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Orthopaedic Chair Volunteers to Treat Injured Troops in Afghanistan

Larry Bone

Lawrence Bone, MD, took courses in military trauma and personal physical training to ready himself for deployment.

Published September 12, 2012

Lawrence B. Bone, MD, chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, is currently serving in Afghanistan.

Received Age Waiver to Serve as Volunteer Surgeon

The 64-year-old orthopaedic surgeon was deployed at the end of July as a member of the 865 Combat Support Hospital at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Bone is voluntarily serving in the war zone, treating injured service members after three decades of caring for civilian trauma victims.

Normally, the cutoff age for enlisting as a surgeon is 56. However, Bone received an age waiver because he is meeting a critical need. 

He took courses in military trauma training and personal physical training to ready himself for deployment.

“Dr. Bone is a man of the highest integrity who wants to give back to his country.”
Philip Stegemann, MD
Assistant professor of clinical orthopaedics

Son’s War Injury Prompted Decision to Enlist

In part, Bone decided to enlist because he knows that his skills and experience could make a difference. 

His son, Christian, suffered a severe combat wound in Iraq six years ago when an explosive device detonated. He returned home and, under the watchful eye of his father, underwent physical therapy on his right shoulder.

Bone learned from his son’s experience that most wounds sustained by troops require orthopaedic surgical services. 

He now has the opportunity to care for other wounded soldiers, just as a military orthopaedic surgeon tended to his son.

A Role Model for Residents

Philip Stegemann, MD, clinical associate professor of orthopaedics, describes Bone as “a man of the highest integrity who wants to give back to his country.”

Kory Reed, MD, a fifth-year orthopaedic surgery resident, finds it inspiring that Bone remains passionately involved with patient care and service to his country.

“Dr. Bone has remained committed to the ideals that we strive to master as surgeons-in-training,” he says.

While Bone is taking his turn serving his country, his son, who recovered from his injuries, left the military and became a registered nurse. He now works with injured veterans at Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center.