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SOUTH CAROLINA: SC-DAV-277


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 public spotlight.

 

Your 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.

 

 

 


 

Paid to date:
$   400 - GMAC - 31 AUG 2012
$   500 - VW Credit 3 SEP 2012
$1,095 - USAA - 30 SEP 2012
$   434 - GMAC - 12 OCT 2012

 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 needs.

Current available funds:
$ 50

Name City State
PDN Inc Sacramento CA
Dave Jenest Sacramento CA
Moore Media Washington DC
Joe Sullivan Sacramento CA
Patricia Didion Long Beach CA
Ron Wexler Cumming GA
Bret Daniels Citrus Heights CA
Pivitol Nexus (Jay) Snohomish WA
Aaron A. Donato Sacramento CA
Patti Berry W. Bloomfield MI
Rochelle Starr Snohomish WA
Lundin-Erickson Mint Hill NC
Joe Sullivan Sacramento CA
St.Jon Clark Troy AL
Ray Giordano Santa Barbara CA
Fred Bennett Rocklin CA
David Jenest Sacramento CA
Joseph Wigton Shoreline WA
Maridee Bell Miramar FL
Pamela Kurtz Brookfield CT
Anonymous   CA
Kevin Shepherd Pleasant Grove UT
Alan Diffenderfer Concord CA
     

Your messages to 1SG Lara will be posted here: (Sorry we fell behind)

Joseph Wigton Thank you for your service.

Maridee Bell: In honor of our Gold Star Mothers!

Pamela Kurtz: 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 in Winter Springs, FL

D. Moore: Hooah 1stSgt - God bless you.

A special salute to Gold Star Mom:

Angelia Phillips gave our nation her son. Today she tweets: "tomorrow is Gold Star Mothers day.. Honor our Fallen by taking care of those who came home PLEASE HELP http://patriotwatch.com/SC-DAV-277Peter.htm

 

 

 

 

 

At 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 evacuation.

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 disengage.

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 Warriors.
 

 

 
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