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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- A Fort Bragg soldier injured more than six years ago in an ambush in Afghanistan is breathing easier after a free surgery to repair his nose, which was damaged when he slammed into a machine gun.

Forty-year-old Shannon Cruz admired his new nose earlier this week at the office of a Chapel Hill plastic surgeon. Dr. Charles Finn operated on the chief warrant officer as part of a program called Faces of Honor.

Cruz was in the Air Force when he was hurt. A military doctor operated on Cruz in 2006, but problems persisted.

He recently learned about Faces of Honor, a program operated by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Finn operated on him Nov. 2 and removed his bandages Thursday, in time for Veterans Day.

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