Local Doctor, 64, Volunteers For Duty In Afghanistan

5:26 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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Buffalo, N.Y. - You get the first hint about Dr. Larry Bone's immediate future when you see the camouflage carrying case for his computer.

"Being in the military was not something I thought I'd ever do," said Bone.

But there he was in Texas not too long ago going through a month of basic training for medical personnel.

"I've had two courses in combat casualty care that the Army puts on," he said.

Dr. Bone is now 64 years old, the head of orthopedic surgery at the University of Buffalo and a orthopedic trauma surgeon at ECMC. And while most people his age are preparing for retirement, he's preparing to head to Afghanistan for a three month tour as a trauma surgeon with a forward surgical team.

He'll be right there with the troops on the battlefield. He'll be overseas by the end of the month.

"They've trained me up, I'm ready to go," said Bone.

The doctor first thought about volunteering after his son Christian suffered a serious shoulder injury when his Humvee was hit by an IED in Iraq six years ago and was treated on the battlefield.

But the doctor, then in his late 50s figured he was too old.

But he found out that the army had a tremendous need for trauma surgeons, and because of that, it was willing to waive its enlistment age.

"I of course asked my wife first and she was extremely supportive to the point of her response was 'you really need to do this because somebody took care of your son, now you take care of somebody else's,'" said Bone.

Dr. Bone has been treating people in car accidents and the victims of shootings for years ECMC, but his service overseas will be even more intense than that because of all of the injuries to soldiers and marines caused by IED's, car bombs and land mines.

"I've talked to other orthopedic surgeons and this is not a civilian injury and that's the difficult thing. Without being too graphic, these young people are losing their limbs and we rarely see amputations in the civilian world," said Bone.

And so what began with a wish to give back six years ago will now become a reality in just a few weeks.

"I've had, I've had a blessed life medically I've done everything I could imagine, this is going to be the icing on the cake. To take care of our wounded warriors, what better way to serve our country. I am just thrilled and honored to have this opportunity. I can't express it enough."

















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