KIA July 19, 2009
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California
LCpl Brandon Lara died July 19, 2009 when his vehicle was struck by two grenades and small arms fire while on a mission in Anbar Province, Iraq. He is survived by his father, Jacob Lara ; mother, Shannon Martin; step-mother, Gloria Lara; brother, Jonathan; and sisters, Victoria, Rebecca, and Stormi.
Long before he hit Canyon High School in New Braunfels, Brandon knew he wanted to be a Marine. Not even the outbreak of war in Iraq, when relatives tried to persuade him not to sign up, could shake his will. As his classmates donned caps and gowns, Brandon was in his helmet and fatigues. He was so eager to become a Marine that he finished his studies a semester before his May 2006 graduation. “He had long waited for his 18th birthday so he could join,” said his father, Jacob Lara Jr. “When his classmates were walking the stage, Brandon was serving his first tour.” And he volunteered for his second and was scheduled to be home in October, in time for his birthday.
Brandon was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.
LCpl Brandon Lara was 20 years old from New Braunfels, Texas.
Original portrait was presented November 1, 2013 to Brandon’s mother and family at a special presentation held during the North Texas Military Ball, Frisco, Texas.