NMCB 133 Seabees Help Save Lives, One Blood Drop at a Time

Story Number: NNS141016-04Release Date: 10/16/2014 11:21:00 AM
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By Engineering Aide Constructionman Jessica Couvillier, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Public Affairs

CAMP COVINGTON, Guam (NNS) -- Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133, Detachment Guam, participated in a blood drive coordinated by Chief Hospital Corpsman Charlotte Reijo and the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP), Sept. 20.

The ASBP is tasked with the collection, processing, storage, distribution of blood and blood products to ill or injured service members, veterans, and their families worldwide. By donating about a pint of blood and less than 10 minutes of their time, these Seabees will help save lives around the world.

Construction Mechanic 1st Class Gary Phipps personally understands how important these blood drives are for everyone. Although his situation did not require a blood donation, Phipps stated, "I believe in giving back. I've been laid up in the hospital before, so I know what it feels like to need help."

Throughout the day regular donors like Phipps, along with first-time donors, shuffled through the questioning and donating process, all sharing one common goal: making a difference and possibly saving a life. Because of the large turnout, that hope just might become a reality.

By the end of the blood drive, more than 86 percent of the Seabees who signed up to participate were able to donate a unit of blood, which exceeded expectations.

"The original goal was 20 (units), which I honestly thought would be a challenge," said Reijo. "So I was very pleasantly surprised to see that we not only met that goal, but exceeded it by more than double."

Though a few Seabees were unable to donate, it did not diminish their hopes to try again in the future.

"I'll try again the next time we have a blood drive," said Steelworker 3rd Class Rosa Lopez, who was not able to donate this time.

Lopez may just get a second chance as Reijo hopes to coordinate one more blood drive with ASBP before the deployment concludes.

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