Building at Barksdale named in honor of retired Col. Steve dePyssler

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The Mission Support Group Building T-4400 was renamed the “The Col. dePyssler Mission Support Group (MSG) Building” at a dedication ceremony Nov. 8 at Barksdale Air Force Base.

The naming was in dedication to the life-long military service of Col. Steve dePyssler, USAF Retired. 

Col. Sara Ann Custer, 2nd MSG commander spoke to the hundreds of attendees about Col. dePyssler and his many accomplishments.

“You need to show a person you care while they are still with you. And, with Gen. (Air Force Global Strike Command Commander Timothy) Ray’s help, we were able to push it through,” said Col. Custer. “We all talk about being an Air Force family and we talk about taking care of each other, and many of us actually do the walk. But few of us go to the lengths that Col. dePyssler has.”

She went on to say that while the Air Force family may start at enlistment, it does not end at retirement, continuing, “That family connection is still there and is strengthened daily by Col dePyssler and the dedicated volunteers that he leads.”

Retired Col. dePyssler is director of military retiree affairs at Barksdale Air Force Base. The 100-year-old Chicago native served 38 years of active-duty service, and is the only known American to have served in four wars. Since retiring, dePyssler has spent the past 41 years volunteering with the retiree affairs department.

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

During the ceremony, a bronze plaque and display case were revealed. The plaque describes dePyssler’s life-long 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. 

“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,” dePyssler said.

In recognition to his continued service to the community, 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. “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. On Nov. 9, we will be rendering the first annual ‘Colonel Steven D. dePyssler Award.’”

Col. dePyssler has worked with the state legislatures to develop the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal and other legislation. He has also played a vital part in the development of the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, the War Memorial at the Bossier City Civic Center, and the Purple Heart Stamp. He is devoted to the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of American Chapter Scholarship Fund and editor of two military and retiree newspapers. 

You can see a gallery below (all photos by Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune):