Lori Piestewa Children's Education Fund
Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting down with Percy Piestew from Tuba City. As you know, her heroic daughter was the first Native American woman to fall in ball, in the history of the United States. What you probably don't know is that her husband Terry, a Hopi, passed away a couple of weeks ago.
In 2003, when Private First Class Lori Piestewa's convoy became lost in the Iraq desert, she performed "to the last full measure of devotion". Her friend and roommate Jessica Lynch, was rescued by a special team. Lori was not so fortunate.
The very sad reality is that at that time, Lori left a 4 year old son, Brandon, and a 3 year old daughter, Carla, with her mother Percy buck in Tubas City, Arizona
At the funeral there was something extraordinary that happened. There was an incredible outpouring of good will, support, and prayer for the Hopi and Navajo communities. The scene took me back to my days of youth and the funeral of President John F Kennedy. The look of the two Piestewa children reminded me so much of Caroline and John Kennedy. Children suddenly left at such as tender young age, without their mother.
These children have an Angel in their grandmother. As I sat with her, I could not help but see where Lori's heroic nature came from. She has been the stalwart of the family
Much has happened in the fateful days since the Spring of 2003. A famous mountain peak outside of Phoenix (formally Squaw Peak) was renamed Piestewa Peak. There is a race/run to the top each year. Percy told me that Carla runs it every year as memory to her mom. They are planning to erect a memorial at the foot of the starting trail of Piestewa Peak
In additional there are Native American Games that have been established every Spring in Lori's honor, in Phoenix. People and tribes come from all over (some from out of the US) to participate in these games. Many good fold and volunteer have contributed to carrying out this great tradition.
The main reason I was meeting with Percy yesterday was to talk about Carla and Brandon -- and their education. According to their Grandmother they are doing very well, and a real credit to the family. Percy told me both of them are always smiling like their mother. They are respectful and disciplined, and doing quite well in their studies.
In 2003 we set up a fund to aid these children in their education. They are now young adults ready to take on their vocation. We pledged to help back in 2003. Our pledge is our bond
We were speaking with Percy about the particulars of how we would appropriate the fund toward their college education. How much we can help largely depends on you. This posting is to give you an account to you as a supporter. We would also like to finish strong, as costs for everything seem to go up. Also, we would really like to contribute to the building of the Pfc Lori Piestewa Memorial at the foot of Piestewa Peak.
You are so good to us. We can ever properly thank you. Let us band together around Lori's memory, support everything she love and believe in,
God Bless You Always,
Deacon Sherman Manuelito
P.S.Won't you help us to honor Pfc Lori Piestewa by caring for her children?
Southwest Indian Foundation Donation page