Lowcountry Marines honored by Red Cross

23 Apr 2004 | Lance Cpl. C. Alex Herron

Marines from Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC were honored April 15 by The American Red Cross.

The Red Cross Blood Services Luncheon, in Savannah, Ga., was held to recognize members of the Red Cross Coastal District, Southern Region in their efforts to organize, volunteer and participate in Blood drives throughout the Low Country.

“We went to represent all the Marines, Sailors and Civilian Marines on the Air Station and Parris Island,” said Sgt. Maj. Alexander McBride, sergeant major, H&HS.
In January the Air Station almost achieved its goal of 30 units when 25 Marines gave blood at the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 hangar.

“I have a special thanks for everyone who has helped us out and worked with us in our cause to get blood for the people who need it,” said Jason Ferrell, district director, Coastal District.

The event included a testimonial speaker, a year in review speech and an award presentation for the counties and community organizations who lent their support to the Red Cross.

“I feel the testimonials were quite adequate in showing the necessity of blood donors and volunteers for the Red Cross,” McBride said.

The testimonial of Angela Boyles on behalf of her four-year old son, Devin, was especially moving, according to Pfc. Leo Hurtado, administration clerk, Installation Personnel Administration Center.

Devin Boyles suffers from a primary immune disease that requires him to go through a transfusion to get new white blood cells once a month. It takes seven people to give blood to equal the amount he needs every month for the five-hour intravenous transfusion to keep him infection free.

“It’s a sad situation,” Hurtado said. “I know it’s hard for him and his parents, but seeing all those people come together and try to save him takes some of that pain away.”

The next scheduled blood drive aboard the Air Station will be May 26 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Lasseter Theater.

“It is very important for people to give blood,” said McBride. “It is good for us to donate for our brothers-in-arms in Iraq, Afghanistan and all over the world.”