Air Guard's training center gives blood donation with core value

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center
 The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center's students and faculty here donated a generous amount of blood recently, and officials hope to draw more for the community.

Officials announced today that the Center held eight blood drives in partnership with the Medic Regional Blood Center since January 2011 that collected 493 pints of blood.

"They say that each pint of blood can save up to three lives, so that's potentially 1,500 lives," said Master Sgt. Jonathan Liermann, the enlisted professional military education instructor here responsible for the drives.

The blood, enough to overfill a 60 gallon roll out trash can, went to eastern Tennessee hospitals. It's in high demand, and the Center's student body was the main provider.

The Center is home to the Air National Guard's professional military education and instruction, among other vital missions, including its premier Airman Leadership School and Noncommissioned Officer Academy. When combined with professional continuing education sessions, more than 4,200 service members from the Total Force, Coast Guard and Canada attend courses here annually.

That's a lot of prospective blood donors, and the Center is gearing up to hold its next blood drive April 1-2 when its enlisted leadership courses are being held.

"We collect about 100 pints for every blood drive," said Liermann, who praised the students' contribution.

That's not including the 10 percent or more of students who cannot donate due to restrictions but still volunteer to assist Medic staff, he said.

"Because this is such a pro-military community in and around the Knoxville area, it gives our students an opportunity to give back," said Liermann.

Students also earn points for their community service, which helps their assessments in academic honors.

Liermann said the Air Force core value of "Service Before Self" is taught in the classrooms but is imparted firsthand through the blood drives.

"It's a value Airmen already hold and bring here, which they reinforce, pint by pint," said Liermann.