MCAS BEAUFORT S.C. -- Marines lined up for the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Blood Drive held at the Station Chapel aboard Fightertown, July 17.
The blood drive held by the American Red Cross received 83 pints of blood, an amount two times larger than their goal for the drive, said Navy Cmdr. Dean Hoelz, command chaplain for MCAS Beaufort.
“For Marines it’s important to start seeing that saving lives is done not only on the battlefield, but off of it as well,” said Hoelz. “Every time we have them donate blood we don’t just stick a needle in their arms, we let them know how many lives their donation can save, and their impact on the world.”
“It’s the easiest way to donate to people in need,” said Michele Camet, a senior account manager for the American Red Cross. “Every pint of blood saves three lives. So with the 83 pints we received, 249 lives can be saved. I can’t thank the 93 donors enough for donating to this cause.”
For some donors, the importance of donating blood hits closer to home. Nickolas Lakeshire, a native of Beaufort, would not have seen his nephew return from Afghanistan after deploying in 2010.
“My nephew was critically wounded during a patrol, but was nursed back to health after receiving blood,” said Lakeshire. “Without blood donations he wouldn’t have made it back home to see his wife and newly born daughter.
“I always remember the sacrifices he made and the large impact a few moments of someone else’s time made in his life and the lives of his family,” said Lakeshire, a retired service member. “I hope that by doing this I can do the same for someone else.”
Sitting in a chair for a few minutes doing a simple deed, can make a world of difference in the life of a complete stranger.
“Hearing the stories of so many that received blood and survived thanks to donors is a large motivator for me to help organize these events and get as many Marines down here as I can,” said Hoelz. “If you haven’t donated blood I challenge you to ask a fellow Marine why they donate and what the whole experience is like.”
For more information visit www.redcrossblood.org/.