Friends remember fallen Sandpoint airman as an athlete and leader



Posted on December 28, 2013 at 7:16 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 29 at 2:59 PM

SANDPOINT, Idaho—Friends and family grieved Saturday upon learning a local Air Force member was killed in an Afghanistan vehicle attack.

The Department of Defense said an improvised explosive device hit 28-year-old Captain David Lyon’s convoy Thursday in Kabul.
READ: Sandpoint Airman Dies in Afghanistan

Captain Lyon grew up in Sandpoint where he was commonly known as "David Lissy." Lyon was most recently stationed in Peterson, Colorado.  He developed a work ethic that made him a military star early on, in high school and at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Captain Lyon broke records as a member of the Air Force Track and Field team. He was the Indoor Shot Put Champion in 2008 for the Mountain West Conference.

Former teammate Marshall Willis remembers Captain Lyon as a Christian, whose unconditional love was contagious. Willis described him as “the rock of the track team”.

“He was the foundation. He was a gentle giant, he had the biggest heart,” Willis said. “He made the Air Force Track what it is today.”

Captain Lyon also set an example at Sandpoint High School, where he graduated in 2003 with a 3.75 GPA.  He was a three-year letterman who played track, basketball, and football.  He qualified three times for State in track where he helped the Bulldogs win their first title. The final shot he threw broke the 45 year school record and still holds.
High school classmate Allison Sletager also has fond memories of the track star.

“I don’t think there is a single person who could find a negative thing to say about him,” she said.

Sletager described him as a role model to younger teammates on the high school track team.

High school coach, Satini Puaila, was shocked and deeply saddened by the death.

“This is tough on all of us because he was such an outstanding young man,” Puaila said, breaking into tears.

For him, this is a reminder of how deep and personal it is for the community when someone dies in service. “In this community this is going to go deep,” he said.

Captain David Lyon was a five-year veteran scheduled to return to his base in February from a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. He left behind parents, a brother and a wife who left for the East Coast Friday to meet with military members.