Fernley soldier killed in Iraq

thomas lyons

thomas lyons

A Fernley soldier was killed Tuesday in northern Iraq in an attack on his convoy that also claimed the lives of two other U.S. soldiers.

The family of Pfc. Thomas Lyons, 20, learned of his fate Tuesday afternoon about 1:30 p.m., said Lyonsa€™ stepfather John Flint of Fernley.

a€œAll I know right now is a rocket attack hit his truck and he pretty much died instantly," said Flint on Wednesday afternoon from his Fernley home.

The deaths of Lyons, his two comrades and another soldier also killed Tuesday in a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad, made it the deadliest day for American forces in Iraq since combat troops pulled back from urban areas more than two months ago.

A military police officer stationed in Fort Richardson, Alaska, Lyons enlisted in the Army in 2007. He married his wife, Delvin, also an active duty soldier, about six months ago in a small civil ceremony in Alaska. Their son, Erik, was born May 25.

Because Lyonsa€™ unit deployed to Iraq on May 22, his commanders allowed him to stay home for his sona€™s birth, said Lyonsa€™ mother, Jeanna Flint.

Lyons joined his unit in Iraq on July 12.

Jeanna Flint said the young couple planned to have a formal wedding when Lyonsa€™ year-long deployment was up.

a€œWhen he returned home they were going to have the big family wedding, gown and all,a€ she said. a€œShe doesna€™t get to do this. That is very heartbreaking.a€

Instead, Delvin had to notify his parents of his death, said Jeanna Flint.

She also was the one to call Lyonsa€™ twin sister, Kim Kingsley, stationed in Germany with her soldier-husband Kenneth, who is set to deploy to Iraq in November.

Jeanna Flint said she last talked to her son online Aug. 31.

a€œI was a little concerned about him being over there, but I have many friends, and their sons have been over and have returned safely,a€ she said. a€œI took his word that he would be fine. He said he had good leaders, and they served more than one time in Iraq and they knew what they were doing. I always thought he was coming home.a€

Even in light of the devastating news, Jeanna Flint said she was proud of her sona€™s service to his country.

a€œIa€™m proud to be an American and I think you need to serve,a€ she said. a€œHe was the best. Ia€™m very proud.a€

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.

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