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justyforya
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Posted on Wed, Mar 19, 2008 03:51

This morning I found the time to ponder America's fallen soldiers. I perused photo after photo and read the brief excerpts which accompanied each. Although each photo represented its' own unique tragedy there were several which marked America's firsts. Army Quartermaster Corps soldier killed during the same Iraqi Army attack in which her friend Jessica Lynch was injured. A member of the Hopi tribe, Piestewa was the first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the 2003 Iraq war and is the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military. Piestewa was born and raised in Tuba City, Arizona, a town with more than a 50% unemployment rate, the daughter of Terry Piestewa and Priscilla "Percy" Baca Piestewa. Lori Piestewa's father is Hopi and her mother is of Mexican ancestry. They met in 1964 and married in November 1968. Her family had a long military tradition, with both Piestewa's father and grandfather having served in the U.S. Army. (Her father was drafted and served in Vietnam in 1965, and returned home in March 1967.) Neighbors described her as, while generally supportive of the army, having joined primarily to provide a secure income for her and her two children, Brandon and Carla Whiterock. As a child, she was given the Hopi name K'cha-Hon-Mana (also spelled Qotsa-hon-mana, meaning White Bear Girl). Her surname, Piestewa, is derived from a Hopi language root meaning "water pooled on the desert by a hard rain"; thus, Piestewa translates loosely as "the people who live by the water." Piestewa was awarded the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal. The army posthumously promoted her from Private First Class to Specialist. Jessica Lynch has repeatedly said that Piestewa is the true hero of the ambush and named her daughter Dakota Ann in honor of her fallen comrade. In addition, many entities have honored her memory with memorials. Arizona's state government renamed Squaw Peak in the Phoenix Mountains near Phoenix as Piestewa Peak; the freeway that passes near this mountain was also re-named in her honor. In addition, Senator Tom Daschle honored her, as did Indian Nations across America. Since her death, the Grand Canyon Games organizers have held 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. Her death led to a rare joint prayer gathering between members of the Hopi and Navajo tribes, which have had a centuries-old rivalry. In May 2005, Lori's parents and children had a brand-new home built by Ty Pennington and his crew on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition accompanied by Jessica Lynch. They also built a new veterans' center on the Navajo reservation.

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Junie2006
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Posted on Thu, Mar 20, 2008 11:12

How many tales and how many personal stories are behind each person now gone. and how many families? But let us be mature and own up to the crap we have made and not just up and leave without thinking hard about the outcome and the future. Just running wont leave it behind. Junie A Memorial should have a picture with every person who has given their life or been injured permanently. With a little testamony beside each saying who they are and making them a person. That would be a true testamony. Not a pacifist but as it says before going to war you must always sit down and think whether or not you can afford it. Both in economic cost and costs in life and national and internal security. PS Happy Easter.


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