Military relaxes restrictions to donate blood

By Geoffrey Morris,
Stuttgart Citizen Volunteer

A soldier donates blood to the Armed Services Blood Program during a blood drive at Patch Barracks. Photo by Geoffrey Morris, Stuttgart Citizen volunteer.

This summer the Armed Services Blood Program teamed up with the Stuttgart American Red Cross to host a blood drive and over 160 donors signed up. For many of them, this was their first opportunity since restrictions on donating eased.

Stuttgart Army Health Clinic Commander Lt. Col. Maria Bruton was never allowed to donate blood because she lived overseas for more than five years during her childhood.

“I just checked the update about the upcoming blood drive, saying they changed the restrictions,” said Bruton. “I was so excited when I looked and saw I could finally donate.”

As the official blood program of the Department of Defense, all the blood donated to the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) stays within the military. Donated blood goes with teams throughout EUCOM, AFRICOM and CENTCOM for real-world missions and live-fire exercises, as well as to patients in military medical facilities overseas.

Many others who had been prohibited before for similar reasons turned out en masse during the Stuttgart garrison summer campaign to donate blood for those in need. In total, nearly 20 gallons were collected with almost half from first-time donors.

“I always donate as many chances as I get,” said Adriana Yampe, a Romanian Native who was previously restricted from donating to the military’s blood bank. “I want to help keep O+ supplies full.”

The ASBP-Europe is always looking for units and organizations to sponsor blood drives to help meet this important mission. Check the Blood Donor Eligibility Requirements and contact them at or on Facebook for the latest information.