Kaiserslautern Military Community members donate blood during a blood drive, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Jan. 5, 2011. The Armed Services Blood Program only collects blood from the military community for the military community. This includes service members, family members, DOD civilians, contractors, retirees and visitors to the bases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caleb Pierce)
Kaiserslautern Military Community members donate blood during a blood drive in the Northside Fitness Center Annex, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Jan. 7, 2011. The Armed Services Blood Program only collects blood from the military community for the military community. This includes service members, family members, DOD civilians, contractors, retirees and visitors to the bases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brea Miller)
by Airman 1st Class Ciara M. Travis
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
1/7/2011 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Over the past two months, most of us can think of 45 minutes of spare time we had that could have been used more wisely.
This January, members of Team Ramstein are encouraged to put that extra 45 minutes to good use and save lives by donating blood during National Blood Donor Month.
Giving blood in the Kaiserslautern Military Community is made easy by several, conveniently located blood-drives that occur throughout the entire year.
"All blood collected through the Armed Services Blood Program comes from our military community and all of the blood collected goes back into the military community," said Mike R. Peacock, ASBP blood donor recruiter. "Essentially, our supply is your supply."
Because Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is a main hub for wounded servicemembers, it is especially important to have more than enough blood in supply.
"Knowing that I am helping my brothers and sisters downrange is great," said Staff Sgt. Richard J. Murton, 24th Intelligence Squadron geospatial intelligence analyst. "I feel like as servicemembers, we have a duty to give what we can to help each other, and what better way than to donate blood."
With the KMC as host to more than 50,000 people, military members are not the only people in desperate need of blood in the local community.
"While a lot of blood is needed to help with servicemembers, a good percentage of the blood collected is used on family members as well," said Mr. Peacock.
While there are no known physical benefits from giving blood, there is something much more gratifying, the satisfaction of saving lives.
"Most folks that donate get this great feeling inside knowing that they have helped save up to three lives after just one donation," said Mr. Peacock.
In addition to helping others, cookies and juice are also a great benefit to donating.
"I really can't complain," said Sergeant Murton, who donates regularly. "I get to come in, help save lives, and these cookies are great."
To see a list of blood drives in the KMC for 2011, check out https://www.militarydonor.com/index.cfm?group=op&hgid=1.