VETERANS DAY 2014
I was a member of the US Army Veterinary Corps … a Food Inspection Specialist. I really didn’t see much of the world in my military career. I went to Fort Polk in Louisiana for basic training and then I went to the Army Food Inspection School in Chicago for ten weeks where I learned all about inspecting the food that our men in service are served. I have to admit that I take no responsibility for the food after it got into the hands of the Army cooks, but it was the finest grades of meat and vegetables when I inspected it.
After I graduated from Food Inspection School I was assigned to the Post Veterinarian’s Office in Fort Riley, Kansas. This is the same fort that (Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer rode out of on his way to the Little Big Horn in 1876. He didn’t return.
Legend has it that the above building was where Custer’s horse was stabled. Today, it is the site of the Post Veterinarian’s Office. While the back part of the building still looked like a stable, the food inspectors were actually stabled in individual rooms behind the office area.
My prime food inspection assignment was inspecting all the food that came into the fort’s commissary store. It was like a giant A&P and I was responsible for inspecting the quality for all the food that arrived there before it was put on display for sale to military families. In my two years on the job I rejected one truckload of beef because the bed of the truck was covered with manure. I also rejected a train load of sugar because it was infected with drugstore beatles.
The only action I ever saw in my military career was the day I was bitten by a nasty cocker spaniel owned by the wife of the fort’s commanding general. The dog was being quarantined for biting a couple of kids in the dog kennels that were the back of the building. I earned a shot in my right buttock for my only bodily injury as a member of the military.
“They also serve who only stand and inspect the food!”
TRIVIA QUESTION: Does anyone remember an early TV sitcom that was set in an Army Veterinarian’s Office?