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Barksdale honors long-time RAO director with building commemoration

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler (right), director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, poses for a photo with Col. Sara Ann Custer (left), 2nd Mission Support Group commander, following a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. The renaming of the newly established dePyssler Mission Support Group building was announced back in July 2019 after dePyssler celebrated his 100th birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Attendees sit alongside retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler, director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, during a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. The renaming of the newly established dePyssler Mission Support Group building was announced back in July 2019 after dePyssler celebrated his 100th birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Ken Epperson (left), Veteran’s Celebration Committee chairman, presents retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler (right), director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, an award named in dePyssler’s honor during a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. The award announcement was made at the ceremony by Epperson stating that this was the 12th honor in dePyssler’s name. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler, director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, listens during a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. He served 38 years on active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps and the Air Force and has spent the past 41 years volunteering with the retiree affairs department. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler, director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, watches as his children, Bruce and Stephanie, reveal a display case during a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. The display case is filled with mementos illustrating milestone events throughout dePyssler’s life of service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler, director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, gives a thumbs up to the crowd attending a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. dePyssler held every enlisted, warrant officer and officer rank during his service from the rank of private to colonel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler (left), director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, discusses items in a display case with Col. Sara Ann Custer (right), 2nd Mission Support Group commander, during a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. The display case is filled with mementos illustrating milestone events throughout dePyssler’s life of service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

Col. dePyssler’s service commemorated with building dedication

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler, director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, is greeted by attendees of a building dedication ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 8, 2019. dePyssler is believed to be the only known American to have served in World War II, the Korean War, the French Indo-China War, the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tessa B. Corrick)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

The life-long service of a military veteran has been forever memorialized following the renaming and dedication of the 2nd Mission Support Group building at Barksdale during a ceremony on Nov. 8, 2019.

Retired Col. Steven L. dePyssler, director of military retiree affairs for Barksdale, served 38 years on active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps and the Air Force. He has also spent the past 41 years volunteering with the retiree affairs department. He is believed to be the only known American to have served in World War II, the Korean War, the French Indo-China War, the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Vietnam War.

“I did check and no one I spoke to at Headquarters Air Force could remember a building dedication to a living person ever being approved,” said Col. Sara Ann Custer, 2nd MSG commander at the ceremony. “Which is in line with many comments I’ve heard when folks talked about today’s event - show a person how you feel while they are still with you.”

dePyssler has held every enlisted, warrant officer and officer rank during his career from the rank of private to colonel. He was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal four separate times for his outstanding service. The renaming of the newly established dePyssler Mission Support Group building was announced back in July 2019 after dePyssler celebrated his 100th birthday.

“I really appreciate you all coming out, what I want to make sure y’all understand that this has all been accomplished by the staff here, my staff and ‘Sue’ (Col. Custer),” dePyssler said.

During the ceremony, a plaque and display case were revealed. The plaque describes his lifelong service and dedication to the Air Force, the state of Louisiana and the Barksdale community. The display case is filled with mementos illustrating milestone events throughout dePyssler’s life of service. A special announcement was also made at the ceremony by Ken Epperson, Veteran’s Celebration Committee chairman.

“We are elated that Colonel dePyssler’s illustrious career has led to the renaming of this particular facility,” Epperson said claimed during the ceremony. “It is even more of an honor and a privilege that he has allowed the Veteran’s Celebration Committee to render a 12th honor in his good name. This Saturday we will be rendering the first annual ‘Steven Colonel D. dePyssler Award.’”

This does not however, mark the end of a legacy for dePyssler. He plans to continue volunteering with not only the base, but the local community as well for as long as he is able to.

“I continue to do it because I enjoy coming to work, working with people and helping people,” dePyssler explained. “As long as I’m able to work and help people, I will.”

Generations today and for years to come will be able to learn and be inspired through the service the retired colonel has provided every day since his enlistment in 1940. The plaque leaves six words at the bottom for all to remember dePyssler by: “he is truly an American hero.”