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NEWS | Aug. 31, 2020

Florida Guardsmen donate plasma to support COVID-19 mission

By Sgt. Leia Tascarini 107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

MIAMI - Florida National Guard (FLNG) Soldiers are working closely with civilian partner agencies to combat the COVID-19 disease by donating convalescent plasma.

“By donating blood and plasma, you can save so many lives,” said Lilly Miret, a blood donation recruiter at OneBlood. “After two negative COVID tests, anyone can donate plasma.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, antibodies are proteins made by the body in response to infections. Convalescent plasma from patients who have already recovered from coronavirus disease may contain antibodies against COVID-19. Giving this convalescent plasma to hospitalized people fighting COVID-19 may help them recover.

“Imagine [Florida Guard Soldiers] are doing more than they’re already doing by donating,” Miret said. “It’s very rewarding to see [Soldiers] come out and support their community by donating.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis called on those who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease to donate plasma. The FLNG jumped into action by allowing Soldiers who have recovered from the disease volunteer to donate blood and plasma.

“I am always proud of my Soldiers because of the caliber of people they are,” said Capt. Kenneth Dixon, company commander, 356th Quartermaster Company. “We are out here donating not just our time but also our blood because disaster response is a group effort.”

FLNG Soldiers have been on the front lines of the pandemic since late March and continue to support the mission all over the state at community-based testing sites and other facilities. More than 1,000 Soldiers remain in the fight against COVID, while others are preparing to respond to the 2020 hurricane season and overseas missions.