Red Cross Calls for Donations for Soldiers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/17/03

Red Cross Calls for Donations for Soldiers

They call it the gift of life, and now the American Red Cross doesn't have enough. Nationwide, blood donations are at dangerously low levels, and with a threat of war, this shortage couldn't have come at a worse time. Now, the Red Cross is trying to build up its supply for soldiers overseas.

The Red Cross likes to have more than three to five days of blood on hand at all times. But right now, across the nation and especially here, we have reached less than a two-day supply. This especially critical now as we prepare for war, because our nation's blood supply is shared with our soldiers should they need it.

Blood specialist Roger Wentz told us, it's a "good time to give blood. You never know what's going to happen tomorrow."

Ten years ago, Wentz saw firsthand how your blood help save lives. He was right up on the front line in Desert Storm. A former Army medic, this vet hopes as we prepare for war, you can do your part by helping to beef up the nation's blood supply.

"If the blood's not there, you're going to see a lot of soldiers coming home differently than they did the last time," Wentz said.

It may take anywhere from three to four days to get donated blood into the hands of those who need it. And with levels at dangerous lows, if a nationwide emergency where to happen, blood levels may peek out.

"People should look at their neighbor, if they're a soldier--I look at my neighbor, he's a firefighter--you never know when someone is going to need blood, and that's the bottom line," Wentz said.

We all can make a difference. If you are interested, you can drop by any of the blood centers to make a donation. You can find the location closest to your ZIP code at the American Red Cross site.

Reported by: Ryan Young, ryoung@wtoc.com

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