Houchin Community Blood Bank unveils veterans wall of honor at Bolthouse Drive donor center

Bianca Cacciola, Reporter

Houchin Community Blood Bank unveiled the latest addition to their Bolthouse Drive donor center on Nov. 9. The debut of a veteran’s wall honored the men and women who have served the country in all branches of the military.

“The theme of our Veteran’s Wall of Honor is service and sacrifice to our community,” said Brad Bryan, Houchin’s CEO and current Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard Reserves.

The Veteran’s Wall of Honor had glass frames of the seals on the wall for each branch of the military along with insignias that run down below the seals. Houchin made the decision to design a wall that would resonate with the Bakersfield community and the veterans that donate blood.

Bianca Cacciola
Houchin Blood Bank CEO Brad Bryan giving opening remarks at the unveiling for the Wall of Honor at the Bolthouse Drive donor center on Nov. 9.

All who attended the event were welcomed by patriotic decorations and an opening presentation by Bryan.

“Kern County has 40,000 veterans and many of those veterans come in here every day, every week, on a regular basis, and they donate blood. So, they continue their life-saving mission, not just in the military, but in the rest of their lives,” Bryan said.

Veterans from all branches showed up in uniform or clothes identifying them with which part of the military they served. Special options were available for those who wanted to donate blood, such as donating your blood in honor of any military reserve and getting a special commemorative pin for those who have served.

“It’s an honor to be able to see this. Unfortunately, in the process, some pay the ultimate sacrifice. So, it is nice to come here and look at this and be part of it,” Santiago Cornejo, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1988-2012 and is also a former BC student, said.