GREEN BAY Conducts Second, Quarterly Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Screening
By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Larry S. Carlson
USS GREEN BAY Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO—USS Green Bay (LPD-20) conducted its second quarterly blood drive and bone marrow screening in cooperation with Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Blood Donor Center on Thursday, June 26.
Chief Hospital Corpsman Aaron Burke, Green Bay medical leading chief petty officer, spearheaded the project. Having been a prior lab tech, he knew the importance of the military donating blood. “These units will be used for all military personnel; retirees, active duty personnel, and those that are in Balboa Medical Hospital,” said Burke.
According to Burke, the military depends on donations from active duty personnel since they do not receive assistance from civilian organizations. “Also, the rare blood types that we need overseas will be processed and sent to Iraq and Afghanistan,” Burke said.
By the end of the day, the Sailors on Green Bay donated 115 units of blood. Since each unit can help up to three people, this donation alone could save up to 345 people. According to the Blood Donor Center, a donation of this magnitude is greater than what is typically received from large deck commands. This is an impressive feat considering the San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship holds about one-third as many Sailors as a large deck amphibious ship. To accommodate the number of Sailors donating blood, beds were set up in the ship’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in the hangar bay.
“I wanted to come out and give blood because I know that my donation will have an immediate impact on someone’s life,” said Operation Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Catriba Ladson.
Green Bay was also able to add 73 Sailors to the bone marrow registry. The screening hit close to home for many of Green Bay Sailors. Two months ago, one of Green Bay’s finest was diagnosed with leukemia.
“I added myself to the bone marrow screening because we have a stellar chief that has been diagnosed with leukemia, and if it’s at all possible for me to help her or someone in her position, I will do that. I know I would want someone to do that for me,” Ladson said.
Depending on the ship’s schedule, Green Bay hopes to conduct 3 or 4 blood drives each year.