Honoring a legacy of service

UNION — The Walmart Super Center in Union will be the site of one of 16 blood drives this weekend honoring the memory of fallen soldiers including an Army captain from Easley who was killed in Iraq over a decade ago.

In a statement released Monday, The Blood Connection announced that it will honor the memory of Army Captain Kimberly Hampton with blood drives in Greenville, the Upstate and Western North Carolina this week. Hampton was serving in Iraq when her helicopter was hit by ground fire on January 2, 2004. She died instantly serving her country while performing a job that she loved. For her parents, Dale and Ann Hampton from Easley, the annual blood drive is a way to serve patients in need while honoring their daughter’s legacy of service and other fallen soldiers.

“We look forward to this event every year as we work with The Blood Connection to draw attention to the need for blood donations in our community,” said Ann Hampton. “As we remember Kimberly, we encourage the community to come out and donate the gift of life at one of many area locations. Every two seconds, a person in our community will need a blood transfusion.”

Blood drives to honor fallen soldiers will take place this Friday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Aug. 15 at the following times and locations.

Friday, Aug. 14

11 a.m.-4 p.m. — Captain Kimberly Hampton Memorial Library, 304 Biltmore Rd., Easley, SC

11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart, 3950 Grandview Drive, Simpsonville, SC

11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart, 3027 Wade Hampton Blvd, Taylors, SC

11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart, 1636 Sandifer Blvd, Seneca, SC

11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart, 2637 Gentry Memorial Hwy; Pickens, SC

11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart, 115 Rolling Hill Circle, Easley, SC

11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart, 805 West Wade Hampton Blvd Ste B, Greer, SC

2 p.m.-7 p.m. — BiLo, 371 South Main Street, Woodruff, SC

Saturday, Aug. 15

11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart Dorman, 141 Dorman Centre Drive, Spartanburg, SC

11 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart Union, 513 North Duncan Bypass, Union, SC

2 p.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart Toccoa, 3886 Highway 17 South Eastanollee, GA 30538

11 a.m.-4 p.m. — Walmart Greenville, 3925 Pelham Road, Greenville, SC

2 a.m.-7 p.m. — Walmart Travelers Rest, 9 Benton Road, Travelers Rest, SC

9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Etowah Lions Club, 447 Etowah School Road, Hendersonville, NC

10 a.m.-3 p.m. — Maple Street Theater, 132 Maple Street, Rutherfordton, NC

11 a.m.-4 p.m. — NC State Bluegrass Festival, 1885 US 70 West, Marion, NC

Donations can also be made at The Blood Connection’s donation centers between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the following locations: 435 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC; 341 Old Abbeville Highway, Greenwood, SC; 1954 East Main Street, Easley, SC; 1308 Sandifer Blvd., Seneca, SC; 825 Spartanburg Hwy, Hendersonville, NC; and 270 North Grove Medical Park Drive, Spartanburg, SC.

About Kimberly Hampton

Kimberly was born August 18, 1976, the only child of Dale and Ann Hampton. She grew up in Easley, and was an honor graduate of Easley High School in 1994, and of Presbyterian College in 1998. Upon graduation from college, Kimberly was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Since childhood, Kimberly had always wanted to “fly over the tree tops like a bird.” In 1999, her wish was granted. She graduated with honors from the U.S. Army Helicopter Flight School and Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where she trained to fly the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter.

About The Kiowa Warrior

The Kiowa Warrior flies in support of infantry soldiers on the ground. The helicopter can shoot and observe action on the ground and has radio communications to ask for more firepower when needed. For the infantry, these are angels with firepower.

About The Blood Connection

Founded in 1979 in Greenville, SC, The Blood Connection (TBC) is the largest independently managed, non-profit community blood center in the region. It recruits donors and collects blood within an 8,390 square mile area of South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. In South Carolina, TBC supports Greenville, Spartanburg, Union, Pickens, Oconee, Greenwood, McCormick, Laurens, and Newberry Counties. In Georgia, TBC supports Stephens County.

In 2011, The Blood Connection expanded into Western North Carolina and now serves Polk, Buncombe, Transylvania, McDowell, Macon and Henderson Counties.

Licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, TBC collects blood from donors through bloodmobiles, portable field units, and fixed donation sites. It holds approximately twelve blood drives every day and collects over 120,000 units of blood, platelets and plasma each year to connect volunteer blood donors, hospitals, and patients needing life-saving transfusions. For more information, contact The Blood Connection or visit thebloodconnection.org.

Blood drives honor memory of Capt. Kimberly Hampton