Have you wondered about what it would be like to be a veterinarian in the Army? Maybe you’re a pre-vet student beginning to think about how in the world you are going to pay for veterinary school. Or perhaps you’re a veterinarian who has been practicing for a few years and is ready for a change.
You love your country and appreciate all the benefits of having a relatively safe and prosperous society, so why not volunteer to serve that cause more directly? Sure, you might not always agree with everything the current government is doing, but that’s okay, right?
Do these vague patriotic feelings, combined with a very practical sense of financial self-preservation, sound familiar? If so, I think you’ll enjoy this series on my experiences as an Army veterinarian.
I love meeting new people and talking about my life and career as a vet. I know that I’m very fortunate to get paid for studying and now working at something I love. I can understand that people are naturally quite curious when they hear that I’m a veterinarian in the Army, and this is also one of the most common sources of questions I’ve gotten since starting this website.
Let me share a typical conversation with you.
New friend: “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a veterinarian in the Army, actually.” [That “actually” is thrown in to preempt the perpetual follow-up of “Really?” “Yes, really.”]
New friend: “Wow, I had no idea there were veterinarians in the Army! I always wanted to be a vet, but I was never very good at the sciences in school. [Just throwing that comment in there, since it’s true of about 75% of people I talk to.] Why does the military need vets?”
Me: “Well, one of our primary missions is to provide medical and surgical care to Military Working Dogs (MWDs). You know, the bomb-sniffing and police-type dogs you’ve probably heard about?”
New friend: “Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense. They must be fun to work with!”
Me. “Yeah, they’re pretty cool animals, for sure. We also provide medical care to military families’ pets and are involved in food safety and other public health issues.”