MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. - Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff statewide to honor a Marine from Macomb who was killed in Afghanistan.
Flags are to be lowered Monday for 20-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Anthony A. DiLisio who died Sunday in Helmand province while supporting combat operations.
Dilisio's body was returned to the U.S. on Tuesday and arrived in Michigan on Friday.
His funeral service will be Monday at St. Paul of Tarsus Catholic Church in Clinton Township. His body will lie in state at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery.
There will be visitation Saturday from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Wujek Calcaterra Funeral Home in Sterling Heights.
Dilisio's girlfriend, 20-year-old Rachel Ketelhut of St. Clair Shores, told The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens that the Dakota High School graduate who joined the Marines in 2008 went on the patrol despite being told he could "take the day off."
"He didn't want that. He wanted to go," Ketelhut said. "He liked the action. He was stubborn, he was a leader."
Ketelhut said she was told that DiLisio and two other comrades were about 25 yards outside the camp when a van of enemy fighters fired upon them. The enemy was killed in an ensuing shootout, Ketelhut said.
"He loved the Marine Corps. He loved fighting. He loved being a hero. He wanted to be a hero," Ketelhut said.
DiLisio was part of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He had been deployed to Afghanistan in December and was scheduled to return to the U.S. in July, Ketelhut said.
DiLisio's sister, Lisa Lia, said his family didn't want him to serve.
"We fought tooth and nail to keep him here, but he wouldn't stay," she said. "He had this drive. He was a fighter with a big heart."
"The fact that he was very personable with a big warm heart," DiLisio's uncle Dave DiLisio said comforts him. "He would do anything for people. Despite having an easy life with his family business and things of that nature, he chose his own path to be his own person."
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