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Blood drive honors fallen guardsman

Helping those in need and remembering a soldier who died for our country — these are just two of the many reasons to donate blood at an upcoming blood drive.

The drive is being held in memory of Sgt. Jeffrey Shaver of Des Moines who recently was killed in Iraq. The fallen soldier has family in Kitsap County, including his fiancee who lives in Silverdale.

“We are doing this as a way to say thank you to fallen soldiers and their families,” coordinator Emily Jensen said.

Shaver was a medic in the Washington National Guard and the first member of the state’s 81st Armored Brigade, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment to die in military service.

The blood drive is being put on by the Puget Sound Blood Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, June 23, in the West Wing Room 270 at Christ Memorial Church in Poulsbo.

Jensen was born with Spina bifida and is unable to serve in the military.

“Holding this event is a way for me to honor the service men and women who have died and also a way to give back to the community,” Jensen said.

“Its such a neat feeling for me. I feel helpless because I can’t go over and fight. I’m doing this to show my appreciation.”

This will be the third blood drive she has coordinated that will be held in honor of a fallen soldier. Sixty blood donations were received at the first blood drive which she held in memory of fallen marine, Randal Rosacker. She then met with Rosacker’s family and saw many family photos of him.

“You try to put yourself in their shoes and try to find something you can do,” Jensen said.

She also sponsored a blood drive in memory of Staff Sgt. Christopher Bunda, a Bremerton soldier who died in Iraq.

People who would like to donate blood in honor of Shaver, but are unable to make it to the blood drive on June 23 still can go to the Puget Sound Blood Center and put the donation in his name.

“There is a huge shortage in our area, the more donations we get, the better,” Jensen said.

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