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Family of fallen soldier hosts Red Cross blood drive in his memory

Greater Ozarks-Arkansas

October 24, 2013
 

JONESBORO, Ark. — Members of the armed forces risk their lives to serve their country every day on the battlefield. The family of Staff Sgt. Paul Brooks knows what it’s like to have a loved one make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. That is why his family members are partnering with the American Red Cross and media sponsor Jonesboro Radio Group to keep his and other soldiers’ memories alive.

Brooks was killed in action in May 2009 while serving a second tour of duty in Iraq. The 34-year-old father of four served as an Army combat medic. On Nov. 9, the Red Cross will host the third annual SSG. Paul Brooks Fallen Soldier Memorial Blood Drive in his memory.

“I just know that if Paul were still alive he would be the first in line to donate,” Paul’s mother, Barbara Brooks, said. “He was that kind of person.  He was a medic because he wanted to help people. Now, as a family, we want to help others in his memory.”

Paul Brooks’ sister, Nikki Winn, is a former Red Cross employee and regular blood donor. When her family began thinking of a way to honor her brother, a blood drive seemed like a natural choice.

“We could not think of a better way to honor him than by helping save lives by working with the American Red Cross,” Winn said. “My mother, father, niece and nephew all gave blood for the first time during our inaugural drive. I’ve been giving for years. Now, I think it’s the least I can do to honor my brother and make a difference.”

The Red Cross has collected 138 pints of blood during the two previous drives in memory of Brooks, and the goal for this year’s drive is 75 pints. Blood donations can be used to treat trauma victims, cancer patients, and premature infants, among others. Each pint the Red Cross collects may help save up to three lives. The need for blood is constant, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative blood.

SSG. Paul Brooks Fallen Soldier Memorial Drive:

Nov. 9 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Rock of Northeast Arkansas Life Center, 4318 E. Johnson  Ave., Jonesboro, Ark.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBldGOA.