Funeral services for Retired Army Colonel Silviano Joe Blanco will be held at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Harker Heights, 1:00 pm, on Monday, November 11, 2013. Visitation is Sunday, November 10, 6-8pm, at Crawford and Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen. Burial with full military honors will be held at the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, at a later date.
Colonel Blanco passed Thursday, November 7, 2013 at home. He was born on January 25, 1932 in El Paso, Texas, and had been a member of the Fort Hood/Killeen communities since 1974.
Colonel Blanco was a graduate of Texas Western College of the University of Texas where he initially attended on football scholarship, and had also completed extensive studies to include graduate work at the University of Maryland and Florida State University. Further, he graduated from numerous military schools to include the Engineer Officers Advance Course and the Army's Command and General Staff College, Leavenworth, Kansas. He was a qualified Master Paratrooper, Special Forces soldier, instructor, and Foreign Area Specialist.
He held numerous Command and Staff positions world wide which included Japan, Korea, Germany, Lebanon, Latin America and Vietnam. His stateside assignments were many, to include the Department of Army, Washington, D.C., and culminated with his retirement at Fort Hood, Texas after twenty-eight (28) years of military service.
Colonel Blanco's combat tours included two in the Korean conflict, two in Vietnam, the U.S. intervention in Lebanon in 1958, and participation in the two Cuban crises' in the early 1960's. He also served in the 82nd Airborne Division's participation in quelling civil disturbances in Detroit and Washington D.C. During the Panama riots of 1964, Colonel Blanco was extensively involved with the evacuation of U.S. citizens out of the Republic of Panama.
In addition to being a Master Paratrooper, he was awarded three Legions of Merit, the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation ribbon, and numerous other U.S. and foreign awards.
After his retirement in 1978, Colonel Blanco became the Executive Director of the Bluebonnet Chapter of the American Red Cross. During his seven and a half year tenure he was responsible for the merger of the Bell and Lampasas County Red Cross.
Colonel Blanco was a past president of the Central Texas Retired Officers Association, member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, and a volunteer in several community activities to include instructor for the YMCA teaching citizenship primarily for Army dependents wishing to become U.S. citizens. In addition, he instructed Leadership Development, Management, and Communication at Central Texas College.
Survivors include his wife Nancy H. Blanco of Killeen; son, Joseph Michael Blanco of Cincinnati, Ohio; son, Martin Patrick Blanco of Sugar Land, Texas; daughter, Nancy B. Wallace of Westport, Connecticut; daughter, Teresa B. Crampton of Guilford, Connecticut; sister Carmen B. Mendias of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and eight (8) grandchildren.
Colonel Blanco was preceded in death by his parents Jesse and Francesca Blanco of El Paso, Texas; brothers Robert Blanco and Carlos Blanco; sisters Vicki B. Enriques, Esther B. Pinon and Gloria B. Nickles; and grandson Joseph B. Blanco.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bell County Chapter of the American Red Cross.