10th Annual Guns and Hoses Blood Drive honors life of late Abilene Police Officer


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The 10th Annual Rodney Holder Memorial Blood Drive is back after a year off due to the pandemic.

Officer Holder’s son, 24-year-old Kyler Holder, says he is grateful to have the city of Abilene’s support throughout the years.

“One of the things I immediately noticed was over the police badge they had the black band, which signifies that they lost someone,” says Kyler.   

Holder was a longtime Abilene Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty in a motorcycle crash in 2010.

“It was a bit shocking at first and I tried to stay strong, but eventually the emotions did come out,” Kyler says.  

In remembrance of his life and lifelong commitment to APD, the memorial blood drive Guns and Hoses is held every year.  

“We started doing this in his honor and it has become a friendly competition between the Abilene Police Department and the Abilene Fire Department, EMS, and fire and rescue teams,” says Kelsey Caprio, donor recruiter at Hendrick Medical Center.   

Caprio says there are many benefits to giving blood, as Officer Holder knew, as he donated more than two gallons in his lifetime. 

“So many people use blood products, and one in every seven people entering the hospital will need to get a blood transfusion of some sort, so it’s a great way to pay it forward,” says Caprio.  

It has now been over 11 years since the accident, and Kyler says, “Even though it’s been that long, the community has been just as supportive as they were on that first day. And I am so thankful for the Abilene community for continuing to just support us.”  

The Guns and Hoses drive is set for Wednesday, July 7 and Thursday, July 8 from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. both days.

You can give at the Hendrick Regional Blood Center or at the KTAB/KRBC studios at 4510 South 14th Street. 

Hendrick Medical Center would like to remind those who do plan to give blood to please be sure to eat something before arriving, bring a mask, and don’t forget your state IDs. 

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