Blood drive yields results; need continues

  • Published
  • By Capt. Carrie L. Kessler
  • 53d Wing Public Affairs
The wrapping paper and ribbon have been packed away, but the season of giving still 'flows' with members of the 53d Wing through the first blood drive of 2008. 

During the seven-hour drive, 13 units of blood were collected toward the bank managed by the Northwest Florida Blood Center. According to their Web site, the Center, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, provides blood and blood products to more than 20 area hospitals on the Gulf Coast, including Eglin Hospital. 

Cheryl Poling, Northwest Florida Blood Center ancillary secretary, knows firsthand the significance of giving. Her sister-in-law died of breast cancer on Christmas day. 

"I know how important it is for people to receive healthy blood," she said. 

She added that working for the Center gives her a chance to save lives and "we can't save lives without donors." 

Two of those 53d donors are veterans at giving. 

Senior Airman Alberto Miranda, 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron advanced program team member, has donated since high school because it could save someone's life and who knows when he might need it himself. 

"Don't be afraid to give blood," he said. "Just think that it helps other people."
Staff Sgt. Tommy Flynn, 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron ALQ-131 mission data specialist, donates about three times per year because he is O positive, which although is the most common blood type, is also the most needed. 

With a smile on his face, he said, "(Just) don't look at the needle when they stick you."
The next blood drive scheduled for Eglin is Jan. 30 in front of Bldg 696, 96th Civil Engineer Headquarters from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. The 53d Wing has five more drives scheduled this year with the next one slated for March 16 outside the headquarters building. 

Barclay Nichol, 53d blood drive monitor, said he'd like to get back to previous averages of 45 to 50 unit donations per drive. 

For more information on Eglin blood drives, call 1st Lt. Jason Bryan at 883-3480 or Mr. Nichol at 882-0992.