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Pease Airmen pay it forward

Master Sgt. June Fonteyne, 157th Medical Group health systems technician, explains the bone marrow registration process to an Airman at the clinic Nov. 7, 2015. The drive was run through the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, also known as the Salute to Life. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kayla Rorick)

Master Sgt. June Fonteyne, 157th Medical Group health systems technician, explains the bone marrow registration process to an Airman at the clinic Nov. 7, 2015. The drive was run through the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, also known as the Salute to Life. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kayla Rorick)

Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Mercier, 157th Air Refueling Wing Small Air Terminal superintendent, donates blood during a blood drive on base Nov. 7, 2015. The blood drive, which was held in Hanger 254, was a community project the Pease Rising Five professional development group. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashlyn J. Correia)

Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Mercier, 157th Air Refueling Wing Small Air Terminal superintendent, donates blood during a blood drive on base Nov. 7, 2015. The blood drive, which was held in Hanger 254, was a community project the Pease Rising Five professional development group. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashlyn J. Correia)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- Members of the New Hampshire Air National Guard helped to organize a Bone Marrow and Blood Drive during the November Unit Training Assembly as part of a community project here Nov 7-8, 2015.

The blood drive, which was held in Hanger 254, was the brainchild of the Pease Rising Five professional development group. Organizers set a goal to collect 45 units.

"I was impressed to see so many people selflessly donating," said Staff Sgt. Curtis White, 157th Air Refueling Wing chaplain assistant.

While the drive fell short of its goal, collecting 43 units, organizers highlighted that due to the overwhelming response, 15 people were unable to donate based on time constraints.

"Even though we didn't reach our target, we're very happy with the results," said Tech. Sgt. Johnathan Rodriguez Lopez, Airman and Family Readiness NCO for the 64th Air Refueling Squadron, who helped organize the event.

The donated blood will go to nearby Portsmouth Hospital. According to the Red Cross, one unit of blood can save as many as three lives.

In August the Pease Rising Five held a similar blood drive on base with a target to collect 25 units of blood. When finished, the blood drive collected a total of 38 units.

A bone marrow drive was organized by Staff Sgt. Brittney Wyatt, 157th Medical Group aerospace medical technician.

The drive was run through the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, also called the Salute to Life.

"We had such a good turnout, it was amazing," said Wyatt. "I knew we would have a good turnout but I never expected what we had."

Member and spouses completed paperwork and gave a series of cell samples on cotton swabs.

The paperwork and swabs will be forwarded to Salute to Life. Information will then be entered into a national data base.

There are currently more than 12 million people on the national bone marrow registry.

Organizers of both drives indicated that similar events will be held again.
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