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Staff Sgt. Francisco Mireles of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment is the current face for the Armed Services Blood Program.

Staff Sgt. Francisco Mireles of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment is the current face for the Armed Services Blood Program. (John Vandiver / S&S)

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — At first glance, Staff Sgt. Francisco Mireles didn’t see anything unusual about the poster, which encourages people to donate blood as part of a military public awareness campaign.

Just another image of a soldier in shades on patrol, Mireles assumed, after glancing at the picture during a blood drive in Baumholder.

“I didn’t know it was me,” he said. “I was like, ‘Damn.’ I didn’t even know where the picture was from at first.”

Mireles, a soldier with the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, is the current face of the Army for the Armed Services Blood Program. His picture appears under the heading: “What else does he need? You.”

On Thursday, he was presented with a life-size poster of himself during a blood drive in Baumholder attended by leaders of the blood program. Mireles learned about his place in the military marketing campaign by accident while giving blood last summer.

Mike R. Peacock, an armed services blood donor recruiter, remembers meeting Mireles that day and being taken aback.

“He was right here in Baumholder. His wife saw the poster and said, ‘That’s my husband,’” Peacock said.

The picture of Mireles was taken while he was on patrol in Iraq with fellow soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, during their 2006 deployment. Mireles, who will deploy again with Company A this spring, said he remembers a Marine photographer being on patrol that day with the unit and snapping pictures.

Not only is Mireles on posters here in Europe, but also Armywide, said Maj. Jose Quesada, director of blood services at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Mireles said his father already has a place set aside in Texas for the life-size image of his son.

author picture
John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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