Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 24, 2007 18:06 ET

Canadians Urged to Donate Blood in Honour of Canadian Forces Personnel

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 24, 2007) - Major General Herbert Petras, Chief of Reserves and Cadets, announced today that Canadian Forces members - Regular and Reserves- and their families are inviting Canadians to donate blood to the Canadian Blood Services or Hema-Quebec this November as a way of honouring the past and ongoing contributions of Canadian Forces personnel at home and abroad.

In Canada, demand has been strong for blood and blood products and this past summer there were critical shortages. The Canadian Forces and their families' hope that their invitation will encourage able Canadians to attend blood clinics and improve the current blood bank situation.

All blood donors attending Canadian Blood Services clinics across the country will have the opportunity to fill in an "In Honour" card recognizing Canadian troops' contribution to a better world.

"The annual November In Honour blood drive has been a great success in past years," said Dr. Graham Sher of Canadian Blood Services. "It provides a tangible means for Canadians to say thank you for the sacrifices made by service members every day at home and abroad." The cards will be forwarded to CF members deployed throughout the world.

This fall, mobile clinics will visit Canadian Forces bases across the country so that members of the Canadian Forces, their families and their friends can do their part to respond to the increasing need for blood.

Being close to the Canadian public in their everyday life, reservists can easily relate to blood donors. "Members of the Canadian Forces are volunteers who give their time to something they believe in." says Major-General Petras. " They are in the business of saving lives and keeping Canadian's safe. We are also the partners of the Canadian Blood Services. Their cause is also to save life. I urge all Canadians to participate in blood clinics across the land. After all it is a matter of making a difference and saving life."

Captain Gordon Alexander (Sandy) Watson, from Halifax, N.S., knows the importance of both blood donation and the Reserves in Canada. Having been with the Reserves Forces for 19 years and having a 7-year-old boy who is a hemophiliac, the partnership to him makes a lot of sense; "Blood we all depend on it and I know, how important it is to help the Canadian Blood Services ensure the stability of the blood supply," he says.

The Canadian military has a strong, historical link to the blood system. Canadians began to voluntarily donate blood to help wounded Canadian troops during World War II. This was the start of blood banking in Canada and the wartime effort showed that Canadians had both the national will and the generosity to sustain a voluntary blood system.

"The In Honour program is an opportunity for Canadians to show support for the members and veterans of the Canadian Forces who have always been generous donors," said Dr. Sher. "At the same time, this is an opportunity to help ensure that those across Canada battling injury and illness get the blood and blood products they need. One donation can save up to three lives."

Corporal Shaun Fevens, a reservist from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, injured in Afghanistan, attended this year's launch said, "You don't realize how important blood donation is until you are the person who needs blood."

To make an appointment to donate blood call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283).

MULTIMEDIA AVAILABLE:
http://www.ccnmatthews.com/em/2727

Contact Information

  • Information: 613-996-2353/54
    www.forces.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Forces Health Services Group
    Gloria Kelly
    Communications Officer
    613-945-6850