ABE LARA       

Chaplain Abe Lara is presently a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Chaplain, serving active-duty Coast Guard personnel and their families; currently appointed to the position of Pacific Branch Chief and holds the rank of Commander. He also serves as Chaplain for the Big Bear Military Ministry Outreach, an active, local Veterans group.

Big Bear Valley is home-base for Abe Lara his wife, Diann. Their love story began when they each were in third grade. The sweethearts have been married for fifty-one years and have six children.  The Lara’s are grandparents to eight grandchildren and great-grandparents to three great-grandchildren.  

After completing his basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, Abe Lara was assigned his Military Occupational Skill as a Reconnaissance Marine.

Recon Marines are highly trained and skilled in amphibious and ground reconnaissance operations. They must master swimming, tactical boat operations, as well as patrolling; as well as, be both Jump and Scuba qualified. Marine, Abe Lara served a three-year tour as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

Marine Abe Lara is a Vietnam Veteran and a Veteran of two other military operations. In 1980 Operation Eagle Claw, he helped to rescue 52 American Hostages, held after the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran. And in 1983 at the Beirut Barracks Bombing, that claimed 299 lives, which was the deadliest day in Marine Corps’ history, since Iwo Jima.

After serving 17 years on active-duty Chaplain Abe was medically retired due to service-connected injuries.  After receiving bachelor’s degrees in Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries from Azusa Pacific University, as well as a Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology,  Chaplain Abe Lara was ordained in 1992. In June of 2020, Chaplain Abe Lara retired with 28 years of faithful ministry service to the United Methodist Church.

We are honored to have Veteran Chaplain Abe Lara in our presence as a friend and neighbor. 

THANK YOU, Chaplain Abe Lara!   

Editor’s privilege: the name Veterans is capitalized as a proper noun, intentionally.  

Edited by E T Russell