Peterson airman, former Air Force Academy track star killed in Afghanistan

December 28, 2013 Updated: December 30, 2013 at 7:49 am
photo - Capt. David I. Lyons, pictured here as a first lieutenant, was killed Friday when a vehicle-born improvised explosive device was detonated near his convoy Dec. 27 near Kabul, Afghanistan.
Capt. David I. Lyons, pictured here as a first lieutenant, was killed Friday when a vehicle-born improvised explosive device was detonated near his convoy Dec. 27 near Kabul, Afghanistan. 

A Peterson Air Force Base airman who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2008 died Friday in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a car bomb detonated near his convoy.

Capt. David Lyon, 28, of Sandpoint, Idaho, was killed when a car bomb was detonated near his convoy. He was performing a combat advisory mission with Afghan National Army Commandos at the time of his death, according to Peterson officials.

Lyon, with the base's 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron, was working with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. He was serving a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan and was scheduled to return in February.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Capt. Lyon," Col. John Shaw, 21st Space Wing commander, said in the release. "The loss of life pains our team deeply. We are poised to assist his family and friends in their time of need and have support services in place to facilitate those needs."

Lyon had served in the Air Force for five years. He had been stationed at Peterson since January 2010.

At the Air Force Academy, he was a three-year letterwinner for the Falcons' track and field team.

He was known to teammates as David Lissy. He changed his last name after graduation with respect to his adopted parents.

He served as a team captain during the 2007-08 season, while earning a conference title in the shot put at the 2008 Mountain West Indoor Championships. He is still ranked third on the Academy's all-time list in both the indoor and outdoor shot put, highlighted by a throw of 57'11" during the 2008 indoor season.

He was awarded the Laura Piper Ironman Award, which was named for a 1991 Academy graduate and former Air Force thrower who was killed in action during Operation Desert Shield in Iraq.

Lyon was named to the National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American team.

"My memories of Dave are not how far he threw, or any honors he received, but of his character and leadership," Air Force track and field head coach Ralph Lindeman said. "A fearless and intense competitor, Dave was one of the nicest young men I can ever remember coaching in my 24-plus years at USAFA. He cared deeply about his team and his teammates. Dave was entirely selfless, always willing to share his time, energy, experience and expertise with his teammates. For that very reason, he was one of the most outstanding team captains we've ever had here during my tenure. Dave was the epitome of a warrior and winner."

Lyonis survived by his wife, Dana Pounds-Lyon, a 2006 Academy graduate and two-time NCAA champion in the javelin throw.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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