At a ceremony November 30, attended by more than 100 military, civilian and community leaders along with Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa’s mother, father and two children, a building in Harmony Church was named in the fallen soldier’s honor.
Piestewa, Hopi, was the first American Indian woman in history to die in combat while in the U.S. military, will now be remembered on Fort Benning as the Directorate of Training Sustainment headquarters was named as Piestewa Hall according to an article at the Ledger-Enquirer.com.
An article in April by Indian Country Today Media Network reported that Piestewa, a member of the 507th Army Maintenance Company, was traveling with her crew in a convoy in the early days of the Iraq War when the caravan ran headlong into an ambush near Nasiriyah on March 23, 2003.
Piestewa, driving one of the group’s Humvees, was initially able to avoid incoming fire, but in the end her vehicle was hit. The blast slammed the Humvee into a tractor-trailer, killing three passengers and leaving Lori with severe head wounds. Taken prisoner with others of her company, she died at an Iraqi civilian hospital.
The Ledger-Enquirer.com reports the 27,000-square-foot building provides the Maneuver Center of Excellence with support – including water, fuel, distribution, transportation, training equipment and medical services – for training armor and infantry soldiers.