Local January 6, 2015 | 9:18 am

Decorated Dominican veteran to head Mass. VA

New York.- Decorate veteran Francisco Ureña, who arrived in Lawrence at four years of age from Dominican Republic, was appointed Massachusetts Veterans Affairs Director, by Governor Charlie Baker, to represent the state’s 385,000 veterans, outlet diariolibre.com reports.

Ureña, 34, was awarded one of the White House’s annual Purple Heart medals in 2005,, and served as Boston’s Veterans Affairs Commissioner, a post he also held in Lawrence, where he grew up and he has lived since. He is considered one of Lawrence’s most appreciated veterans and a role model for Massachusetts youngsters.

He pledged to continue the same work schedule from its new state position. "I’m very honored to be appointed by governor-elect Baker, to represent the 385,000 veterans of Massachusetts,"

Ureña joined the US Marines in 1998 and spent eight years on the force working in the security of various embassies including Syria and Kyrgyzstan, and commanded a tanker unit during Operation "Iraqi Freedom."

In a battle against insurgents in Anbar province, Ureña was wounded in the face by glass and shrapnel, and still has a piece of metal embedded in one cheek.

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