Lori Ann Piestewa
Born: December 14, 1979
Died: March 23, 2003
Place of Birth: Tuba City, Arizona
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Lori Piestewa was the first Native American woman to die while in combat for the US Military.
Unfortunately, she was the first woman to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Piestewa's father was of the Hopi Tribe and her mother was of Mexican background.
Her father had served in the military as well as her grandfather and Lori Piestewa carried on the tradition.
Lori Piestewa was also a single mother of two children, 4 year old son Brandon and 3 year old daughter Carla.
She was one of several members of the 507th Maintenance Company whose unit was ambushed by Iraqi soldiers.
Piestewa bravely drove her humvee through the ambush until it crashed after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade.
It was later discovered the unit had taken an incorrect path to it's expected destination, Baghdad.
Piestewa and two other female members, Spc. Shoshana Johnson and Pfc. Jessica Lynch, were taken as prisoners but Piestewa died from her injuries soon after being captured.
It was later felt the unit, slowed by the type of vehicles and cargo, had taken an incorrect path to their expected destination.
Posthumously, Lori Piestewa was awarded Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals.
Last Updated: January 19, 2017
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