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Coast to Coast and Arm to Arm: Texas ASBP Blood Donor Centers

Image of Coast to Coast and Arm to Arm: Texas ASBP Blood Donor Centers. Texas is home to an impressive four of the over 20 blood donor centers that support the Armed Services Blood Program. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the adage is true regarding Texan support for the ASBP. The Lone Star State BDCs include Akeroyd BDC, Armed Services Blood Bank Center – San Antonio, Fort Bliss BDC, and Robertson BDC.

Texas is home to an impressive four of the over 20 blood donor centers that support the Armed Services Blood Program mission. The ASBP is the official blood program of the U.S. military, tasked with the mission to provide quality blood products to military operations worldwide. The four donor centers in this region all have unique, crucial roles that each make the ASBP’s lifesaving mission possible. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the adage is true regarding Texan support for the ASBP. The state acts as a regional powerhouse for the ASBP by hosting four BDCs, including one which has the largest donor quota in the ASBP.

San Antonio, Texas, is home to both Akeroyd Blood Donor Center and Armed Services Blood Bank Center – San Antonio. The third BDC in the Lone Star State is Fort Bliss Donor Center, located west of San Antonio, Texas, in Fort Bliss, Texas. The final Texan BDC is Robertson Blood Center, located in Fort Cavazos, Texas.

Starting in San Antonio, Akeroyd Blood Donor Center, established in 1966, falls directly under the Army Blood Program. The BDC, located on Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, was originally created in support of the Vietnam War and Brooke Army Medical Center healthcare. BAMC is staffed by more than 8,000 Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Civilians, and Contractors providing care to wounded Service Members and the San Antonio Community at-large.

Akeroyd BDC Public Affairs Specialist Margaret C. McAvinue highlighted the wide range of donors stating, “We have Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, and Space Force all come through our doors.”

The team at Akeroyd BDC travels to Camp Bullis to host mobile blood drives, and they also host in-house blood drives at their center located within Fort Sam Houston. Explaining how the center got its name, McAvinue explained that in 1993 the BDC “...moved into the current building and dedicated it as Akeroyd Blood Donor Center in honor of retired U.S. Army Col. Joseph Akeroyd, a world-renowned researcher and pioneer of hematology and transfusion medicine. Col. Akeroyd is most notably recognized for revolutionizing the blood industry through the development and use of plastic blood containers.”

  • Location: JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, B1240 Harney Path, San Antonio, TX 78234
  • Products Collected: Whole Blood, Plasma (Apheresis), and Platelets.
  • Top Contributors: Training Command, the center is home of the Medical Education Training Campus and the Medical Corps.
  • Access: Anyone who has access to the installation is encouraged to donate, assuming they meet all donor eligibility requirements.

San Antonio is also home to Lackland Air Force Base, where ASBBC-SA is located. One thing that makes this center different from the rest is that they have the largest donor quota in the ASBP. Due to their strategic location, they benefit from a large, rotating pool of trainees. The donor center can collect, test, and process all blood products in the same building, enabling a rapid turnaround time. ASBBC-SA has had a partnership with Basic Military Training Command trainees since 1967. The center primarily works with the Air Force, Veterans Affairs, and the Navy. The team travels twice a year to the Air Force Academy in Colorado to host blood drives.

  • Location: Lackland Air Force Base, 2430 Ladd St., Building 3425, Lackland, TX, 78236
  • Products Collected: Whole Blood and Plasma (Apheresis), Platelet products
  • Top Contributors: Trainees and Active Duty
  • Access: Anyone who has access to the installation is encouraged to donate, assuming they meet all donor eligibility requirements.

Fort Bliss, Texas, is also the home of an ASBP BDC. One strength of the Fort Bliss BDC, besides consistently hosting successful blood drives, is that its staff will travel to support other blood drives when needed such as for the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Summer Training Blood Drives in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Established in 1985, the center works primarily with the Army. The team also travels to Fort Huachuca in Arizona and Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, to collect whole blood.

  • Location: Fort Bliss Army Installation, 11330 SSG Sims Street, Fort Bliss, TX, 79918
  • Products Collected: Whole Blood, Plasma (Apheresis), and Platelet products.
  • Top Contributors: As FORSCOM installation, Active Duty is the largest contributor.
  • Access: Anyone who has access to the installation is encouraged to donate, assuming they meet all donor eligibility requirements.

Robertson Blood Donor Center, located in Fort Cavazos, Texas, differs from the previously listed BDCs in that they are a rapid deployment installation. This means that soldiers are on regular rotations in and out of the installation throughout the year.

The staff here supports blood drives outside of Texas too, supporting and assisting in the collection and distribution processes at the large-scale Cadet Summer Training and West Point blood drives every year. One attractive aspect of the BDC, established in 1979, is that they offer soldiers a memorandum for the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM) which is worth promotion points.

Robertson BDC, Public Affairs Specialist Ian Wilson said that “One of the greatest things I get to do as a recruiter at this installation is going out to brief hundreds of soldiers at a time and get them hyped for a blood drive. Sharing what it is that we offer as incentives and letting them know what their command will offer if they volunteer. It’s a great experience.”

Robertson Blood Donor Center is an Army BDC with its own facility on the Fort Cavazos Army installation. The facility was recently approved for a complete renovation, and they plan to have a fully renovated building by 2025. The building is home to an Annual Donor Appreciation Event. Wilson explained what happens at this important event: “We award our donors depending upon the amount of blood they have donated consistently over time. A gallon or more is required to be invited.

  • Location: Fort Cavazos Army Installation, 2250 W 761st Tank Battalion Ave, Fort Cavazos, TX
  • Products Collected: Whole Blood and Plasma (Apheresis) products
  • Top Contributors: Active Duty, with significant contributions from our military dependents and retirees.
  • Access: Anyone who has access to the installation is encouraged to donate, assuming they meet all donor eligibility requirements.

These four ASBP Texas BDCs, with all their different strengths, positively impact lives by creating lifesaving blood products while simultaneously enhancing military readiness. Schedule a donation at one of these BDCs by contacting them via phone or online:

About the Armed Services Blood Program

Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program is the official blood program of the United States military. Our mission is to provide quality blood products and support to military operations worldwide; from the battlefield to the local hospital, whenever and wherever needed. The ASBP collects, processes, stores, transports, and distributes blood products to service members, their families, retirees and veterans in peace and war. In an ASBP Enterprise view—Military Health Affairs, Defense Health Agency, Service Blood Programs and Combatant Commands—we operate under common goals, metrics, procedures, and work together to shape the future.

The ASBP is one of four organizations tasked with providing a safe blood supply to the Nation. Our program also works closely with our civilian counterparts in times of need to maximize the availability of this national treasure.

To find out more about the ASBP or schedule an appointment to donate, please visit www.health.mil/militaryblood. To interact directly with ASBP staff members or get the latest news, follow us @militaryblood on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), and @usmilitaryblood on Instagram.

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Last Updated: April 09, 2024
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