Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) Peter Morritt recently completed his 100th blood donation, 21 years after his first.
CAPTION: Australian Army Warrant Officer Class One Peter Morritt makes his 100th donation to the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood centre. Story by Captain Jordan Grantham.
This one was for Team Army in the 14th Defence Blood Challenge.
WO1 Morritt first donated blood after supporting his wife, Joanne, at her first donation.
“Donating blood or plasma or platelets is lifesaving, they can’t be mass produced anywhere other than our own bodies,” WO1 Morritt said.
Despite many postings, operations and exercises, WO1 Morritt persevered with donations, while convincing others to also donate.
“I certainly try to get personnel to come along. Last year, while we were on exercise up in Rockhampton, we got one of the international exchange officers in to donate as well,” he said.
Recently, his motivation to donate came close to home after a good mate was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
“He has had surgery and is recovering well but my new blood donation slogan is ‘Give for Gary’. Platelets can be donated every two weeks and are mainly used for cancer patients,” he said.
The Defence Blood Challenge runs until December 8.
“We put our hands up to join Defence to support a cause, to defend our country, to support our personnel and to provide aid to the civilian community,” WO1 Morritt said.
“You can go a little step further and take some time to donate.”
During last year’s Defence Blood Challenge, personnel made 10,698 donations, with the potential of saving 32,000 lives.
Team Army came first with 4040 donations and 242 new donors.
Competition was strong from the Navy, whose representation was strongest at 18.7 per cent of personnel.
The Air Force had the swiftest increase, at 8.9 per cent more donations.
WO1 Morritt enjoys his latest posting to Canberra, at Headquarters Royal Military College –Australia, where his chain of command respects his regular blood donations.
“It’s strongly encouraged in the workplace; my supervisors are very supportive,” he said.
WO1 Morritt encouraged other units to support blood donations for personal and team benefits.
“I try to encourage others to donate, affording them to take a break from work and justification to put their feet up and relax their minds,” he said.
“By donating, you’re giving back to the community and setting a good example for others within the workplace to take time out for some mental health.”