Ford Sailors Save Lives in Patriot Day Armed Services Blood Drive

Story Number: NNS190910-10Release Date: 9/10/2019 2:34:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary Melvin, USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Sailors helped save lives during a Patriot Day blood drive sponsored by the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) on Sept. 9.

Sixty-four Ford Sailors participated in the ASBP event, exceeding the goal for expected registrations. On average, each Sailor donated one pint of blood during the 30–40 minute process.

“The blood ASBP collects from donors serves those in the fleet, those downrange, Sailors on other ships and all branches of the armed forces,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kery Ferrell, from Atlanta, assigned to Ford’s medical department.

The ASBP is the official military provider of blood products to the U.S. armed forces, and one of four organizations that ensures our Nation has a safe, potent blood supply. Unlike civilian collection agencies, they provide blood and blood products mainly to ill or injured service members, veterans and their families worldwide, in both peace and war.

“I know how the donation of blood can save a life,” said Ferrell. “My own mother was the recipient of a blood transfusion when I was 12 as well as helping do a blood transfusion of a baby while I was stationed in Guam. That is why I wanted to help out on the blood drive—it helps people feel good and you are saving a life.”

The ASBP also provides blood to civilian agencies when needed. The recipient base extends beyond the military community to natural disasters and other catastrophes.

“One-tenth of a donor’s blood is sent off to be tested to see if it is viable,” said Ralph Peters, one of ASBP’s blood donor recruiters. “If the blood donation is viable, the blood is sent to help Department of Defense, military and dependents.”

The ASBP was established in 1952 under President Harry S. Truman  and now has more than 20 centers worldwide providing more than 150,000 units of blood on the battlefields in the last 12 years.

“We are grateful,” said Peters. “It is a team effort. If you do not have the medical department, their leadership, the leadership on the Ford and Ford’s chiefs, if you do not have that consolidated effort—it does not work.”

One donation will save up to three lives. ASBP will be holding another blood drive Sept. 30 at Huntington Hall in an effort to receive more donations to support the armed forces.

Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. Ford is currently undergoing its post-shakedown availability at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

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Blood Drive
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Sept. 9, 2019) Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) get their vitals taken before donating blood during an Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) drive at Huntington Hall. The ASBP provides quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families worldwide in both peace and war. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Zachary Melvin) (This image has been altered for security purposes by blurring computer screens)
September 10, 2019
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