BATTLE POSITION VERA CRUZ, Iraq --
Lady Liberty stands proudly in the bay of Rykers Island, N.Y. With her torch lit, she welcomes those wanting to be American citizens; people like Lance Cpl. Filippo Travisany, a United States Marine.
Travisany, a mortarman with Charlie Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, dreamt of the Marine Corps thousands of miles away in Rome. His uncle, an American citizen, told him stories of the heroic Marines during the Vietnam Conflict.
“My uncle would tell me how tenacious the Marines were,” Travisany said. “They never gave up, and I wanted to be part of that.”
Travisany grew up but didn’t forget about his childhood dream of serving in the United States Marine Corps.
“I could have joined the Italian Navy but they aren’t the Marine Corps,” he said.
Travisany’s family all had college degrees so, following tradition, he received a scholarship to the University of Denver.
“I was pretty excited about the scholarship because I knew the United States was going to be totally different,” the 1998 Ripetta High School graduate said.
School was very important to him, but he soon found love with a woman he met in an English literature class. Travisany’s school visa was about to expire so he either had to choose Rome, where his family waited for him, or Denver where his love waited for his return.
“I really wanted to finish my degree and I loved my girlfriend at the time so I came back to America,” Travisany said.
The two quickly married, and Filippo and Haley Travisany had a boy named Nicolo. Travisany wanted his wife to finish school, so he knew he had to work in order to help his wife and son.
“She was studying to become a registered nurse, so I felt here was my chance to provide for my family and complete my lifelong dream,” Travisany said.
The proud father and husband walked away from the college campus and walked into a Marine Corps recruiting office.
“It was a dream fulfilled to join the Marine Corps, Travisany said. “I could have joined any branch but it was really worth it to join the Marines.”
Travisany’s Italian family never thought he would join an American military service, especially the Marine Corps.
“Italians are very political,” Travisany explained. “My family has strong opinions about the war, but they are proud of me nonetheless.”
Not many people get to become what they dreamt of being as a child. Travisany is living his dream of being a Marine. But now he has sight set on obtaining another dream—the American dream.
“Having my wife and child was a milestone in my life and I was proud that my son was born in the United States,” Travisany said. “He was an American and that’s what truly motivated me to also be an American.”
Travisany does his daily Marine duties as he waits for his citizenship paperwork to go through, allowing him to finally be an American.
“I can only hope,” Travisany said.