PHOTO CAPTION: A boy scout member of Seoul American High school helps out service member with registration during the DOD Bone Marrow Donor Drive held at the Yongsan Exchange, April. 26. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Jung Ji-hoon)
April 30, 2013
By Pfc. Jung Ji-hoon (IMCOM)
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- Selfless service is not only a core value of the Army, but also a virtue that military personal are expected to demonstrate in their daily lives. However, it is usually not easy to give away your property, especially to a stranger.
More than 500 people among DOD suffer with deadly disorders like leukemia, and need life saving bone marrow transplants. In order to support these families and other potential patients, DOD runs a marrow donation program. USFK held a drive was held in Yongsan Exchange, April 26 - 27.
In true volunteer spirit many people registered for the program, willing to help a stranger they may never meet.
"I am here to do the right thing," said John Wolf, who registered as a bone marrow donor that day. "It is always a good thing to help somebody else, and everybody needs a help out. It does not matter if the people in need are strangers or not. So that is why I am here to register for this."
During the drive, Lt. Gen. John. D. Johnson, the Eighth Army commander, visited the site to encourage the volunteers and register himself as a donor. Johnson also inspired the new donors and drive coordinators, quoting that they are showing true volunteerism.
"The process for registering as a bone marrow donor is a simple one," Johnson said. "Yet, many people do not register because of their fear and indifference. So I really thank for those who are here today, willing to help others voluntarily. Also, I thank for the volunteers who came here to help the event go on smoothly."
In addition to saving people's lives, bone marrow donor registration helps soldiers to be prepared for possible CBRN attack. Navy Capt. Krista Dellapina, the chief of operational law for USFK and a donor herself, explained the meaning of the drive she coordinated, and emphasized its importance in the perspective of acquiring mission readiness.
"This event means a lot to us all," Dellapina said. "Firstly, the people who need bone marrow donation may be able to find matching marrows. Next, it inspires everyone to come up and show their warmth, which will bond the community together. Lastly, this drive allows DOD to create a database to use in case service members' marrow is contaminated by chemical attacks."
For more about the DOD bone marrow donor program, visit www.dodmarrow.com .