Military Moms never surrender

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Editorial Comments

Military mothers never surrender

MARY DUTY Guest column

Saturday February 27, 2010

The average deployment of a U.S. Marine is seven months. Gestation for a human baby is nine months. The Blue Star Mothers have been working on a Wounded Warrior Blood Drive for nearly eight months.

Our blood drive set for this weekend was cancelled a week ago by Robertson Blood Center officials at Fort Hood. Their site visit, normally done early in the approval process, was not done till eight days before the event. Posters had been sent out, radio interviews had been done.

We have done a blood drive for the military before. We know the rules. We were told the blood drive had to be on military or federal property. A couple of years ago we could have used our VFW or American Legion Halls, but current policy no longer allows that. We asked our local military reserve units and the VA Regional Office to help, but they had no space, and post-9/11 security concerns made some properties off limits.

Thanks to the efforts of Baylor professor Janet Bagby, a Marine Mom, we worked with Baylor University as a possible site. We learned any school with an ROTC program can be a site for a blood drive. So Baylor’s Law School, we finally and joyfully decided, was our site — until officials then suddenly ruled it too small to hold the drive. Dashed again!

The Wounded Warrior Blood Program administered by the Robertson Blood Center at Fort Hood provides blood for our troops. That’s why the Blue Star Mothers planned a drive in Central Texas. 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 and surgeries.

Getting blood to our troops is too important to allow miscommunication and missed inspection deadlines to get in the way. Robertson Blood Center and Blue Star Mothers of America have a joint mission of providing life-saving blood to our soldiers.

Bullets are flying as I write this. The need for blood is now.

It’s been said of the war on terror that the military went to war and the country went to the mall. The Wounded Warrior Blood Drive is one way to show tangible support for our troops. We are persistent. We may look harmless, but each of us raised a Marine, an airman, a soldier, a sailor.

We have high hopes we can finally get some site approved, that we can do what we set out to do so many months ago — provide life-saving blood to those who chose to serve us far from home.


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