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Military Appreciation Day 11/20: First Sergeant Peter Lara

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As part of Military Appreciation Day at Saturday's football game vs. Troy we'll be honoring several members of the United States Military during a special presentation and featuring their stories on Spurs Up Blog this week.

Peter  Lara - First Sergeant, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry, Fort Jackson

peter lara (small).jpgFirst Sergeant (1SG) Peter Lara's 18 year Army career includes several honors, including 2009 "Soldier of the Year", a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart, arising from his high level of dedication and service.

Over the past five years 1SG Peter Lara has gone through over 40 operations and countless hours of rehabilitation to recover from severe injuries suffered in November 2005 during a tour in Iraq. 1SG Lara, as platoon leader, was on patrol with his platoon when they responded to an attack at a nearby house. They would come under heavy fire in close combat with seven insurgents.

As the platoon suffered casualties, they quickly became combat ineffective.  Only two members were not wounded. Lara was shot in the face (but cleared his shattered jaw bone and teeth from obstructing his throat) as well as in his right arm, which shattered his scapula into 15 pieces. Lara would later need surgery to remove the bullet that was lodged in his head. Gravely wounded, Lara still managed to pull himself and another soldier into cover. As a reserve squad arrived to aid in evacuation from the house, Lara extracted himself from the house and got back to their vehicle under his own power before losing consciousness. Members of the platoon's survival was accredited to Lara's "exemplary leadership, courage and tenacity."

By the time they redeployed from Iraq, Lara's Infantry Stryker Platoon had received 1 Distinguished Service Cross, 6 Silver Stars, 7 Bronze Stars with "V" for valor,  5 Army Commendation Medals with V's and 16 Purple Hearts.

While going through his surgeries and rehabilitation Lara continued to serve as a mentor and leader at Fort Jackson to soldiers in training as well as other wounded men. We thank and salute First Sergeant Peter Lara for his brave service to our country and look forward to honoring him on Saturday.

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

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hey pops, i was googling stuff in google and found this website with you in it. im proud to be your son and keep up the good work.

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