PHOENIX , Ariz.— On Saturday, June 6, 2020 the Unified Arizona Veterans presented the inaugural ‘Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa Veteran Family Scholarship’. The scholarships – designated for the children of servicemen and women who were killed in action – were presented to Specialist Pietstewa’s two children.
Making the presentations was the UAV Scholarship Chair, Colonel Rob Welch, US Army (retired). Assisting in the presentation was the Director of Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Colonel Wanda Wright, US Air Force (retired) and Hopi Nation Vice Chairman Clark W. Tenakhongva, an Army Veteran of the Panama Conflict and the Grenada Conflict.
The Unified Arizona Veterans presented the scholarship funds with sponsorship from The Arizona Lottery’s Giving Back program. The scholarship presentation was produced by Pro One Media.
Lori Ann Piestewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe, was born in Tuba City. She enlisted in the Army at age (21) (Born 14 Dec 1979, Died 23 Mar 2003) and deployed to Iraq in 2002. She was killed in action on (23 March 2003), becoming the first Native American female to fall in combat on foreign soil.
The UAV was formed in 1981 to provide support for Arizona’s veterans and their families. In 2016 the UAV awarded their first college scholarships to Arizona’s veterans. This year marks the first time the UAV has expanded its scholarship program to include the children of veterans killed in action, and chose to name the scholarship in honor of Specialist Piestewa’s sacrifice.
Brandon Whiterock is the eldest child of Lori Piestewa and is a student at Coconino Community College. He is enrolled in a transition program leading to a Bachelors Degree at Northern Arizona University. He plans to help rehabilitate veterans from war-related injuries by working for Veteran Affairs as a physical or occupational therapist.
Carla Piestewa is a student at Grand Canyon University and is enrolled as a Biology major with an emphasis in pre-medicine. After receiving her bachelors’, she plans to pursue a doctorate in pediatrics. She also plans to
help her community, the Hopi people, by giving back to those that are in need and not financially stable. She hopes that her success will motivate other Hopi to set goals for themselves to better their lives for themselves and their families.
Source: Unified Arizona Veterans