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419th Fighter Wing hosts first ‘Bloody Warrior Drive’

A Red Cross phlebotomist marks the vein on a 419th Fighter Wing reservist’s arm during the wing’s Bloody Warrior Drive Jan. 9, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

A Red Cross phlebotomist marks the vein on a 419th Fighter Wing reservist’s arm during the wing’s Bloody Warrior Drive Jan. 9, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The blood drive was organized in cooperation with the Red Cross of such done at Hill during an Air Force Reserve drill weekend. More than 20 reservists and family members donated more than 25 pints of blood. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

Col. Matthew Fritz, commander of the 419th Fighter Wing, speaks to Tech. Sgt. Jared Jacques, emergency management superintendent in the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron, while donating blood during the 419th FW Bloody Warrior Drive Jan. 9, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Col. Matthew Fritz, commander of the 419th Fighter Wing, speaks to Tech. Sgt. Jared Jacques, emergency management superintendent in the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron, while donating blood during the 419th FW Bloody Warrior Drive Jan. 9, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The blood drive was organized in cooperation with the Red Cross of such done at Hill during an Air Force Reserve drill weekend. More than 20 reservists and family members donated more than 25 pints of blood. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – The 419th Fighter Wing hosted its first blood donation drive on a Reserve training weekend Jan. 9 in partnership with the American Red Cross.

Though Hill hosts monthly blood drives, the Bloody Warrior Drive is the first to be sponsored and coordinated by the 419th, and designed to work around the busy training weekend for the nearly 1,300 Reserve Airmen who work here one weekend a month and two weeks a year.

“The drive collected over 25 pints of blood and was an overall success,” said Senior Airman Merissa Fynan, an emergency management journeyman in the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron. Fynan came up with the idea to hold a drive for reservists and was the person responsible for planning and executing the drive.

The 23 Airmen, including several base senior leaders, who donated blood also received free COVID antibody testing, which helps the Red Cross identify potential convalescent plasma donors used as a therapeutic for COVID-19 patients.

“Every donation of blood has the potential to save up to three lives,” said Lynnette Hitt, a donor recruitment account representative at the American Red Cross.

“I am overwhelmed with the support and turnout from the 419th,” Fynan said. “I am unable to donate myself, but I figured if I can’t donate, I’ll coordinate for those who can.”

Fynan would like to hold more blood drives for the Reserve Airmen of the 419th FW and is already planning for a drive this summer.