|“ONCE UPON A TIME”
At the Veterinary Service Division of Health Services Command. Department of the Army was having “Hip Pocket Orders” issued to all retired 91R’s or 91T”s. While looking at this list, a group of former Senior Army Veterinary NCOs , ( Karl Stegmann, Wallace (Ole) Olson, Dweight (Pat) Pattillo, and Richard (Dick) Parker along with a group of active duty members discovered a lot of old drinking buddies from Chicago, Denmark, Germany, Korea and other assignments. The decision made was to get in touch with everyone on the list and see if a time for a get together could be set. Karl had a new computer and said he would contact them by mail. With help, he was able to contact almost everyone on the DA list. The decision made was to have a get together in San Antonio during the fall of 1989. When word got out the Vets were having a party, a couple of hundred retires expressed interest and about a hundred actually attended what became the “charter reunion.” The Association of Retired Enlisted Veterinary Personnel (AREVP) came into being, Officers were elected and the Articles of Association were written; Karl was elected Secretary and most of the initial real work for the organization was placed on him. We had several other reunions in San Antonio. A decision was approved to form regions, which would host mini-reunions in the year that the national reunion was not held. National reunions were to be held every two years and hosted by a region rather then all reunions being in one place. AREVP started as an organization of Retired Army Enlisted Veterinary Personnel but has changed to allow all personnel active or retired Army or Air Force who have completed Veterinary Service Training in Animal Care or Food Inspection to become members. Veterinary Service Warrant Officers and Veterinary Corps Officers were later approved to become honorary members.
The challenge for the future of this organization is to get the younger members into leadership roles and even more important is to get not only all our retired veterinary personnel, but our active duty veterinary(Public Health) personnel as well to join and become involved. A decision will be studied in 2014 that will include allowing all Veterinary Officers (warrant and commissioned) to join as regular members.