AF officer, former Academy athlete killed in Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By Valerie Perkin
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Athletic Communications
Former Air Force thrower Capt. David (Lissy) Lyon was killed on Dec. 27, while conducting combat operations near Kabul, Afghanistan.

Lyon, a 2008 Academy graduate, was a three-year letter winner for the Falcons' track and field team and a Mountain West champion in the shot put.

A member of the 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Lyon was killed when a vehicle-born improvised explosive device was detonated near his convoy. He was one of 10 killed in the attack, along with two NATO military personnel and seven Afghan forces.

Serving a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, Lyon was performing a combat advisory mission with Afghan National Army Commandos and working with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. He was scheduled to return to Peterson AFB in February.

Known as David Lissy during his time with the Falcons' track and field program, the native of Sandpoint, Idaho, 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.

A recipient of the track and field program's Laura Piper Ironman Award (named after 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 (NSCA) All-American team, which recognized his excellence in strength training.

"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'."

Lyon, who changed his last name after graduation with respect to his adopted parents, is survived by his wife, Dana Pounds-Lyon, a 2006 Academy graduate and two-time NCAA champion in the javelin throw.