West Point Blood Drive to save lives of troops

By Erin Longacre Armed Services Blood Program

January 10th, 2019 | News, News and Features
 The West Point community will have the opportunity to donate to the ASBP during its annual blood drive from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Jan. 17 at Eisenhower Hall.                                    Courtesy Graphic

West Point graduate, retired Maj. Joshua Mantz knows firsthand the importance of blood to our troops. In April 2007, the combined efforts of blood donors, surgeons and medics saved his life after he was killed by a sniper near Sadr City, Iraq.
Killed, because for 15 minutes Mantz had no pulse.
“I consciously said my last thought, took my last breath, and died,” said Mantz, recalling the ride from the site of the sniper attack back to Forward Operating Base Loyalty, where a determined medical team performed CPR on him for a full 15 minutes to keep his heart circulating what little blood he had left in his body.
Mantz struggled to stay conscious on the trip as his right thigh bled, where the bullet, fused with shrapnel from his platoon sergeant’s body armor, had severed his femoral artery.
He flat-lined at Loyalty, but was revived and rushed to the combat support hospital in Baghdad, where he underwent emergency vascular surgery and received nearly 30 units of blood.
“I would not be alive today without the soldiers who gave blood, and the dedication of the medical personnel who never gave up on me,” Mantz said.
Mantz’s story is miraculous, and for military medical professionals it’s a clear example of why they perform their duties with such passion.
Blood is needed every day for injuries sustained by our troops overseas, and to care for patients at home in military hospitals. The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) is the tri-service military agency that collects, ships and transfuses blood to service members and their families worldwide.
The West Point community will have the opportunity to donate to the ASBP during its annual blood drive from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Jan. 17 at Eisenhower Hall.
Blood donated will be sent to care for troops injured downrange, as well as for patients in military hospitals worldwide.
The process is easy, safe and fast.  Donors will be asked a few questions about their health and travel history to make sure they are eligible, and will have their blood pressure, temperature and iron level checked.
As a thank you, donors will get a long-sleeve athletic performance shirt and refreshments. In addition, the first 500 donors will receive a 10 oz. Yeti mug.
Donors must be at least 17 years old and free of cold or flu symptoms. Some travel restrictions are in place for overseas assignments and recent deployments.
For more information on eligibility, visit www.militaryblood.dod.mil or call 706-787-1014. Appointments are not required but are available for your convenience by visiting www.militarydonor.com and selecting the date and time most convenient for you. Enter sponsor code WESTPOINT or search by zip code.