CommunityVeterans In Focus


'Band of brothers' come together to honor a fallen brother

"We are unsung heroes to each other"
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Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 19:58:39-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There's likely no other family who has ever given so much to their country than the Fuentes family.

Nine brothers served in the military between the years 1957 to 1982; eight of them as U.S. Marines and one joined the U.S. Air Force.

Marcos is the youngest of the long line of Fuentes 9.

"It's just inherited patriotism, the love for each other ... unsung heroes to each other," said Marcos. "All of us gave a blank check to protect our sovereign country and the Constitution of the United States."

Israel is now the oldest living brother in the group who served in combat, and the only one to join the Air Force.

He chose that branch of service for his mother's sake. He had hoped it would keep him safe from war. It didn't turn out that way.

"Well, there was Vietnam. Guess who wound up right smack in all of that," said Israel.

After that tour of duty, Israel returned home from combat with his brother Richard.

Richard is the reason the surviving brothers all came together on March 10. He was laid to rest with full military honors at Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.

"(Richard) he always had my back and I had his," said brother Rudy, also a Marine. "In any kind of trouble, whatever he needed, I was there no matter what time."

"I really wanted to be like Richard," said fellow Marine and brother Rick. "I knew that when I was 10, 12-years-old that I was going to join the Marines."

All of the Fuentes brothers, including Richard, followed the footsteps of David, the oldest brother and First Fuentes to start the family military tradition. David passed away in 2011.

"David was just like Richard. He could do just about anything he wanted to," remembered Ezequiel, the second Fuentes to join the Marines.

Giving back to their country was in the Fuentes bloodline, and fighting for freedom was at the top of their list of goals in life.

"They got recognition that they didn't want, but it was a humble experience that they wanted to do something for the country," said Richard Fuentes, the son of Richard.

This 'band of brothers' of Fuentes boys are a generous gift to all of us from a humble family that includes seven daughters. As it turned out, six of them also married men who served in the military.

"We were real proud to have served … proud to do it for family and God and country," said Rudy.