MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The Camp Lejeune Blood Donor Center paid a visit to Cherry Point to further its mission of collecting blood for deployed service members, Jan. 29.
Marine Air Support Squadron 1 hosted the center’s visit and allowed its staff of active-duty military personnel, military retirees and contracted civilians to set up shop in their parking lot.
“With the war going on, there is a definite shortage of blood for deployed troops,” said Calvin Glazier, a recruiter for the center. “The blood donor center is a joint effort between all the services. With all the military organizations working together, we are able to come through with what each service’s needs are.”
The staff utilized two buses to collect their blood donations, explained Jay Jacome, the blood donor center coordinator and lead phlebotomist.
“The first bus allows the donors to register and have their vital signs checked, such as blood pressure and hemoglobin levels,” Jacome said. “After the donors have been screened, they move to the main bus where they are interviewed and hopefully, after passing the interview, are able to donate blood.”
Jacome has been with the blood donor center for seven years. He served in the United States Air Force for 23 years, retiring as a master sergeant.
“I enjoy what I’m doing,” Jacome said. “I like working with the young people and all the services really need this blood.”
According to Glazier, although more than 100 people might register to donate blood in a day, about 60 are qualified to donate. A number of factors can contribute usually to someone being disqualified including tattoos or body piercings within the last year and whether the individual has been recently deployed. Donors are allowed to donate their blood every 57 days.
“We need all blood types,” Glazier said. “However, we’re always looking for rare types such as type O positive and negative and type AB positive and negative.”
Some donors, such as Sgt. Jamie Taylor, the supply chief for MASS-1, donate on a regular basis.
“I do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Taylor said. “I make sure I donate whenever I’m eligible. I’m even on the American Red Cross five-gallon list.”
Though a particular unit may host the blood donor center, anyone who wishes to register for donation may do so.
“It’s a must that we give support to the troops fighting oversees,” Glazier said. “Donating blood is way of contributing to that cause. We really appreciate all the support we get from Cherry Point.”