The Edmond Sun

June 23, 2013

USS Oklahoma City hosts blood drive for those injured in natural disaster


Special to The Sun

NAVAL BASE GUAM — The crew of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723), hosted a blood drive, June 14, in tribute to those who were injured in the Oklahoma City tornado.

Since the natural disaster in their namesake city, the submarine crew had been pining for a chance to help in relief efforts. Though the submarine is more than 7,000 miles away, the crew organized and executed a blood drive as a way to show they cared.

The blood drive was set up through the Armed Forces Blood Program, and held at the Charles King Fitness Center on Naval Base Guam.

According to Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SS) Justin Fordyce, the USS Oklahoma City’s blood drive coordinator, blood donated to the AFBP won’t reach those in Oklahoma City, but the message behind their actions is a tribute to those far away.

“It was a little discouraging that the blood won’t make it to those in Oklahoma, but, no matter what, it will help people in need,” said Fordyce. “It’s because of the people in Oklahoma that we made such a strong effort here to show we care.”

The AFBP collects blood throughout the world for the use in DoD and military facilities and has been known to help local, non-military hospitals in need during emergencies. This event had over 33 participants in nine hours, which helped replenish a distinct need for blood in Guam and the Pacific theater.

“Everyone on the submarine watched the news about the tornado in Oklahoma City. Even though we’re far away, I feel we have a connection with the city,” said Hundley.

“Ultimately, we want to support the community, whether it’s the community in Guam, the military community, or the communities back home, including our namesake city in Oklahoma,” said Hundley.

To find out where there is a military blood drive in your area, or to see about getting one set up near you, go to www.militarydonor.mil.