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September 01, 2004


 AVMA delegates honor military veterinarians

 Posted Aug. 15, 2004

The AVMA House of Delegates commended the achievements of the active and Reserve component veterinarians of the Uniformed Services of the United States who have participated in the global war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Meeting in Philadelphia, delegates on July 24 unanimously approved Resolution 1, which states the following:

Colonel John S. FournierResolved, that the American Veterinary Medical Association acknowledges and commends the outstanding achievements of the active and reserve component veterinarians of the Uniformed Services of the United States of America who have in the past, are currently, and will continue to support and participate in the global war on terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The District of Columbia VMA and the National Association of Federal Veterinarians submitted the resolution.

Military veterinarians were recognized later that day during the AVMA General Session (see page 664).

At present, 20 U.S. Army active-duty and Reserve veterinarians are serving in Iraq. Over the past two years, 125 veterinarians have been involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Overall, there are 406 veterinarians on active duty in the Army.

Many veterinarians in the U.S. Air Force are hard at work preventing human disease throughout Iraq and neighboring countries, according to Col. William G. Courtney, associate chief of the Biomedical Sciences Corps for Public Health, Air Force Medical Support Agency, Office of the Surgeon General. Veterinarians serve as public health officers and, along with a cadre of highly skilled enlisted troops, are responsible for food safety and security, disease surveillance and prevention, field hygiene and sanitation, vector surveillance and control, and assisting with occupational and environmental safety for deployed Air Force troops. It's been a tough job, Col. Courtney said, but the lowest nonbattle injury and disease rates in history attest to their dedication and skills.

In addition to those responsibilities, Uniformed Service veterinarians care for the military working dogs and provide humanitarian assistance. They have also supported Operation Iraqi Freedom and the war on terrorism by providing care to government-owned animals, collaborating with federal agencies, nation building, and supporting biodefense research and development initiatives.