Story Number: NNS140206-18Release Date: 2/6/2014 11:47:00 PM
By By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) was recognized today for their dedication to making life saving blood donations to the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) in a donor appreciation ceremony at the Hickam Officers Club.
Pacific Regional Medical Command & Tripler Army Medical Center's (TAMC) commanding general, Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle, presented plaques to Buffalo's commanding officer, Cmdr. Brian Tothero, and Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Dominic Tenn, for their coordination and promotion of numerous blood drives throughout the year.
"The Tripler Blood Center collects about 6,000 pints annually, all of it donated by you volunteers," said Doyle during the awards luncheon. "That number alone is a testament to the world changing and lifesaving power of volunteerism."
Tothero said the award isn't about his command, but more about recognizing the need for donating blood to the armed forces as a whole.
"My Sailors were not doing this for recognition," said Tothero. "They were doing it because it's the right thing to do."
The crew was motivated to give donations year-round by the stories of forward deployed troops needing blood, some in excess of 40 units per person. Several Army and Marine units known for their strong blood drive support have been called up to go overseas recently and they saw the need to fill the gap created by their departure.
"One day, someone you know is going to be in need," said Tenn, the organizer for Buffalo's blood drive efforts. "A couple of pints can go a long way to help not just people in the Navy, but other service members as well as people in their families."
Guest speaker Shannon Wadziski, a military spouse, choked back tears to share her experience from an emergency surgery on Oct. 25, during which she received lifesaving transfusions from the ASBP.
"Thank you all for your generous and selfless gifts of donation," said Wadziski. "Without individuals like yourselves and the workplaces that allowed you the time to donate, I would not be here and would not have been able to kiss my children this morning."
ASBP provides quality blood products for service members, veterans and their families in both peace and war. As a joint operation among the military services (Army, Navy, Air Force), the ASBP has many components working together to collect, process, store, distribute, and transfuse blood worldwide.
"Blood is needed all the time and year-round," said Tothero. "If the recognition from this award generates interest and increased donations even on a small scale, then this is the true meaning of the ASBP's donor recognition program."
The blood and blood products are used for patients of all ages for many reasons from cancer patients to those with battlefield injuries. Military members and their families depend on blood donors every day.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/subpac/.