Friday evening, representatives of the Bolaños Brothers Veterans Foundation, founded by the only four brothers to serve in Viet Nam at the same time, announced that Bill Bolaños, the third eldest of the four, passed away after a short illness.
Bill and the brothers, three of whom were in combat together, are nationally recognized veterans for their contributions and patriotism to our nation. During the Viet Nam war all four entered different arms of the service and immediately volunteered for duty in Viet Nam.
Three of the brothers were actually in combat together in Dong Ha Viet Nam.
Luis the eldest of the four was the first to volunteer after his father had asked one of them to represent the family in Viet Nam. Their father, Luis (Sr.), told his sons, “If we don’t fight communism overseas, we are going to have to fight it here on our borders.”
Luis immediately responded that he would volunteer and go fight for our country. His mother, Margaret, was despondent over Luis’ choice to go fight. In an effort to console her he said, “Mom we have to love each other, but we have to love our country more.”
Immediately thereafter Bill joined the United States Army and had an outstanding career (1965-1969) as a green beret in the Army.
During his service he was cited for his courage and was awarded a Bronze Star with a V device, the purple heart for wounds received in action and the Soldiers Medal. He became part of the only family in the United States to have four brothers serving in Viet Nam at the
Bill was also cited for his patriotism, as were his brothers, in a letter to their parents from the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The State of Texas also passed H.C.R. 120 honoring Bill Bolanos and his brothers for manifesting “a deep love of their country through their valiant service in its armed forces, and through their dedicated civic engagement.”
He had been quoted as saying, “The Bolanos brothers have answered their country’s call with unfaltering courage and selflessness, and they have continued to exemplify the civic commitment that is so crucial to the vitality of this system of Government.”
Ben Bolanos, one of older brothers said “my brother was a model of patriotism, his passion for our nation ran deep and he was willing to sacrifice his life so that we could continue to enjoy all that this nation affords us. He was a fighter of rights a defender of justice, and a firm believer that all men were created equal and we should be willing to die for that premise.”
Throughout his life, Bill and his brothers spent countless hours advocating for veterans throughout the United States. Along with his brothers, Bill has even held community events for underprivileged children, serving as many as 1500 disabled children.