SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - One hundred years-old.
Not to many people live to see that number, but Col. Steven dePyssler will officially know how it feels come on Sunday, July 21.
The retired colonel has served almost 40 years active duty in four wars, and held every enlisted and officer rank without every firing a gun.
But after serving in the Air Force, he’s stayed busy all these years helping others in the Shreveport-Bossier community.
Col. dePyssler retired from the Air Force nearly 40 years ago, but you can still find him working every day on Barksdale Air Force Base at the Retiree Affairs office.
“I enjoy most just coming to work believe it or not," he said. "Come Saturday and Sunday I look forward to coming to work on Monday.”
And you wouldn’t believe just how busy his schedule is. On top of working at the office, the retired colonel also does motivational speaking, publishes two newspapers and also provides assistance to widows on the base.
But in just a few days Col. dePyssler will be celebrating another huge milestone — his 100th birthday. On Friday July 19th over 300 people from across the country will be in Bossier City’s civic center to celebrate Col. dePyssler’s birthday.
The party will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday July 19th with a list of speakers including Governor John Bel Edwards, and Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy.
“The people that are coming normally I have either worked with them, or I have assisted them, (or) they have volunteered with me," he said.
But the Chicago native’s military service began back in the 1940′s. Col. dePyssler served in World War II and started out making 75 cents a day.
Throughout his 38 years he served as a logistic officer not only in World War II, but also the Korean, French Indo-China and Vietnam Wars.
But the colonel says he definitely made sure he had one on him.
“(The) Geneva Convention says you were not entitled to have a weapon, but I can assure you the first time I was shot at I carried a weapon," he said. "When I was in Vietnam….all those places.”
Colonel dePyssler has won numerous awards, has four legion of merit medals — and has even been featured on cereal box or two.
Locally, he played a huge role in getting the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home up and running in Bossier City. To get it started, dePyssler $50,000 of his own money into a trust fund for the home.
But with so much more to do, and plenty of people to help He shares that his secret to living a long life, includes staying away from drugs, eating a good meal, and going to work every day.
“You got to take care of yourself," he said. "Take care of your health — that’s it.”