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Base personnel, spouses "roll up their sleeves" to give blood

LAAFB personnel and spouses donated 75 pints of blood at the quarterly Red Cross blood drive held at the Health and Wellness Center, May 30.

LAAFB personnel and spouses donated 75 pints of blood at the quarterly Red Cross blood drive held at the Health and Wellness Center, May 30.

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE -- Base personnel and spouses donated 75 pints of blood at the quarterly Red Cross blood drive held at the Health and Wellness Center, May 30. Donors were treated to Subway Sandwiches and cookies during the lunch hours for their contribution. 

According to Capt. Daniel Gallton, Space Superiority Systems Wing, the base is a big part of Red Cross's source of blood donors. 

"Los Angeles Air Force Base is the second largest blood donor in the area," said Captain Gallton, who served as the base blood drive coordinator for the third term. 

According to Captain Gallton, southern California faces a continuous shortage of blood and is at a critical state due to lack of donors. 

"California has one of the lowest donor rates throughout the whole United States," he said. "Typically they (blood banks) are mandated by law to have a week's amount of blood on hand. Currently, they have only a couple hour's worth of blood on hand. It's a desperate scene." 

For the next blood drive planned in August, Captain Gallton would like to increase the hours as to give donors a wider scheduling timeframe. He also hopes to get more spouses and retirees in addition to base personnel. 

"We had a few spouses come in but no retirees," he said. "That's our next target. It happens only four times a year but we're trying to increase the amount of folks who come to donate their blood. 

"Blood drive is one of my 'big babies,'" said Captain Gallton, who is also the social director for the Company Grade Officers. "Some people don't realize what a valuable gift it is, even if they only give once or twice a year. Every little bit helps." 

For information on the next blood drive, contact Captain Gallton at 310-416-1782.