Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony A. Dilisio
Died May 30, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
20, of Macomb, Mich.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died May 30 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
(The following was taken from www.macombdaily.com of June 2, 2010) Lance Cpl. Anthony A. DiLisio dreamed of being a Marine and a hero. He achieved both.
DiLisio, 20, of Macomb Township, died over the weekend from a single gunshot to the head while patrolling on foot outside his camp in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
"He loved the Marine Corps. He loved fighting. He loved being a hero. He wanted to be a hero," said his girlfriend, Rachel Ketelhut, 20, of St. Clair Shores.
He volunteered for the patrol even though his superior told him he could "take the day off," said Ketelhut, who said she has talked with DiLisio's fellow soldier Mark Wold, who was with him when he died and is accompanying his body to Michigan.
"He didn't want that. He wanted to go," she said Tuesday. "He liked the action. He was stubborn, he was a leader."
Ketelhut was told that DiLisio, Wold and another soldier were about 25 yards outside the camp Saturday night when a van of enemy fighters fired upon them. The enemy was killed in the ensuing shootout, she said.
Ketelhut and DiLisio's family were informed Sunday night, in a soldier's visit to the family home.
DiLisio's sister, Lisa Lia, said the family didn't want Anthony to serve.
"The family was against this from the beginning," she said. "We fought tooth and nail to keep him here, but he wouldn't stay. He had this drive. He was a fighter with a big heart."
His father and stepmother traveled to Dover Air Force Base, Del., to receive his remains, which were to arrive Tuesday night. His body will arrive in Michigan on Friday morning. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.
Ketelhut is devastated.
"I don't believe it still. I don't want to believe it," she said. "I was in shock, mad, didn't think it was real. Didn't want to believe it was real. My heart stopped and broke."
At the same time, she said she's proud of him "for what he did for the country and the world. He sacrificed."
DiLisio, who graduated from Dakota High School in Macomb Township two years ago, joined the Marines in August 2008.
"He wanted to join when he was in high school but no one would sign for him," Ketelhut said.
In high school, he was on the swim and baseball teams.
Ketelhut said they met when they were 17 and she was attending Zoe Christian High School and The Gallery College of Beauty in Clinton Township, which DiLisio's sister attended. They were friends first and started dating in June 2008, she said.
She said DiLisio also could be "funny and goofy" and always made sure he told her and both her and his family members he loved them, too.
"He loved everybody," she said. "He made it clear to everybody that he loved them. He would also say, 'I love you.' He was great."
"He loved his family," Lia added. "He came from a very close-knit family."
Ketelhut said she visited him once or twice a month while stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and they planned to get engaged this year.
DiLisio was part of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, IIMarine Expeditionary Force.
He was deployed to Afghanistan since Dec. 15 and was scheduled to return to the United States between July 10 and 16, Ketelhut said.
DiLisio is survived by his parents, Lorenzo DiLisio of Macomb Township and Tammy Labute of Las Vegas; stepmother, Tina DiLisio; and siblings, Lisa (Joe) Lia, and Dino (Lori), Joey (Elisa), Maria and Angelo DiLisio; and 11 nieces and nephews.