Local name to be added to UNH War Memorial

Born in Peterborough, John Lyons, 26, was killed in 2011 during an insurgent attack while stationed in Afghanistan

A soldier born in Peterborough will be remembered this Memorial Day weekend, 19 months after he died while serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

Today, the name of John A. Lyons will be added to the War Memorial in the Memorial Union Building at the University of New Hampshire.

Lyons died on Oct. 26, 2011, in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire. A 26-year-old resident of Seaside Park, N.J., he was a sergeant in the 8th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, based in Fort Hood, Texas.

Lyons graduated from Rutgers University in 2008 with degrees in Latin and political science. He had been planning to leave the Army after his tour in Afghanistan ended in order to join his brother, Adam Lyons of Bennington, in a logging business, according to Adam Lyons’ father-in-law, Phil Germain of Bennington.

“He felt indebted to his country and wanted to be part of the reason America is so great, but he was so excited to go into business with his brother,” Germain told a New Jersey newspaper shortly after Lyons’ death.

Lyons was the recipient of the  Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Overseas, Army Service and National Defense Ribbons and the Global War on Terrorism, for which he received Service and Expeditionary Medals. Lyons also led the winning team of the annual Bataan Death March Event in New Mexico.

Other soldiers whose names are being added to the War Memorial are Sgt 1st Class Ryan J. Savard, originally from Jefferson, who also died in Afghanistan, and Capt. Shawn G. Hogan of Salem, who died from injuries sustained in a training exercise in Kentucky.

The Memorial Union Building’s War Memorial honors all state residents from World War I through the present who died in military action. In 1953, Gov. Hugh Gregg declared it the state’s official war memorial.

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