Isidore Bertone volunteered at 18 for the Navy in 1943 and served aboard the USS Zircon, supporting the troops in Normandy on D-Day. Yet the Staten Islander was finally sworn in as a citizen of the country he fought for just this month.
Born in Sicily to a naturalized American dad, Bertone fled here with his mom in 1939, when the fascist regime began recruiting teens.
He recently began trying to apply for documents proving his US citizenship, but, as he wrote in last week’s Staten Island Advance, “Immigration services mishandled the forms numerous times, and I went to
see Rep. Max Rose for help” — but “I received the run-around.”
Rose’s challenger, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, saw the letter in the Advance and quickly reached out to the White House and the feds. She was on hand days later when a Citizenship and Immigration Services rep swore Bertone in.
“This is a very emotional day for our family,” daughter Nicole Palesano told the Advance. “He’s always reminding us to never take our American citizenship — our freedom — for granted — and to never forget the soldiers who died to keep our country free.”
God bless “Teddy” Bertone, and God bless America.