First local guardsman death focus of Poulsbo blood drive

POULSBO — A Poulsbo woman is once again offering locals a chance to honor an area service person killed in Iraq.

Not with flowers or a card, but by donating a pint of blood.

Poulsbo resident Emily Jensen, a volunteer for the Puget Sound Blood Center, is holding a Sgt. Jeffrey Shaver memorial blood drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 23 in Poulsbo’s Christ Memorial Church, west wing room 270.

This is the third memorial blood drive Jensen has organized for a local fallen service person. About one year ago, she organized two blood drives in honor of Bremerton Marine Randal Rosacker, who was killed in action in March 2003. Earlier this year, she held a similar event in the name of Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Bunda during Military Appreciation Day at the Silverdale Mall, which received 58 donations.

“I was so excited about that one. It was very cool and I’m glad I did it,” Jensen said.Earlier this month, Jensen was volunteering at PSBC in Silverdale when her supervisor laid a newspaper article about Shaver’s death in front of her.

“He said, ‘Here you go, I know you like to do blood drives for people like this,’” Jensen said.

Shaver, a Maple Valley resident and fiance of a Silverdale woman, became the first member of the Army National Guard killed in Iraq when he died from shrapnel wounds May 12.

In order to hold a blood drive in the name of a deceased person, the host must first get permission from the honoree’s family. Jensen said she’s been grateful that in all three cases, the families have been very supportive of her efforts. In Shaver’s case, Jensen talked to his fiancee Charity Canterbury, who immediately gave the thumbs up to the tribute.

And though Jensen never met any of the deceased men she’s honored through her community service, she said she’s happy to do it.

“It’s been very interesting. I’ve met some wonderful people through this,” she commented.

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