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Blood Drive
Cadet 1st Class Kevin Loudermilk participates in the Armed Forces Blood Drive Sept. 12, 2011, with help from Senior Airman Thomas O'Neal, a phlebologist with the 81st Diagnostic and Therapeutic Squadron from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. O'Neal and 66 other medical personnel from eight military installations across the country came to the Academy to conduct the Armed Services Blood Program's annual three-day event, which continues through Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Arnold Hall. Loudermilk was the Cadet Wing commander during the summer semester and is assigned to Cadet Squadron 10. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Gino Mattorano)
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Cadets, Academy staff donate blood for deployed warriors

Posted 9/15/2011   Updated 9/15/2011 Email story   Print story


by Gino Mattorano
Air Force Academy Public Affairs

9/15/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Nearly 70 medical technicians with the Armed Services Blood Program came to the Air Force Academy Sept. 12-14 to collect blood for service members who are forward deployed.

Technicians collected approximately 1,150 units of blood, said Lori Kuczmanski, an ASBP blood donor coordinator.

Kuczmanski said the blood collected directly supports overseas contingency operations.

"We've been coming to the Academy since 2005 and we always get great support from the cadets," Kuczmanski said. "We also have a lot of support from the staff, the retiree population and the local community."

Once blood is collected, it must be used within 42 days, according to Kuczmanski, so the ASBP team has to work fast to ensure blood is available when and where it's needed.

"All the blood is tested and then shipped to our processing centers within four days," Kuczmanski said. "Our goal is to get donated blood sent downrange within 10 days."

The annual blood drive is one of only two ASBP drives supported by military members from each branch of the military, from eight collection centers across the United States.

The Academy's cadet wing encourages blood drive participation with friendly competition amongst the cadet squadrons. The winning squadron will celebrate their win with a barbecue, and groups within the wing will also reward top squadrons with other incentives.

For information on other ASBP blood drives and donor eligibility, visit http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil.

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