News | Feb. 2, 2016

Former DLA Disposition Services deployer memorialized

By Public Affairs DLA Disposition Services

Taken from reporting by DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime paid a final tribute to one if its own Jan. 21, renaming a newly renovated building to honor a fallen hero.

In front of its namesake’s family members, friends and co-workers, the Stephen F. Byus Community Center was dedicated in a ceremony on the installation.

Byus served two tours in Southwest Asia as a mobilized Navy Reserve sailor serving with DLA Disposition Services before his final mission in 2014.

Byus was a civilian supervisory supply specialist with DLA Land and Maritime in July 2014 when he volunteered to deploy to help the Afghan military improve its maintenance and supply systems. 

On Sept. 16, 2014, his two-vehicle convoy, carrying personnel to downtown Kabul to brief the Afghan minister of defense for logistics, was attacked.  He became the first DLA employee killed in the decade-long war. He was 39.

"Stephen Byus will certainly be an enduring figure in the noble history of DLA Land and Maritime,” said Navy Rear Adm. John King, commander of DLA Land and Maritime. “After today's dedication of the Community Center in his name, he will forever be a permanent part of this entire installation”

His earlier military deployments were to Iraq, where he served as a petty officer 2nd class with DLA Disposition Services in 2004 and again to Iraq during 2010, serving as a petty officer 1st class in a team of reservists based out of Columbus. At that time he was the team’s leading petty officer for administration and supervised four sailors.

Byus began working for DLA Land and Maritime as a civilian in July 2008, through the DSCC Corporate Intern Program. It was said that he helped revitalize the resolution specialist employee-development team and improved the division’s audit readiness.

The 3,000-square-foot Byus Center opened in fall 2014, following extensive renovation of a structure dating to World War I. The state-of-the-art facility can accommodate group conferences, social functions and large meetings.

"The naming of this building is not to commemorate his death but, rather, to remind us of what Stephen Byus accomplished while he was alive,” King said. “My hope is for this community center to be a place for fun—a place where bonds are cemented but also a place where those coming here will recognize our desire to acknowledge those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom and that they will be encouraged to place the same importance on this building as we do here today."