Photo Information

Imelda M. Leviste, a phlebotomosist with Naval Base San Diego, draws blood from Pfc. Armando M. Magana-Garibay, an aviation life support system technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 11.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

Marines give blood, save lives all around the world

21 Aug 2009 | Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

As Marines continue forward operations overseas, every service member’s life is vital. Anyone can help prevent deaths overseas by donating blood to the Military Blood Donor Center, at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

The Staff Noncommissioned Officer Association for Marine Aircraft Group 11 hosted the first blood drive this year at the MAG-11 headquarters parking lot aboard the air station, Aug. 10. More than a dozen members of the MBDC brought their bloodmobile and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. drew blood from military volunteers.

The MBDC workers ask volunteers brief questions to see if they qualify to donate. After that, MBDC workers draw a pint of blood from the volunteers and thank them for donations.

Staff Sgt. Josh Davenport, the president of the SNCOA for MAG-11, knows the importance of donations because his immediate family has needed blood.

“As many people that are getting hurt in combat, why would I not give blood knowing that if I went forward and got hurt, someone would give it to me?” said Davenport. “There is always going to be a need for blood.”

Marines and sailors from various squadrons donated 36 pints of blood throughout the day, which could help more than 100 service members and their families. Most of the blood goes to the medical facilities for wounded service members, commented Doreen Rekoski, a blood donor recruiter with the center.

Doctors can use the blood for different uses since it consists of platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells, commented Rekoski.

Members of the center travel to dozens of Southern California military instillations and conduct about four blood drives a week.

“Our mission is to take care of the past, present and future of the military by donating blood, whether they are active duty, retirees or dependants,” said Rekoski.

Every week, the blood donations are sent overseas for service members. It all starts with these blood drives, explained Rekoski.

Davenport plans to host blood drives quarterly aboard the air station, raising awareness. He wants fellow service members to know that their blood donations make a difference in saving service members’ lives.