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Family, friends in Arizona to honor female US soldier killed in Iraq at sunrise ceremony

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PHOENIX — The first female soldier who died during the invasion of Iraq will be remembered at the Phoenix mountain peak renamed in her honor.

Family and friends of Lori Piestewa (py-ES'-tuh-wah) will gather early Sunday morning around sunrise for a memorial service recognizing her and other fallen U.S. soldiers.

The Native American Women Warriors, an organization dedicated to helping Native American female veterans, plans to give Piestewa a special induction.

Among the friends expected to attend is Jessica Lynch, who was a member of Piestewa's unit.

The ceremony begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Apache Ramada at Piestewa Peak.

A member of the Hopi tribe and native of Tuba City, Piestewa died March 23, 2003 when her convoy was ambushed in Nasiriyah. Piestewa and others were taken captive, but she later died of injuries suffered when her Humvee was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.

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