Written by Brittany Carrington, Life Tribute Specialist.
Although I have not yet experienced the personal loss of someone serving in the U.S. military, I have been touched by those who have. Today on Memorial Day, join me in honoring the life of Lance Corporal Travis Desiato. Please utilize the comments section to share the stories of other military members we have lost and honor those who have served.
Travis was a humble guy who didn’t like attention, but preferred meaningful one-on-one conversations where he could look a person in the eye. He was a team player. Whether in sports or military exploits, his concern was not for himself, but for the team.
Travis’ decision to join the Marines was born of his team spirit, love for his family and country and a long-time passion for helping others. According to Sam Mendales, a family friend, ”He believed the best way to serve his family and community was to enlist in the Marines.” Following his outstanding performance in boot camp, he was offered an opportunity to serve on presidential duty. However, he turned it down in pursuit of his desire to serve in Iraq. “He felt most needed in Iraq,” Mendalez said.
He left behind his new wife and beloved parents and siblings to embark on a courageous journey to serve his country.
Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Desiato was killed by enemy action on November 15, 2004, at the age of nineteen while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During this time, the Americans, Iraqis and British had joined forces to defeat the Iraqi Insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah. The battle, known as the Operation Phantom Fury or the Second Battle of Fallujah, took place in November-December of 2004. It was led by the U.S. Marine Corp and has been noted as the bloodiest battle of the whole war.
Before his departure into the Marines, Travis instructed his family that, if he did not return, they were to tell people that “he did his job.”
Thank you, Travis, for doing your job to protect and honor my country. You courageously fought for the American cause and gave the ultimate sacrifice. You are a true American Hero.
Because of Travis, we can all have a greater appreciation for Memorial Day and what it represents: love, sacrifice, and freedom, and most importantly…heroism.
I can think of no better way to conclude this blog than with the words of his sister, Vanessa Desiato:
“The military made my brother become the man he was meant to be. He wanted to help people and did that by joining the Marines, the only thing he felt he needed to do. My brother has shown me what dedication, honor, and respect are. He has shown me what it means to be a hero.
To me, Memorial Day is the day we remember what it means to be a hero. Heroism is deeply rooted in the soldiers we say goodbye to with our tear-stained faces, and those we welcome home with those happier tears. Memorial Day is the day we thank those who did not get the joyous homecoming, or have since been laid to rest. It is the day we remember the heroes who gave everything for the soldiers serving next to them and the people they left at home.
Memorial Day is a day we are reminded of what combat veterans have given to this country, whether it’s years of service, the first year of their marriage, or their lives. Every combat veteran has given something to this country, without asking for anything in return. Memorial Day is a day to remember these men and women for who they are: heroes, who did their job.”
“What Memorial Day means to Me” by Vanessa Desiato https://blog.mass.gov/hhs/veterans/what-memorial-day-means-to-me/
“Bedford Marine, 19, is killed in Fallujah” by Jack Encarnacao http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/11/17/bedford_marine_19_is_killed_in_fallujah/