Celebration held for retired Air Force Col. Steve dePyssler
Submitted by Lt. Bill Davis, Special to the Press-Tribune
More than 225 friends gathered Saturday night to say “Thank You” and celebrate Air Force Col. (Ret.) Steve dePyssler’s 95th birthday at Barksdale Air Force Base.
dePyssler was born July 21, 1919 and served 38 years of active duty service, earning every enlisted, warrant and officer pay grade up to colonel. He is the only known American to have served in four wars, including World War II, Korean, French IndoChina and Vietnam.
He retired from the military in 1979, but has continued to serve the Ark-La-Tex while volunteering his time at the base for 33 years, with two dozen of those years as the director of the Retiree Office.
dePyssler has worked tirelessly to help countless veterans, family members and widows with a myriad of issues. He worked with the state legislature to develop the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal and other legislation. dePyssler was instrumental 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 has hosted numerous luncheons and events to honor Medal of Honor recipients, POW/Purple Heart members and veterans from all wars. He is devoted to the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of American Chapter Scholarship Fund and editor of two military and retiree newspapers for 20,000 readers. dePyssler’s reach into the community goes even further beyond with numerous other projects.
Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret.) George Finck served as the master of ceremonies. Welcoming remarks were provided by Air Force Capt. (Ret.) Dave Jampole, president of the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of America, and the invocation and benediction were given by Rev. Dr. Donald Webb, President Emeritus of Centenary College. The National Anthem and music was sung by the This-N-That Quartet.
La. State Representative and Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Henry Burns presented a special recognition plaque for dePyssler by Gov. Bobby Jindal. La. State Senator and Marine Corps veteran Robert Adley was the guest speaker and remarked how men like dePyssler make this country how great it is. A proclamation from Bossier City Mayor and retired Air Force Colonel Lo Walker was also read.
Remarks were made by others, including Army Col. (Ret.) Ted Cox, Judicial Administrator with the Caddo Juvenile Justice Center; Air Force Col. (Ret.) Jack Lee; Air Force CMSgt (Ret.) Elmore Owens; Doug Rimmer, president of the Bossier Parish Police Jury; and Doug Dominick, president of the Caddo Parish Commission.
Bill Davis is Public Information Officer for the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office and veteran of the Navy