FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 25, 2021) — Soldiers from the 5th Engineer Battalion donated 106 units of blood to the Armed Services Blood Program Sept. 29, earning them several spots in the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center’s record book.
The “Fightin’ Fifth” Soldiers captured the No. 6 spot on the donor center’s all-time single-day donations list, which dates back to 2011. They have also logged the largest single-day donation to date in 2021, which tops the previous 82-unit mark tallied in January, which they also set.
Additionally, the Sept. 29 effort made these Soldiers the newest members of the donor center’s 100-unit club, reserved for organizations that donate 100 or more units of blood in a single-day drive. No unit has hit this milestone since Company B, 554th Engineer Battalion, donated 101 units Jan. 28, 2020. This is the 5th Engineer Battalion’s second entry in this club — they donated 101 units Oct. 1, 2018.
More than 200 blood products can be manufactured from the donation, enough for every Soldier in an average size Army company. They also saved the government more than $30,000 by not having to purchase this donated blood from a commercial organization. That is something Lt. Col. Stewart Bailey, 5th Engineer Battalion commander, takes great pride in.
“Our Soldiers understand selfless service and the importance of the blood program, and when given the opportunity to help, they’re more than willing to do so,” he said. “We all joined the Army to provide safety and help care for others. Donating blood is a simple way to do just that.”
Although the individual reasons that caused these engineers to donate differ, the theme in their motivation was the same — doing a little can help a lot.
“This is my first time donating and I wanted to help out any way I could,” said 1st Lt. Aaron Schneck, 5th Engineer Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “It’s very simple and doesn’t take much time, so everyone needs to step up and do their part to save lives.”
Regarding his unit’s record-setting effort, Schneck said he is proud because, “we step up in time of need and help any way we can.”
Capt. Cody Loose, 595th Sapper Company commander, echoed those sentiments.
“Donating is giving back to people who need it,” he said. “Hospitals need blood to save lives. One hour of your time can save a life.”
Loose added that he is proud of his unit’s record-setting donations despite having two companies deployed.
“We’re a very cohesive unit and work well together,” Loose said. “We’re individualized by company, but step up collectively to answer the call when it comes.”
The Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center collects blood for the Armed Services Blood Program, the official blood collection organization for the Department of Defense. Collected blood goes first to medical facilities at deployed locations around the world. One out of four service members admitted to a medical facility in those areas of the world require a blood transfusion.
Collected blood also goes to military hospitals throughout the Department of Defense. The military healthcare system requires about 400 units of blood every day and it is the ASBP’s mission to ensure it’s available.
“So, if you have your health, celebrate it by giving blood to those who are not as fortunate,” said 1st Lt. Tae Kim, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center officer in charge. “These 5th Engineer Battalion Soldiers demonstrated the power that true compassion for others can have.”
For more information about the Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center, or to make an appointment to donate, e-mail Carl.A.Norman2.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573.596.6150.
About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure.
About Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.
Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.
Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.
More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/about/mission