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Army in fight to outshine comrades in blood drive

Seal Media Group, Australia

The battle lines were drawn as the annual Defence Blood Challenge got into full swing in September, with the three Services and the Australian Public Service competing for honours in five categories. The categories included most donations and most new donations.Townsville-based 3rd Brigade Commander Brigadier Kahlil Fegan and RAAF Base Townsville Wing Commander Matthew Green rolled up their sleaves as part of the local campaign. Brigadier Fegan said the challenge gave ADF staff another opportunity to serve the country and help fellow Australians in their time of need. Defence personnel, their families and the public are being encouraged to give blood or plasma and register their donations against their service tally.“It is something I feel very strongly about,” Brigadier Fegan said. “It is very satisfying knowing that every time you do donate, that donation could contribute to saving the lives of up to three people, which is pretty special.” As well as competing against other services to reach the highest number of donations, a Defence spokesman said soldiers in Townsville were also fighting to be the top region for donations.“I will shamelessly cheat to win this competition,” Brigadier Fegan said.“If members of North Queensland in the community not associated with Army want to donate they can do so.“When you come in, offer your donation to Army in particular and that will be greatly received.” Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said the challenge aimed to reach more than 10,500 donations this year, more than the 9500 donations made in 2020, to meet the increased demand for blood and plasma. Defence has participated in the challenge for more than a decade, contributing in excess of 100,000 donations over the years.Blood Service spokesman Ben Payne said donations stagnated throughout the Covid pandemic and led to a demand for more donations. Mr Payne said there was a great “rivalry” in Townsville between RAAF and Army personnel but that he wanted to see the city overtake Canberra in the number of donations. The drive will run across a number of months until December 8. You can register your appointment at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and start your donation journey today. Remember to make your donation count towards your chosen service to add to their tally. NAT – Stay Informed – Social Mediaashley.pillhofer@news.com.au

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