Rarely does PDN divulge the full
identity of the military personnel or families we assist in crisis
situations. This Wounded Warrior's case justifies an exception.
Furthermore, 1SG Peter Lara's story earned
him the valor awards below and further recognition by Military Times.
There are many issues with this veteran's
treatment at the hands of the Department of Veterans Affairs. No man or
woman with a service record like 1SG Lara's should have financial
worries upon returning home. With Peter's advocacy and your help we can
fix some of those nearly 1 million backlogged cases and bring their needs into a more
donation, less what PayPal or our bank charges for credit card
processing will go directly to GMAC house payment, VW
Credit for family car, USAA Insurance, and other creditors in Columbia, SC.
Payment will be made in that order or partial payments where allowed.
Donors will see each payment made in the
progress table below.
Honor his Service and Sacrifice
First Sergeant Lara's platoon survived a devastating
and fierce fire fight through his exemplary leadership,
courage and tenacity. By the time they redeployed from Iraq,
his 42-man Infantry Stryker Platoon had received 1
Distinguished Service Cross, 6 Silver Stars, 7 Bronze Star
with “V” for valor, 5 Army Commendation Medals with V's and
16 Purple Hearts. In July 2007, First Sergeant Lara reported
to Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson South Carolina, to
perform duties as First Sergeant for Company C, 3-13th
Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade.
A payment was made to USAA after
the family had received a cancellation notice. There is more to be done. Please help clear this
case. USAA has since stepped up to waive late fees and work with Peter's
funds: $ 50
Pivitol Nexus (Jay)
Aaron A. Donato
Your messages to
1SG Lara will be posted here: (Sorry we fell behind)
Thank you for your service.
In honor of our Gold Star Mothers!
Thank you for serving and protecting our
country. We can never repay you for your sacrifice.
D. Jenest:My donation also is
meant to recognize the tragedy suffered by VFW Post 5405
0450 hours on November 19, 2005, 2nd Platoon, C Company, 2-1 Infantry
Battalion was on patrol in Mosul, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom when they received a report that Iraqi Police had received small
arms fire and grenades from a house in the Al Sukar neighborhood. SFC
Peter Lara, as platoon leader, was on patrol with his platoon when they
immediately responded and moved to the site of the attack.
The platoon arrived within several minutes and assessed the situation.
As they cordoned the house, SFC Lara led his 1st and 2nd Squads to
conduct the initial assault to destroy the enemy, leaving 3rd Squad in
reserve. As the lead stack approached the house, the terrorists engaged
them with a grenade thrown down the central hallway into the doorway.
The platoon immediately took a casualty from this grenade. The
remainder of the assault element, led by SFC Lara, continued through the
door to gain a foothold.
As they entered the house they encountered heavy small arms fire from
seven terrorists executing a prepared defensive plan. The rate of enemy
fire in the hallway forced them into a kitchen on the left. The kitchen
had two entry/exit points through which the terrorists could engage the
trapped squads from prepared firing positions. The assault element
continued to take casualties in this room from heavy small arms fire and
fused 82mm mortar rounds with the tail sections removed that were being
used like grenades. As the assault element suffered casualties, to
include SFC Lara, they quickly became combat ineffective. Only two
members were not wounded. 3rd Squad, the reserve force, was unable to
enter the building due to the high rate of enemy fire. Likewise, the
assault element was unable to advance further or withdraw.
With his assault element severely attrited, SFC Lara along with SPC
Metteba attempted to push through the hallway and eliminate the enemy
threat. In doing so SFC Lara was shot in the face. Despite this life
threatening wound, SFC Lara cleared his shattered jaw bone and teeth
from obstructing his throat, quickly regained his feet, and raised his
weapon to return fire. The shot that struck him in the face had passed
through his weapon, rendering it inoperable. Only as he again attempted
to engage the enemy did he become aware of this.
Unarmed, he was shot again with 7.62 caliber in his right arm that
shattered his scapula in 15 pieces rendering him inoperable. As he fell,
he pulled SPC Metteba, also wounded, back into the cover of the kitchen.
While he was sitting down on the ground back-to-back with SGT Landis who
was shot 5 time, he tried to utilize his 9mm pistol but could not due to
nerve and muscle damage from the gunshot. SFC Lara then realized he
needed to get back to his original position where he could have better
command and control so he crawled back and told SGT Landis to suppress
an insurgent fighting position. Moments later SGT Landis was shot in the
head from a bullet that came through the door.
SFC Lara, realizing that he had suffered severe blood loss, maintained
his consciousness long enough to conduct a battle hand-off with his
senior squad leader and assist him in the command and control of the
fight until the 3rd Squad was able reinforce and begin casualty
At this time, one of the platoon’s Stryker vehicles breached the wall of
the house into the kitchen to allow for the withdrawal of the squads
inside. The vehicle commander and air guard immediately began
suppressing the enemy with a .50 caliber machine gun, firing over the
heads of the squads inside and allowing them critical moments to
As the casualty evacuation began, SFC Lara refused assistance, not
wanting his men exposed to enemy fire just in order to evacuate him. He
managed to maintain consciousness long enough to extract himself through
the rubble of the house back to the Stryker under his own power, all
while under direct enemy fire. Only upon arriving in the Stryker did he
succumb to blood loss and lose consciousness.
SFC Lara’s platoon survived this fierce fire fight through his exemplary
leadership, courage and tenacity. By the time they redeployed from
Iraq, his 42-man Infantry Stryker Platoon had received 1 Distinguished
Service Cross, 6 Silver Stars, 7 Bronze Star with “V” for valor, 5 Army
Commendation Medals with V’s and 16 Purple Hearts.
In July 2007, First Sergeant Lara reported to Basic Combat Training at
Fort Jackson South Carolina, to perform duties as First Sergeant for
Company C, 3-13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade where he is
still serving today while he continues his surgeries and
rehabilitation. First Sergeant Lara has committed himself to Soldiers
and his Country. After having over 35 operations he continues to give
his all leading, coaching, teaching and mentoring the next generation of