By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Airmen from the 50th Operations Support Squadron donated blood in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in response to recent mass shootings in the United States.
Second Lt. Charles Cooper, 50th OSS student, organized the event, which he described as a personal matter.
“Recently there have been mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio,” he said. “My girlfriend and her family live in El Paso and I’ve been there frequently. I thought this was a great opportunity to help despite the distance.”
Cooper said 18 Airmen from the 50th OSS attended the event and donated a pint of blood each in support of the victims of the shootings.
“Donating blood is a pretty selfless act,” he said. “The fact we had 18 people come out on such short notice really shows our Airmen embody ‘service before self.’”
Cooper said being active in the community is a good way to give back and helps strengthen unit camaraderie.
“Being in the military makes it easier to participate in events like these,” he said. “You’re surrounded by people who are willing to help accomplish whatever you’re wanting to do. However, you don’t have to be in the military to give back, it’s really something I think everyone should be doing, and it’s very rewarding.”
Airman 1st Class Sophia Carbajal, 50th OSS student, was one of the 18 Airmen who donated blood.
“There’s been a high demand for blood donations and with everything going on I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give back to the community.”
Airmen are expected to the live by three core values, integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.
“In the Air Force, we associate the core value service before self with our mission,” she said. “The 50th OSS decided to demonstrate this core value by donating blood to support the communities recently impacted by mass shootings.”
Carbajal said participating in something bigger than yourself is important.
“Take advantage of any opportunities you can that allow you to make a difference in the world,” she said. “By helping others, whether it’s donating your time, money or even blood, your actions can go a long way and make a difference.