COLUMBIA, S. C. ( AP) — Two firms that are part of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina are providing $20,000 to provide a mortgagefree home for an Army veteran wounded in Iraq.

Spokesman Billy Quarles says the firms are presenting keys to the Columbia home Monday to retired Army 1st Sgt. Peter Lara, who suffered gunshot wounds during a firefight in Iraq in 2005.

Lara joined the Army in 1992 and recently retired at Fort Jackson. He served as a basic training company first sergeant, even as he had more than 40 surgeries in order to recover.

Quarles says the firms PGBA and Instil Health Insurance Co., both part of the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina group of companies, is helping the Military Warriors Foundation in the housing effort.

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