Column: Lori Piestewa was not a warrior
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FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2003

"Lori Piestewa was acted upon. She was not a warrior, she was a member of a maintenance crew far from the front line that took a wrong turn and was ambushed by Iraqi soldiers looking for easy targets.

She was the tragic victim of a tragic mistake -- perhaps the tragic victim of unspeakable war crimes.

But because she is the first Native American woman to die in American uniform, she has been canonized far beyond the others among the more than 100 U.S. military dead, many of whom were consciously putting their lives in great peril for their country's goals by serving in forward units of the Army or Marines.

It's the difference between action and inaction, between Senator John McCain, who is considered a war hero because he got captured, which is exactly what you're not supposed to do, and former senator Bob Kerrey, who is considered a war hero because he fought heroically while gravely injured to save the lives of his fellow Navy SEALs.

Piestewa doesn't merit a mountain. It's a mammoth honor better saved for her Vietnam warrior father, or her grandfather, a Hopi Code Talker, or any number of Arizona Apaches who faced certain death fighting American soldiers to save their cultures."

Get the Story:
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