months to plan a Wounded Warrior Blood Drive. 

The Wounded Warrior Blood Program helps provide blood for our troops because a lot of troops can’t donate because of going overseas.  We call on civilians, families, and others want to help by rolling up their sleeves.  We only do it once or twice a year because we recognize the vital nature of blood donation and know that our own communities need constant blood supplies for accident victims, surgeries, etc.

It’s been said of the War on Teror that the military went to war and the country went to the mall.  The Wounded Warrior Blood Drive is one way to really show support and to help connect the public to the efforts of our young men and women.

Our blood drive that was 8 months in the making was cancelled last Friday by the Robertson Blood Center officials at Ft. Hood.   The site visit that normally happens early in the date approval process was not done until 8 days before the event.  Posters had been generated and sent out, radio interviews had been done.  When we got the word last Friday, we had no choice but to get the word out that we would not be having the Wounded Warrior Blood Drive after all.   Our journey started over 7 months ago.  We originally had our first blood drive for the troops at the Texas National Guard building.  Because the hall that we used was not climate controlled, it was suggested that we go to another climate controlled facility.   We were told that the blood drive had to be in a military or federal property.  A couple of years ago, we could have used our VFW and American Legion Halls, but current policy does not allow use those places.  We asked our local military reserve units and the VA Regional Offices but they had very little space, and post 911 security concerns made them unable to help us.   In mid December we started working with Baylor University as a possible site for a blood drive.  Any school that has an JROTC program can be a potential site for a blood drive.  That process took us to the events of last Friday.

We are working with the officials at the Robertson Blood Center to find out what went wrong so that this sort of thing does not happen again.  Getting much needed blood to our troops is too important to have rules and procedures get in the way of the Blue Star Mothers mission of organizing a community wide Wounded Warrior Blood Drive.

A Wounded Warrior Blood Drive is a very special event.  Groups like the Blue Star Mothers and other sponsors from our community hold these drives once or twice a year to collect blood to be used by our wounded troops that are recuperating here at home, and sent to our field hospitals in the war zone.  These blood drives serve two purposes.  One is to collect life saving blood that helps our precious wounded troops.  The other purpose is to provide an opportunity for all of our citizens to give.  There is no more selfless a gift than the gift of life that blood brings to a wounded soldier.  It gives our organization a chance to remind folks that we are at war and that there is something we can all do to connect with our servicemen and women.

We are a persistent bunch.  Mothers of men and women in the military tend to be.  We may look harmless, but we raised a Marine….an Airman….a soldier…..a Sailor.  Our commitment to them is timeless. 

We have an appointment March 5 to visit with the acting Adminstrator at the VA Regional Hospital.  We have high hopes that this meeting will provide a location so that we can do what we set out to do so many months ago.

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