MURFREESBORO, TN — The American Red Cross is partnering with the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Red Cross Club and the MTSU Charlie Daniels Veterans Center to offer individuals a chance to help others and commemorate the events of Sept. 11 by giving blood in honor of their favorite military branch – U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard. The second annual Battle of the Branches blood drive will be held Tuesday, Sept. 11, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Tom H. Jackson Building, (Cantrell Hall), 130 E. Main St. in Murfreesboro. Donors’ blood donations will help decide which military branch wins bragging rights.

Battle of the Branches is a friendly competition to encourage community members to support their local military members and perform their own heroic act with a blood donation on 9/11 Day. All presenting donors during the blood drive will get to cast a vote to help decide the winner, and will receive a coupon via email for a free haircut from Sport Clips as part of the “Saving Lives Never Looked So Good” campaign. The winning military branch will also be presented with a plaque at the MTSU homecoming football game versus UNC-Charlotte Oct. 20.

Honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11, while helping to save lives through blood donation is a tradition of the Red Cross and MTSU. Last year, 102 blood donations were made at Battle of the Branches, with the U.S. Army securing the most votes and winning. 

“Our goal is to keep alive the spirit of unity and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks by providing a positive way for people to remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, and honor those that rose up in service in response to the attacks,” said Mario Sedlock, director of donor recruitment, Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “We are grateful to Dr. Hilary Miller, the Charlie Daniels Veterans Center, MTSU and its donors for their ongoing support to ensure we honor our heroes while making sure patients have the blood products they need.”

Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to help support accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. In the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region, 500 blood donations must be collected every day to meet the needs of regional hospitals. 

“The Daniels Center is excited to partner with the Red Cross for the Battle of the Branches, said Dr. Hilary Miller, director of the Charlie Daniels Veteran Center. “We are glad to be a part and to help the Red Cross and our community in this way.”

While all blood types are needed, those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. 

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, sponsor code: MTSU or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.