Fort Hood, Texas –
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and the Robertson Blood Center hosted the annual Blood Donor Recognition Ceremony at the Lone Star Conference Center on Fort Hood, Oct. 14.
The event honored donors with awards in categories for lifetime donor, whole blood donor, plasma donor, COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor, and most outstanding donor.
“Today is an opportunity to say thank you to those that have really given over the last year, religiously coming and donating. I want to say thank you for your commitment, and literally the giving of yourselves to support the greater good,” said Col. Scott Stokoe, deputy commander, CRDAMC. “I think probably one of the better parts of my day is to come out to donate blood and talking to the team and learning about the benefits of their mission and the good that it does.”
Every blood donation is used to directly impact the needs of service members, their families, retirees, and veterans, both on Fort Hood and around the world.
“Whenever you donate blood to the Robinson Blood Donor Center and the Armed Services Blood Program, that donation is unique,” said Col. Jason Corley, laboratory capability manager, Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston.
Corley made it clear that the American Red Cross and the nation’s blood centers all have their own vital missions, but stated that donating to the Armed Services Blood Program supports patient care for the medical treatment facilities and military medical readiness, a program that has a global mission.
The original blood donor center was established at Fort Hood in 1979. It occupied the World War II-era theater on what was then Battalion Avenue.
The current building opened on August 1, 2001. It is one of the most modern blood collection and testing facilities in the nation. Built exclusively to collect blood donations, the staff here tests many of the blood products used by the Department of Defense.
Specifically donating plasma platelets, Sgt. Cody Burford, supply sergeant, 181st, 2nd Chemical Battalion, has not only donated, but has also organized events over the past year of duty on Fort Hood. Thinking that he was invited to get just a thank you and a small token of appreciation, he was completely surprised to receive the most outstanding blood donor award.
“It’s nice to know that you can help out in the aspect [of giving blood]. All it takes is 40 minutes of a needle in your arm, hanging out, and you can potentially save someone’s life,” Burford said.
The Robertson Blood Center boasts that every day there’s a blood drive at the center, and the public is welcome to drop in and visit.
“Thank you so much to Deann Wilson and the entire Robinson Blood Center,” Burford said. “Everybody there is fantastic and professional all the time. It’s definitely an amazing place to go donate, and there is always availability.”
The Robertson Blood Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays. Those interested in donating can call 254-285-5808 to make an appointment or go directly to the blood center at 2250 West 761st Tank Battalion Avenue on Fort Hood.