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Books bequethed

By Capt. Jesus Campuzano.
First published in
SFOR Informer #71, 29 Sept, 1999.

Sarajevo University - Lt. Col. Kirk Skeeles served with SFOR from November 1996 until June19'97 as a U.S. Army reservist. Skeeles was a veterinarian with the Combined Joint Civil Military Task Force (CJCMTF) and worked with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and with the University of Sarajevo.

Both, University and Ministry, have an unforgettable memory of him and his work. " Skeeles was a very good friend of the University and also a good veterinarian, not only did he visit our Veterinary Faculty, but also worked with us in the field," said Doctor Ante Milanovic, member of the Veterinary Faculty staff at the Sarajevo University. "He made the necessary arrangements for ten professionals from the three entities, Bosniacs, Bosnian-Croats, and Bosnian-Serbs to visit US Universities and also learn about US Department of Agriculture procedures and organisation. It was the first contact after the war," explained Doctor Alija Cerimic, a Ministry of Agriculture official.

"This co-operative relation with SFOR, which started with Skeeles' predecessor, was made very successful by Skeeles, helping us to establish our Veterinary Service and also relations with the US and other countries. And, of course, it is going on with his successors" said Doctor Zijah Hadziomerovic, dean of the Veterinary Faculty. His relationship with Bosnia and Hercegovina, especially with the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Sarajevo, did not finish with his end of tour. Sometime ago, he did a first donation of part of his own books to this Faculty.

Unfortunately, Lt. Col. Skeeles passed away last year. In his will he required the donation of all his veterinary library to the Veterinary Faculty of Sarajevo. His family, with the assistance of the US Embassy sent the books, and the donation took place on September 11, at the Faculty, during an simple but touching ceremony where twelve boxes filled with books were donated to the Faculty. "We are very sorry about his death and we would like to send his family our deepest sympathy with them in their loss. He considered us as his friends, and we expect these books will help us to pass the students his experience and knowledge," said Dr. Hadziomerovic.