At an age where many people are beginning to eye retirement, 63-year-old heart surgeon Dr. Tyrone Krause is making a career switch: by enlisting in the United States Navy.
Krause was only able to join the military after receiving a waiver that allowed him to bypass traditional age limits for joining the service, The Virginia Pilot reports.
The Navy said they need more people with his skill set and gleefully allowed the enlistment.
Krause said he sometimes surprises himself with his determination to help and continue working.
“Sometimes I say to myself, ‘How did I get into this? Why don’t I just relax and sit in my backyard and drink some beer?’ But that’s not my style. I’ve always been on the move. And hopefully, I’ll always be on the move,” Krause said.
But, physically slowing down is no worry to the surgeon, who says he is in the prime of his life.
“I feel, surgically, I’m in my prime. I could still operate very well, and if I can give back and help some of our young men and women in the military, that’s what I want to do.”
According to the report, Krause’s 27-year-old daughter, Laura, who is also enlisted, performed the ceremony aboard the destroyer USS Rampage.
U.S. Navy | Mass Communication Specialist Will Hardy
NORFOLK (July 13, 2018) Ensign Laura Krause, Assistant Chief Engineer aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61), commissions her father, Dr. Tyrone Krause, Chief of Cardio-thoracic Surgery at Jersey City Medical Center, into the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, Virginia. Krause was inspired to join the Navy shortly after his daughter’s commissioning in 2015.
From the Virginia Pilot:
She was the first person he saluted.
“I can’t even describe to you what this means right now,” she said.
The two have always shared a close bond that has included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro together and watching sports. He was inspired to join the Navy after speaking with his daughter’s recruiter, who was in the medical corps and mentioned that the Navy had a shortage of surgeons.
He saw it as one more way to connect with his daughter while also helping others.
“I don’t ever see this man ever retiring,” Laura Krause told her shipmates on the Ramage’s flight deck.
The Virginia Pilot reports that her father has maintained his own medical practice and has worked in the medical field for decades. The surgeon said he noticed a pattern in the patients he treats in his own practice: those who recently retired typically have heart issues, those who stay active tend to live to be 100 years old.
“That’s a good motto,” he said. “Just don’t stop.”
Here’s even more on Krause:
He wants to help young hospital corpsmen learn about treating patients with trauma and is excited about the possibility of working aboard a hospital ship, like the USNS Comfort, which is home ported in Norfolk.
For now, he’ll serve once a month at a Navy clinic in Sandy Hook, N.J. But just minutes after he was commissioned, he started serving in another way: by doing a bit of recruiting of his own to let others know it’s never too late to try something new.
“A lot of people don’t even you know you can join the Reserves and contribute. A lot of people in the private sector have a lot of skills they can bring to the Navy and military in general,” he said. “You can be 40 years old, 50 years old and your profession may be something that’s necessary in the military. You can certainly give back by joining the Reserves.”