2018 – Military,
Lori Ann Piestewa was a United States Army soldier killed in 2003, during the Iraq War. A member of the Hopi tribe, Piestewa was the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military, and the first woman in the U.S. military killed in the Iraq War. The Piestewa family resided in Tuba City, a town located on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Coconino County. As a child, she was given the Hopi name Qötsa-Hon-Mana, White Bear Girl.
Piestewa was awarded the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal. The U.S. Army posthumously promoted her from private first class to specialist. Many entities have honored her memory with memorials. Arizona’s state government renamed Squaw Peak in the Phoenix Mountains near Phoenix as Piestewa Peak, and this was codified by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names on April 10, 2008; The freeway that passes near this mountain was also renamed in her honor. Senator Tom Daschle honored her, as did Native Nations across the United States. The Grand Canyon State Games organizers hold an annual Lori Piestewa National Native American Games, which brings participants from across the country. A plaque bearing her name is also located at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and Fort Bliss, Texas. On November 10, 2011, American Legion Post No. 80 on the Hopi Reservation was renamed the Lori Piestewa Post # 80. On November 30, 2011, the Directorate of Training Sustainment headquarters at Fort Benning, Georgia was named Piestewa Hall in her honor. In May 2005, Piestewa’s parents and her children had a brand-new home built by Ty Pennington and his crew on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.