MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- Community Blood Bank affiliates hosted a luncheon and tour of the CBB's Rancho Mirage facilities and the Eisenhower Medical Center for Marine and Sailor unit representatives from the Combat Center Sept. 12.
"Our Marine Corps and Navy have always been heroes whenever and wherever enemies threaten the peace of the innocent," read a caption on one of the posters displaying blood drive clippings from Observation Post's as far back as the 1970's in the CBB conference room. "Yet few people realize that these same men and women are regularly involved in the battle to save lives by giving the greatest gift of all, 'The gift of life.'"
The Marines and Sailors of the Combat Center continue to do so, and reiterated that promise during the luncheon and tour.
Combat Center Marines and Sailors make up about 15 percent of the Community Blood Bank's donating population in the Morongo Basin and Coachella Valley. The majority of that 15 percent are donations from students at the Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School.
"We first want to say thank you for what you do, not just for donating blood, but for serving our country," said Bob Albee, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Community Blood Bank. "The demand [for blood] is always there. We have a consistent demand so we need to be constantly in supply."
The hospital's need for blood has increased significantly within the past 10 years. In 1992, the Combat Center made less than 1,500 donations annually. Ten years later, the Combat Center's donations exceed 2,500 units to meet the local hospital's needs.
Representatives from CBB proposed to help in whatever ways necessary to promote donations from volunteers from other Combat Center affiliates, such as family members, civilian workers aboard the base and retirees in the Morongo Basin. The CBB and the Combat Center is constantly working on strengthening the relationship between the two.
"We are depending on you, and we are appreciative of what you do. I hope you learn something today and take it back to the other Marines. You certainly deserve to be applauded," Albee said.
One donation of blood has the potential to help three to four patients. According to facts gathered by the Community Blood Bank, human blood carries red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. Each of these has a different function in the body and can help treat patients with, but are not limited to, anemia, blood clotting, liver transplants, Leukemia and cancer.