Alamogordo – The Armed Services Blood Program and Holloman will hold the first blood drive of 2010 on Feb. 1, at the Holloman Community Activity Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The goal for this drive is 80 donations with all units collected going directly to benefit active duty servicemembers and their families. Donations ensure life-saving blood products are available whenever and wherever servicemembers and their families are in need.
"With all the military operations going on in the world today, there is an increased need for blood," said Capt. Devon Meister, 44th Fighter Group executive officer, who volunteers as the installation blood drive coordinator. "This program provides an opportunity for servicemembers, their families and civilians to support our military in a definitive, meaningful way."
The ASBP is the official U.S. military blood program and collects a list from units deployed overseas of what types and how much blood is needed. Once they've sent the requested amount, the remaining blood goes into a pool that is then distributed as needed to different military treatment facilities throughout the Armed Forces.
"You've got what it takes to save three lives with a single donation," Captain Meister said. "By giving a little of yourself, your donation gives sick or injured troops and their families a second chance at life."
Everyone is encouraged to donate and possibly save the life of a servicemember serving their country. Additionally, everyone with a United States government identification card and access to Holloman is invited to take part. ID card holders may escort friends, neighbors or family members to the blood drive.
Eligibility requirements can be found at www.militaryblood.dod.mil/Donors/can_i_donate.aspx.
A new policy regarding tattoos, which went into effect Nov. 30, 2007, allows donors with new tattoos to give blood again after just one week, instead of the previous one-year deferral period -- provided the tattoo was acquired in a state-regulated tattoo parlor. This new policy allows the ASBP to accept donations from more individuals wishing to contribute to the military's blood supply for combat areas and at home.
Walk-ins are welcome for the blood drive; however, appointments can be made on the Armed Services Blood Program website, www.militaryblood.dod.mil. The website also contains information on requirements to donate and a list of upcoming drives.
For additional information and photos, please visit the Holloman Web site at www.holloman.af.mil.