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Oklahoma State University grad honored as Army’s top veterinarian


An Oklahoma State University graduate has been honored as the U.S. Army’s top veterinarian.

Capt. Robert Hawley, a 2003 veterinary medicine graduate, is stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, where he cares for military animals and inspects much of the food produced for troops in the Middle East.

He received the Army Veterinary Corps Above and Beyond Award, which names the top animal doctor among the Army’s corps of nearly 400 veterinarians.

“This has been the best job I could have ever hoped for,” Hawley, 38, said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

A native of Prairie Grove, Ark., Hawley was an Army enlistee for eight years before being accepted into OSU’s college of veterinary medicine. He qualified for an Army scholarship for health professionals and upon graduation joined the Army as a captain.

Hawley jokes that he is both an Army veterinarian and an Army veteran, making him a “vet vet,” or “vet squared.”

Hawley lives in Turkey with his wife, two young daughters and a cat. He said he’ll serve in Turkey for another year and then move to the Washington area, where he’s been accepted into the Army lab animal program.

Dr. Michael Lorenz, dean of OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, said he’s proud to called Hawley a “Cowboy veterinarian.”

“Capt. Hawley impressed us with his strong work ethic, devotion to learning and outstanding interpersonal skills during veterinary college,” Lorenz said. “We are very pleased with his recognition.”

Hawley said most of his time is spent inspecting food and water plants in Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Armenia and Bulgaria. He also runs a clinic on the base to care for military dogs and private pets of military members.

Information from: The Oklahoman,

–Associated Press

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