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145th Airlift Wing Airmen give the "gift of life" during blood drive

Ashley Gilbertson, mobile team leader for Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, (CBCC), draws blood from U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Partridge, medical technician with the 145th Medical Group, during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. All blood donated through CBCC goes to help patients in need, who live in the local community. Donating just one pint of blood takes less than an hour but can save up to three lives.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

Ashley Gilbertson, mobile team leader for Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, (CBCC), draws blood from U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Partridge, medical technician with the 145th Medical Group, during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. All blood donated through CBCC goes to help patients in need, who live in the local community. Donating just one pint of blood takes less than an hour but can save up to three lives. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 145th Airlift Wing donates blood during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. The drive was sponsored by the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. All blood donated goes to help patients who live in local communities. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 145th Airlift Wing donates blood during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. The drive was sponsored by the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. All blood donated goes to help patients who live in local communities. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U. S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Monahan, crew chief for the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, gets water from Amanda Richardson, a member of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas bloodmobile team, during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. The blood donated by Airmen through CBCC stays in the community helping patients in local hospitals. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

U. S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Monahan, crew chief for the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, gets water from Amanda Richardson, a member of the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas bloodmobile team, during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. The blood donated by Airmen through CBCC stays in the community helping patients in local hospitals. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

Vials of blood donated by Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing wait to be tested by Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. Over a dozen tests are performed on each vial including establishing blood types. The blood collected during the blood drive held on April 9, 2016 at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, helps patients within the local community. Donating one pint takes an hour or less, and in the end one walks away having saved up to three lives. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

Vials of blood donated by Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing wait to be tested by Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. Over a dozen tests are performed on each vial including establishing blood types. The blood collected during the blood drive held on April 9, 2016 at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, helps patients within the local community. Donating one pint takes an hour or less, and in the end one walks away having saved up to three lives. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing rolled up their sleeves to donate blood as they stepped into the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) bloodmobile during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. All blood donated through CBCC goes to help patients in local community hospitals. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing rolled up their sleeves to donate blood as they stepped into the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) bloodmobile during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016. All blood donated through CBCC goes to help patients in local community hospitals. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran/Released)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Airmen from the 145th Airlift Wing rolled up their sleeves to donate blood as they stepped into the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) bloodmobile during a blood drive held at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, April 9, 2016.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. More than 400 blood products are transfused each day in local hospitals within Mecklenburg County alone, more than has ever been needed in any domestic disaster.

"Only 35 percent of people can donate but only seven percent actually do," said Ashley Gilbertson, mobile team leader for CBCC.

"People in the military are selfless and want to support their community. These Airmen not only wanted to, but took the time to come in and donate today," said Gilbertson.

"I've been donating since my junior year in high school. I know there is a need, and this is one way I can give back to our community," said Senior Airman Daniel Monahan, crew chief for the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

All blood donated through the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas goes to help those patients who live in our local communities.

Blood is split into three products - red cells, plasma and platelets. This means the donators blood can be used to help three different patients in the local hospitals. The whole process takes an hour or less, and in the end, you walk away saving up to three lives.

"We are so thankful to be on base today and that your commanders allowed your staff to donate," said Cheryl Gunter, CBCC coordinator.

NCANG Airmen "found the hero within" giving 14 units of blood, epitomizing the Air Force core value of service before self.