A bronze sculpture representing the diverse 100-year history of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps was unveiled at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum on Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Brigadier General Erik H. Torring, Chief, U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, together with Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and Ms. Donna Dobberfuhl, the artist commissioned to create the monument, unveiled the life-sized sculpture. The AVMA, through its charitable arm the American Veterinary Medical Foundation along with the Uniformed Veterinary Medicine Association, provided funding for the monument. The Army Veterinary Corps commissioned San Antonio artist Donna Dobberfuhl to design a unique sculpture representing their past and current missions. “All along my career, it’s been about the passion for the art. I put all of my heart and all of my soul into every one of my commissions. And in this one has it all, plus a little bit more,” said Donna Dobberfuhl while thanking everyone for the opportunity to create the monument.
The monument has four distinct scenes depicting the Veterinary Corps history and primary missions. A World War I Veterinary Corps officer, with a horse, symbolizes the Corps origins as medical professionals charged with providing animal care. To the right is a Vietnam era officer utilizing a light microscope portrays the Veterinary Corps’ significant contributions to medical research and development. Next, a Cold War era Veterinary Corps officer inspecting rations demonstrates the Corps’ critical role in food protection. Finally, a contemporary era Veterinary Corps officer treating a military working dog represents the continuing evolutionary mission through animal health care.
Speaking on behalf of the over 88,000 veterinarians in the U.S., Dr. Kinnarney thanked the members of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, and praised their 100 years of service.
After the ceremony, members of the Army Veterinary Corps demonstrated a mobile veterinary and surgery tent used on deployments. While downrange Army Veterinary Corps members can diagnose and treat animals, utilizing advanced medical equipment. Army food inspectors are responsible for ensuring the quality of food and fluids while deployed. Also on hand were members of the 509th Security Forces Squadron from Randolph Air Force Base demonstrating the abilities of their military working dogs.