Source: Indian Country
On April 11, 2003 the Indian Country reported that "the Pentagon identified Pfc. Lori Piestewa as one of the soldiers found dead during the rescue of an American POW in Iraq. Sen. Tom Daschle D-S.D. spoke of the Hopi warrior on the floor, April 7. 'Private Piestewa is the first Native American woman in the U.S. armed forces ever to die as a result of combat. She was 23 years old. She leaves behind two small children, a 4-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter...' Daschle emphasized the sometimes unrecognized forces of Native Americans serving the United States military. 'There are more than 12,000 Native Americans serving in our military today - including many from my state of South Dakota. They, and Pfc. Piestewa, are part of a noble tradition that too few Americans know much about... Today, Pfc. Piestewa takes her place alongside them as an American who risked everything to protect her land and her people.' Percy Piestewa, Lori’s mother, released a rare statement April 6, after asking the media to respect the family’s privacy, responding to the outpouring of sympathy from the nation and world, thankful for all the support. 'We ask people that they hug their little ones, tell them how much they mean to them - all the naliis (paternal grandmothers), all the kids,' [she said.]"