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Nov. 3, 2011 Volume 33, No. 11

Giving back at blood drive for Veterans Week


Veterans Week on campus from Nov. 7 to 11

The Mizzou Student Veterans Association (MSVA) and MU’s Army ROTC program, along with the American Red Cross, will sponsor a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 7 in Memorial Union’s Mark Twain Ballroom. Faculty, staff and students, as well as residents of the Columbia community are invited to donate.

The blood drive is an inaugural event held during this year’s annual Veterans Week celebration, which will take place from Nov. 7 through Nov. 11 on campus.

John Picray, vice president of MSVA and a senior majoring in anthropology, has donated blood since he was 18.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with the Red Cross and wanted to do a blood drive as a way of helping out,” he said. “Through my association with MSVA, this seemed like a good tie-in.

“Giving blood is a great way to give back to your community,” Picray said. “You can save lives doing that and it is personally rewarding as well.”

Picray explained that the Red Cross is aiming to collect 30 units, which means it needs about 50 donors. The blood will be used locally and where the need is greatest.

“Anyone can donate; it is an open blood drive,” Picray said.

The blood drive is one event during Veterans Week during which citizens, both military and non-military, can come out and celebrate those who have committed themselves to serving their country.

On Nov. 8, the campus will honor former Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta. Staff Sgt. Giunta is the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan and the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

Giunta received the medal in 2010 for his heroic actions in a firefight in Afghanistan in 2007. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Jesse Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

A full calendar of events is posted around campus and on the MSVA’s Facebook page. Anyone with questions may call Picray at 816-261-6095 or email him at