It was a big weekend for a retired Air Force Colonel. More than 200 people gathered at Barksdale Air Force Base to say "thank you" and celebrate Steve dePyssler's 95th birthday.

Photo: BSO Lt. Bill Davis

The former colonel served 38 years of active duty service and is the only known American to have served in four wars: 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.

In a news release from Bossier Sheriff's Office spokesman Bill Davis, we're reminded that dePyssler was instrumental in developing the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, the War Memorial at the Bossier 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 for 20,000 readers.

Steve and Gloria dePyssler, married for 70 years (courtesy of BSO Lt. Bill Davis)

Dignitaries from across the state joined the birthday celebration. They included retired Air Force Lt. Col. George Finck, Centenary College President Emeritus Donald Webb, Haughton State Representative (and retired Army Lt. Col.) Henry Burns, State Senator and Marine Corps veteran Robert Adley and Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker, also a retired Air Force Colonel.

Also honoring dePyssler were retired Army Col. Ted Cox, Judicial Administrator with the Caddo Juvenile Justice Center; retired Air Force Col. Jack Lee; retired Air Force CMSgt Elmore Owens; Bossier Parish Police Jury President Doug Rimmer; and Caddo Parish Commission President Doug Dominick.

dePyssler was born on this day in 1919, and we wish him a very Happy Birthday -- and many more!