Sgt. Andrew McNeil
3rd CAB
Photo by Sgt. Andrew McNeil
The command team of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade enroll in a Department of Defense marrow registry at Hunter Army Airfield Sept. 14. The registry allows Soldiers to give back to the community.

Marne Air Soldiers give back to the community

The Army has seven values it instills in Soldiers: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, personal courage. Selfless service is a value the Soldiers of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade take seriously as Soldiers enrolled in the Department of Defense marrow registry at Hunter Army Airfield Sept. 13-17.

The marrow donor registry effort was led by Master Sgt. Christopher Cashell, a Soldier assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd CAB. Cashell conducted briefs educating Soldiers on what being on the registry entails and helped facilitate Soldiers joining the registry.

“Joining the registry is a simple way that a Soldier can potentially help save someone’s life,” Cashell said. “It may be a few months after registration, a few years, or they may never get the call, but if you can help save someone’s life how can you say no.”

The Soldiers who choose to participate filled out paperwork and conducted a cheek swab. The tissue gathered from the swab would allow medical professionals to determine if that Soldier was a match for someone in need of marrow. Once on the registry, the Soldiers’ information remains in a database until their sixtieth birthday.

“I joined the registry in 2019,” said Maj. Michelle McDevitt, the executive officer for the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion. “I saw a video on Facebook for a young man who was in need of bone marrow. He did not have any matches within his family and was trying to have more people register and promote the cause for others in need. I joined the registry so that if I was ever a match I could assist.”

Medical professionals from the registry informed McDevitt this year that she was a match for an individual in need of marrow. Being a match is the first step, she will have to continue with labs and further testing to make sure they are a compatible match, McDevitt said.

Soldiers who join the registry demonstrate selfless service by showing they are willing to help complete strangers. When a Soldier matches and is able donate their marrow, they can save a life.

“If you have the opportunity to help someone it is a great thing to do,” McDevitt said. “I am grateful for my health and see this as a chance to give back.”