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Jessica Lynch honors Lori Piestewa at 2018 Native American Games

(Public Domain Photo)

More than 3,000 athletes representing more than 50 tribes across North America will be competing in remembrance of the first Native American woman killed in combat.

This year’s games consist of six sports including volleyball, basketball, cross country, track, youth baseball, and slow pitch softball.

Former U.S. Army, Jessica Lynch is this year’s honorary chairwoman at the 2018 Fiesta Bowl Lori Piestewa National Native American Games. Lynch was wounded, captured, and rescued in the Iraq War and now honoring her best friend in this year’s games.

Lynch told KTAR News 92.3FM Friday, “It is about keeping Lori’s legacy alive and being able to honor her.”

In 2003, Lynch and Piestewa were ambushed by a rocket-propelled grenade while in the same vehicle when they were serving in Nasiriyah Iraq. The blast killed three soldiers and left Lynch and two others injured.

Piestewa, a Hopi from Tuba City was the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the military.

“Lori loved sports so she definitely would have loved to see all these athletes come together and compete,” said Lynch, who was awarded a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal by the U.S. Armed Services.

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