The catalyst that led Richard Lorraine, MD, to seek a commission in the military was the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Dr. Lorraine, an internal medicine physician with Harleysville Medical Associates—an affiliate of Grand View Health—was 44 at the time. Not only is that the age when service personnel often retire, but it also exceeds the Navy’s maximum age for commission. Slightly discouraged, he was determined and reached out to army and air force recruiters who expressed interest, but were slow to respond. After a one-and-a-half yearlong process, he was commissioned as a major with the U.S. Air Force Reserve on October 16, 2003.
Throughout his extensive military career, Dr. Lorraine was frequently appointed to leadership roles. In June 2012 he flew to Germany to begin his first active-duty deployment as a Critical Care Air Transport Team leader. He deployed two more times until January 2014 when he was appointed chief medical officer of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard CBRN Task Force medical detachment. In October 2016, he was designated to command the unit.
At various intervals of his military training, Dr. Lorraine also volunteered to participate in several humanitarian missions. One assignment was in a remote area of Panama where he provided much-needed medical care to its residents, some of whom had never seen a doctor or dentist. Several years later, he participated in another similar mission in Alaska.
“My participation as a military physician has had a profound impact on my life,” said Dr. Lorraine. “I have extended and challenged myself professionally and been able to show my appreciation and offer my services to our nation’s heroes. I serve with an outstanding group of individuals, and lead a team whose mission statement includes the goal of saving lives and mitigating human suffering.”
Now at age 60, Dr. Lorraine plans to continue his role with the Air Force and Air National Guard.
Read Dr. Lorraine’s full chronicle as a military physician in Serving Our Nation’s Heroes, which was featured in the MCMS Physician magazine, a Montgomery County Medical Society publication.