by Pamela Young, Published November 11, 2011
YPSILANTI: Nearly two years ago, First Lt. Derick Carver arrived in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Infantry Rangers. Although he knew he'd be on the front lines, Carver didn't expect to run into an improvised explosive device (IED) only four months into his first tour of duty.
That blast left the 2007 EMU graduate seriously injured. He lost his left leg at mid thigh, one hand was mangled, and he needed 51 units of blood over the course of his treatment.
By contrast, a unit of blood is around a pint, and the human body contains between eight and ten pints of blood in total. A wounded soldier in the field will require an average of six units during treatment.
The news passed quickly among his former ROTC classmates who then sprang into action with, "Save A Soldier Blood Drive," to directly benefit Carver and other service men and women. More than 98 units of blood were donated during that first drive.
Now, current EMU cadets want to continue that tradition during Veterans Month, by hosting their second annual, "Save A Soldier Blood Drive," Wednesday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in rooms 22 and 22, Roosevelt Hall on Eastern's main campus in Ypsilanti.
"We hope to raise 125 units of blood because the demand is always high," said coordinator Greg Maken, a senior cadet from Harrison Township, Mich. "Every donation of blood raised can save up to three lives."
A medical team from the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, will drive to EMU to conduct the drive. All donations will go directly to the program.
ASBP is a joint operation among the military services (Army, Navy, Air Force) that works together to collect, process, store, distribute, and transfuse blood worldwide for soldiers and their families.
EMU's military science program has approximately 100 cadets and six staff members.
"We're shooting for our entire group to participate," Maken said. The drive is open to the community.
For more information or to sign up online, go to www.militarydonor.com, click on "Donate Blood", and search by zip code.