1MED Opens Mobile Blood Donor Center

Story and Photo by 2nd Lt. Ken Gonzales
932nd BSD, 1st Med Unit Public Affairs Representative

FORT HOOD, Texas — Months of planning, scouting, and tweaking paid off as the 932nd Blood Support Detachment, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary), opened their doors and welcomed spouses and Family Readiness Group members into their workspace April 23.

The days leading up to the unveiling were filled with setup, sweat, sustainment, sweat, operations, and more sweat. The Soldiers worked with one goal in mind:  to have a fully functional mobile blood donor center with the ability to accommodate the immediate need for blood collection.

The opening provided an opportunity for Soldiers from other units to see the logistics involved in constructing a blood shipping, receiving and collection facility.

“I think the Soldiers saw a lot of interesting things, not just the 932nd, but the 583rd Medical Logistics site as well,” said Master Sgt. Michelle Sandahl, noncommissioned officer in charge, Pathology Laboratory, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. “It gave us old Soldiers something to reminisce about, and the new Soldiers the opportunity to see what life is like on the other side of the Army.”

“The Soldiers attached to the hospital and Robertson Donor Center got to see what the mobilized units are capable of in a wartime setting,” said Sgt. 1st Class Adele L. Warner, detachment sergeant, 932nd BSD.

“Having the FRG spouses and families come out and see us is good for the families to see what conditions their parent’s endured in the field.  It provides a better understanding of their wartime mission,” added Warner.

Many doubts, fears, and concerns the spouses and families held were quelled after they saw what their Soldiers do during field exercises and deployments.

The children put on kevlars, tinkered with blood tubes, sat on the donor chairs and saw what it takes to operate a sizeable blood donor operation.

“It really changed their view of the job requirement, explaining those long working days,” said Sgt. Hippolyte Tavares, platoon sergeant, 932nd BSB.

“What we do is an important mission and it takes everyone to make the operation happen,” said Capt. Teresa M. Terry, commander, 932nd BSB. “We are an important piece to the Army Medicine puzzle.”

Terry guided the tour through the operations center and fielded questions spouses had about future deployments and other concerns.

“It’s important that the spouses get a better picture of what the unit does and what’s expected of us,” said Terry.

By the end of the day, Family members had gained an understanding of what their spouses go through during field exercises and how important their Soldier’s mission is to saving Army lives.

 

news photo
Sgt. Hippolyte Tavares, platoon sergeant, 932nd BSB, said, "It really changed their view of the job requirement, explaining those long working days." The 932nd BSB opened a mobile blood donor center April 23 to accommodate the immediate need for blood collection. Soldiers and their Families toured the facility to give Family members a better understanding of their Soldiers' wartime mission.