The need for blood for service members continues during the holidays, but the donor population around Fort Gordon is down during December as soldiers head home.
"We are having a lot of blood drives because our numbers are lower," said Sgt. John Stewart, the noncommissioned officer in charge of Kendrick Memorial Blood Center at Fort Gordon.
Many trainees take two weeks of holiday leave during an annual event called exodus. Civilian employees who typically donate take vacation during the holidays.
Also, many soldiers from Fort Gordon are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Armed Services Blood Program recently changed its policy to expand its blood-donor base. Prior to the change, the only people who could donate blood for use by military service members were active duty military, their immediate families, Department of Defense employees and retirees, according to a news release from the U.S. Army Medical Command. Now anyone may donate.
The military staff at Kendrick is not allowed to hold blood drives outside Fort Gordon unless they are held on federally owned property.
A blood drive will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center.
Of particular need are types AB and O.
For more information about donating blood, call (706) 787-1014 or visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil.
Reach Charmain Brackett at email@example.com.
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