Family of Idaho man killed in Afghanistan welcomed home

SANDPOINT, Idaho — Several thousand area residents with waved flags and packed streets in the northern Idaho town of Sandpoint to welcome back family members returning from the funeral of an Air Force captain killed in Afghanistan.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reported that people lined streets to show their support for the family of 28-year-old Air Force Capt. David Lyon of Sandpoint.

“This is what Sandpoint does,” Kay Peterson said. “We’re here for each other.”

The Defense Department said Lyon died Dec. 27 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Kabul. Lyon was assigned to the 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base. He was serving a yearlong deployment and was an adviser to Afghan National Army commandos.

He was a graduate of the Air Force Academy, had been in the Air Force for five years and had been stationed at Peterson since January 2010. He was buried Wednesday in the Air Force Academy’s cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Some taking part in Saturday’s show of support carried homemade signs.

One read: “David Lyon: Hometown Hero, Always Remembered. Never Forgotten.”

Jayne Sturm taught Lyon as a young student, and was part of a group from Northside Elementary who took part on Saturday. She said the Lyon family participated in school activities, sports and 4-H. There was no other place for her to be on Saturday, she said, and her husband agreed.

“It’s the least we could do,” Don Sturm said.

Jayne Sturm described Lyon as a man of action but not many words.

“He had great leadership but with a quietness and humbleness about him,” she said.

Crosby Tajan coached Lyon on the football team.

“He was a big part of our football program,” Tajan said. “He was just a great kid.”

Katie Lippi, a friend and classmate, drove from her home in Spokane, Wash., to take part.

“We wanted to support David and his family and let them know we’re here for them,” she said.

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