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OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Even before she joined the Air Force, Airman Rebecca Steuver donated blood regularly because she knows that emergency transfusions can help save lives.

Steuver, 22, of Columbus, Ind., was more than ready to roll up her sleeve again when she heard Osan Air Base was holding a blood drive Monday.

The drive also netted 93 donors for the Department of Defense Bone Marrow Registry in Washington, D.C.

A team of 10 U.S. Navy medics from Okinawa’s Armed Services Blood Bank drew 63 bags of blood Monday, said Capt. Denise Lennon of Osan’s 51st Medical Support Squadron. And they drew a test tube each for those volunteering for the bone marrow registry, Lennon said.

“Most blood drives, you get between 35 and 50” bags of blood “so we did very well,” said Lennon, commanding officer of her squadron’s Diagnostics and Therapeutic Flight.

The Okinawa team also trained 21 Air Force and Army medics how to draw blood in wartime conditions, Lennon said. The blood will be stored for emergencies within U.S. military communities in South Korea, Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska, she said.

Those who are registered as bone marrow donors could be called upon by the National Marrow Donor Program to donate marrow, “which can save a life,” Lennon said.

“I used to do it before I joined the Air Force quite regularly, and since I’ve joined the Air Force I haven’t had a chance to donate blood,” said Steuver, an outpatient records clerk with the 51st Medical Operations Squadron.

“It’s just the chance to help somebody out,” said Steuver, “and I’m also part of the bone marrow donor program. Somebody might have leukemia. They might need bone marrow. And just by donating bone marrow or donating blood you give an opportunity of saving someone’s life.”


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