Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learning more each day.

After 17 years of being married to a US Marine stateside one would think they knew a lot about the military, especially the Marine Corps. Living just 6 months overseas I've come to realize I am very much misinformed, in the dark or just plan oblivious to so many things. In the states we do not get AFN (America Forces Network, our TV and radio stations), but here that's all we got. I absolutely complain about the TV, the lack of normal shows and decent radio stations. (Major Plug for Pandora on my IPod... it's a real lifesaver!) However, since we do not get commercials I've learned a lot about our military, the behind the scenes info so to speak.

So you are asking yourself, what are talking about woman... allow me to explain.

Years ago, and I mean many many years ago, back when I was in college and the Gulf War happened I heard something that didn't stir much in me until now because I didn't understand at the time what I was actually hearing. But I remember hearing anti-war protesters asking the public and local college students NOT to donate blood during an on campus blood drive. They said it would "support the war effort!" I truly didn't understand what that meant until recently. I believe what they were trying to say was that donating blood would help save the lives of wounded warriors and that would technically be supporting the Gulf War. (I have a huge gut wrenching ache in the pit of my stomach just typing that... it's unimaginable to me.)

This brings me to today's lesson on the military...
Did you know that military personnel and their families can only use blood donated by other military members or their family? What does this mean... this means we take care of our own. Every wounded warrior, every family member that's ever needs blood gets it from one of us. We don't use any donated outside of the Armed Forces Blood Program. On one hand I am very sad to think that people wouldn't donate because we are military. I am sad that another reason is security, apparently we (the ASBP) has to have stricter screening procedures for our blood donors to ensure we do not get any tainted blood. But on the other I am very proud to think we truly take care of our own. We, military families, have a bond few people around the globe will ever truly understand.

It's an honor to be part of this family... so if you'll excuse me I need to get to bed. I have to get my rest I am donating blood soon.

BTW: I've never donated blood before. In high school I was told I could never donate b/c of my blood transfusion I had in the late 70's. I've just been told I pass the screening and can now donate. I am thankful for those who donated 33 years ago, it's why I am alive today. I am blessed with the thought of being able to save a life of a wounded warrior. Donate blood today, you never know who's life you could be saving.

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