On November 19, 2005, when SFC Lara was three months into his deployment to Iraq, he sustained gunshot injuries to his jaw and arm during a combat mission at Mosul, Iraq. He could hear his jawbone crunching and his teeth were broken. He reached into his mouth to clear the teeth and bone from his airway and continued fighting, pulling another soldier out of the enemy fire. He was losing blood but refused help even as reinforcements arrived, fearing other soldiers would be in danger. For his actions in combat, he has been awarded the following awards, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
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