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Postal Service agrees to let Lyon get a 'third-party medical review'

The U.S. Postal Service has reportedly agreed to take another look at the case of a decorated soldier from Hamburg who wants to work as a mail carrier.

Postal Service officials in Washington have agreed to schedule a "third-party medical review" for National Guard Sgt. Jason R.A. Lyon, 28, according to a spokeswoman for Rep. Brian M. Higgins, D-Buffalo.

"This is great news. This is something Sgt. Lyon has been asking for . . . another medical opinion," said Higgins' communications director, Suzanne Anziska.

Anziska said the Postal Service told Higgins that the new medical review will be conducted on or about April 12. Postal Service officials could not immediately be reached to comment on the report.

Lyon, who is assigned to a unit at Buffalo's Masten Avenue Armory, suffered an ankle sprain while stepping off a Humvee in July 2004 in Iraq. In January 2005, he was nearly killed by a roadside bomb that killed three soldiers working with him. He received the Purple Heart and numerous other commendations.

Military doctors have certified Lyon physically fit to return to combat duty, if needed, but a Postal Service doctor has insisted that, because of his ankle injury, he is unfit to work as a postal carrier. Lyon maintains he can run, jump, carry weights and handle any of the physical duties required of a postal carrier.

The case has attracted national publicity and much attention from veterans and postal workers.

In the past, Postal Service officials have said they respect Lyon's contributions to the war effort but do not think his ankle will withstand long years of service as a postal carrier.

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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