Ms. Lara served nearly twelve years on active duty in the US Army from 1995-2007, during her service she achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG-E6) and was assigned to multiple duty stations as well as deployments that included Bosnia during Operation Joint Forge and Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was awarded the Combat Action Badge and two Meritorious Service Medals for her service. She understands the impact of combat and the struggle to adapt to life as a civilian. Upon completion of her active duty commitment, she pursued a degree from California State University East Bay where she achieved a BA in Business Management with an emphasis in Organizational Communication. Ms. Lara now serves as the Women Veteran Coordinator and Community Educator for the San Francisco based veterans service organization; Swords to Plowshares. Swords to Plowshares’ Institute for Veteran Policy (IVP) developed Combat to Community training, a series of curriculum on cultural competency developed for community partners, including clinicians, faith-based communities, law enforcement and other criminal justice professionals, to address the challenges veterans face re-integrating into the community.
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