MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors with 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, gathered to get their blood pumping for a good cause at the battalion tank ramp aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Feb. 21, 2014.
The troops rallied around Hershey, Penn., native Lance Cpl. Paul Brennan, who is stationed with 2nd Tanks and recently underwent a liver transplant due to an illness that resulted in the failing of his liver. More than 100 Marines and sailors showed up to donate.
“The turnout was great, we donated 77 units as a whole and maxed out what the buses were capable of housing and still had Marines and sailors wanting to give,” said Lt. John Pruit, the battalion surgeon for 2nd Tanks.
The average person is capable of giving one unit of blood per donation. Many service members showed their support for their fellow Marine by giving what they could give.
“The blood drive showed that we care about our Marines and sailors; those here and away,” said Pruit.
Donating blood can be an intimidating experience for someone who has never seen blood being drawn, but that did not stop the Marines of 2nd Tanks from showing their support.
“This was my first time giving blood, so I was a little nervous about doing it,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan S. Sullivan, a native of Loveland, Colo. Sullivan said this was a good experience and it wouldn’t be the last time he donated.
Service members with a rare blood type, such as Sullivan, are escorted to the front of the line because it is important to get their blood as soon as possible to meet its high demand.
Sullivan, a field wireman with 2nd Tanks, expressed that seeing all the service members donating was a great sight and the fact that the blood was going to help fellow service members was great.
The blood collected at the blood drive is taken to the Naval Hospital and then distributed out as needed. The blood is strictly given to service members and their families who are in need.
“Our blood drives normally last no longer than four hours, so roughly 80 units would be our maximum, and 35 units would be our minimum,” said Binder. “We try to collect every unit we can, sometimes the process goes faster, and then sometimes it goes slower.”
It’s important to collect as many units as possible with patients needing the blood transfusion for different reasons, said Binder. Second Tanks does their part by hosting, on average, five blood drives per year.
“Brennan’s liver transplant wasn’t the only reason for hosting the event, however, I believe that the transplant directly influenced the outcome of the blood drive.” said Pruit.
Brennan is home with his family recovering from the transplant, and the actual surgery went as smooth as it could go, concluded Pruit.