By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor
Here’s part of the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan that you might not have considered – the need for blood can be critical.
That’s why commanders at military installations across the globe encourage their units and crews to donate blood.
The crew aboard the USS Buffalo, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is among those that heed the call – including, you guessed it, a crew member who hails from the Buffalo area.
The U.S. Navy Pacific Command earlier this month recognized the crew of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine for heavy lifting when it came to making a sizable number of blood donations to the Tripler Army Medical Center in nearby Honolulu.
Read the Naval press release here.
Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle visited the USS Buffalo’s home port in Pearl Harbor to honor the crew, including Buffalo area native Daniel Wacek.
Wacek, 24, an Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class, hails from Clarence and is among 70 to 80 crew members who regularly gives blood that ends up going to members of the Armed Forces, military families and, in some cases, service members wounded in forward positions.
“Every blood drive, I donate,” he said. “I started donating about a year ago, when the captain started organizing blood drives.”
Wacek joined the Navy in 2009 and helps maintain all electrical equipment aboard the USS Buffalo.
“Petty Officer Wacek is an exceptional sailor and a great mentor for the other sailors on the boat,” said Cmdr. Brian Tothero, commanding officer of the USS Buffalo. “He has served his country and Western New York proudly during his three years of operations around the globe. He has represented the people of Buffalo and Western New York extremely well.”
An email exchange with Wacek pointed up what many Western New York families might recognize about loved ones who leave mother ship Buffalo:
What does he miss most about Western New York?
“Chicken wings in general, specifically from Duffs though, and Wing Fest.”
When he comes home, where are the first places he stops?
“Mighty Taco, then usually my parents' house and my friends’ houses.”
Being based in Hawaii, does he ever miss the Buffalo weather?
“No, tropical weather is better than snow any day of the week. I don’t care what Don Paul says!”