On Wednesday, September 25, the Bolding family was presented with the Gold Star Award at the Crockett County Courthouse in Alamo.
The Gold Star Award is given to family members who have lost a loved one during military service in time of conflict. The Gold Star first made an appearance during World War I after being placed over a service flag’s blue star when a service member was killed in combat. The Gold Star signified the family’s pride in the loved one’s sacrifice rather than the mourning of their personal loss.
The Bolding family has waited a long time to receive theirs as Lanny Ross Bolding died in the Vietnam war on February 16, 1967 as a result of a gunshot wound received in hostile territory.
The ceremony began with a welcome from Crockett County Veterans Service Officer Larry Simmons and the national anthem being sung by his wife Shelia Simmons. Sammie Posey led the pledge of allegiance and invocation before Larry, Crockett County Mayor Gary Reasons and Alamo City Mayor John Avery Emison thanked the veterans in the audience and the Bolding family for the sacrifice that comes with receiving the Gold Star Award.
Tennessee Department of Veteran Services Deputy Commissioner Tilman Goins and West Tennessee Assistant Commissioner Patrick Rice also attended the commemorative event.
Howard Edward Cross who has served the government a week shy of 48 years, spoke about the award and presented all veterans in attendance who served even one day on active duty from November 1, 1955 through May 15, 1975 with a Vietnam War 50th Commemorative pin. Although there were no surviving spouses in attendance, the pin was offered to them as well before presenting the award to Lanny’s widow, Annette Bolding-Reddick and his brothers and sister James Bolding, Tommy Bolding, Wayne Bolding, Brenda Young, and Craig Bolding, although Craig was unable to attend the ceremony.
Larry explained that during the last Armed Forces Day banquet, he noticed a Gold Star license plate on a vehicle and thought it was Annette. He found out that it was another, Gold Star widow named Bonnie Davis-Butler and had her sit at the Gold Star table with the Bolding family. From that meeting, Butler began putting in calls and making sure that the Gold Star Ceremony happened for the Bolding family as they have waited years and never received it.
The family was very thankful to every who attended.
Wayne said, “I remember the day that he left. We tried to leave my momma and daddy’s house. He got in the car seven times. He would get in and get out and go back in and tell my momma and daddy that he loved them. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I just told him when you get ready to go just come on.”
Lanny joined the military on May 24, 1966 and commenced his tour in Vietnam on November 8, 1966 before losing his life on February 16, 1967. At the time of his death, Lanny was an E-3 being paid $121.80 per month.
Private First-Class (PFC) Lanny Ross Bolding served in the Army during the Vietnam War with Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd infantry regiment, 4th infantry division with the point squad.
According to records, the President of the United States of America took pride in presenting the Silver Star, posthumously, to PFC Bolding saying, as Company A was conducting search and destroy operations west of Pleiku. A sudden burst of intense enemy fire inflicted several casualties on the squad. After hastily setting up a defense perimeter, the remainder of the squad began to evacuate casualties from the immediate area. PFC Bolding dug a position, which was to be an improvised aid station for the many wounded personnel. He then entered the enemy killing zone repeatedly to aid in the evacuation of his wounded comrades, each time exposing himself to deadly fire.
He was responsible for moving six wounded men to safety. PFC Bolding was moving forward again when he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His actions were undoubtedly responsible for saving the lives of several fellow soldiers. This outstanding display of courage and concern for the welfare of his comrades was in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.