Captain, United States Army Veterinary Corps
After graduating from veterinary school, Tom Gillaspie was drafted to the 175th U. S. Army Veterinary Detachment in Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1971. At the height of the Vietnam War it’s estimated there were about 5,000 scout dogs working for the U.S. Armed Forces in this war zone. During his yearlong tour of duty, Capt. Gillaspie traveled throughout Vietnam tending to the needs of sick and injured service dogs. In addition, veterinarians participated in the “Vietnamization” process whereby they tried to win the hearts and minds of local people by treating their livestock. Members of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps were also responsible for all food inspection on U.S. bases. Upon his return to the United States, Gillaspie retired from the Army Veterinary Corps and opened his own veterinary practice in Fort Myers.