Army Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa
Died March 23, 2003
Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
|One of those women is Pfc. Lori Ann Piestewa, a member of the Hopi tribe and of the 507th Army Maintenance Company, who died in an ambush near Nasiriyah on March 23, 2003. She was driving one of the group’s Humvees, which was disabled by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing three passengers and severely wounding Lori. She was taken prisoner with others of her company, and later died at an Iraqi hospital. She was the first woman killed in the Iraq War, and the first Native American woman to die in combat in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Another is Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno, an Army nurse assigned to a Ranger unit as a member of a cultural support team. She was killed in action, along with two additional Rangers and an Army criminal investigator, during a patrol on October 5, 2013. She received word that a soldier had been wounded and was trapped at a Afghan bomb-making compound. She went to help that fellow Soldier despite the danger and was killed after a mine detonated. She was posthumously promoted to captain and awarded the Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal, and the Purple Heart.
Another is Spc. Brittany Gordon, who was a 24-year-old Army intelligence analyst from St. Petersburg, Fla., deployed to the Kandahar province. On October 13, 2012, she along with five others, were killed when an Afghani suicide bomber detonated an explosive under his military uniform.
These three service women were killed before women were officially allowed to serve in combat jobs.
Eight women were killed in the Vietnam War; all were nurses. Here are their names:
- Capt. Eleanor Alexander and 1st Lt. Hedwig Orlowski died in November 1967 when their plane crashed on a return trip from hospital duty in Pleiku.
- 1st Lt. Sharon Lane died in June 1969 from shrapnel wounds when rockets hit the 312 Evacuation Hospital at Chu Lai.
- 2nd Lt. Pamela Donovan died from illness in July 1968 in Gia Dinh, as did Lt. Col. Annie Graham a month later.
- 2nd Lts. Carol Drazba and Elizabeth Jones died in a helicopter crash near Saigon in February 1966.
- And, Capt. Mary Therese Klinker died alongside 138 other people in the infamous Babylift plane crash of April 4, 1975 while evacuating Vietnamese orphans out of the country.
Two women died in the Korean War. 543 died in World War II and 359 in World War I.
We honor each and every one of these brave women.