From Larry Kerkow. Army Meat and Dairy Hygiene Course 1946, in Chicago. Larry is in second row, second from left. Some of these
gentlemen would later form the beginnings of the USAF Veterinary Service, established in 1949.
Walter Emmett Collins
Walter Emmitt Collins, DVM
Walter Emmett Collins, DVM, born in Milford, NY on November 19, 1930, is considered the “father of veterinary technology”. Before receiving his Veterinary degree in 1961 from Cornell University, Walter Collins was an enlisted man in the United States Air Force, assigned to the Veterinary Department at Webb AFB in Big Spring, Texas. He was in the Air Force Veterinary Service from about 1952 to 1956. It is possible he had a direct assignment and did not attend the Veterinary Specialist Course at Gunter AFB. He had two years of formal training in agriculture at the University of New York (SUNY), graduating in 1948, plus two years of experience as a dairy herd supervisor before enlisting. Collins’ credits his career to “three understanding and stimulating” veterinarians at Webb who encouraged him to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
Collins is considered the “father of veterinary technology” because of his efforts in putting together a model curriculum, over a period of seven years, for training technicians. Collins had returned to SUNY, and in 1965, after he received a federal grant, took the existing Animal Science Technology program and “...fostered it, nurtured it and started it on its way to the profession it is today,” said Dan Walsh, a former faculty member at SUNY.