NEW HAVEN, CT, USA
CPL, F CO, 2D BN, 8TH MAR, (RCT-3, 2D MEB-FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
SAN ANTONIO, UNITED STATES 12/08/2009
Xhacob (pronounced, Jacob) LaTorre enjoyed making people happy.
“You could be sad. You could be crying, but he would look for the way to make you laugh,” said his mother, Nicole LaSalle.
The 21-year-old Marine corporal even joked around some in his hospital room after being severely wounded during combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan, last August. LaTorre, who was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C., succumbed to his injuries Dec. 8. It was just four days before his 22nd birthday and one day after being awarded the Purple Heart.
The Waterbury, Conn., native joined the Marines three days after graduating from Crosby High School in 2005. He was deployed twice to Iraq before being sent to Afghanistan, where he sustained wounds so severe his legs had to be amputated.
Corporal Xhacob Latorre participated in the ROTC cadet program for three years at Crosby High School. As a student, every time there was an event that required audience participation, Xhacob would raise his hand. He was always a happy and friendly child.
At age 7, a restaurant owner promised him a job if he could keep a table of 10 laughing for an hour, she said. He did. He was too young to be hired, but he got a fist full of cash from the patrons who gave him a dollar for every joke that made them laugh.
He joined the Marine Corps in June of 2005 and trained at Parris Island, South Carolina. He graduated from boot camp on September 23, 2005 and was sent to Camp Lejeune School of Infantry where he received orders to Weapons Company 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. His 1st deployment to Ramadi, Iraq was July 24, 2006 where he spent seven months arriving back to US soil on Feb. 18, 2007. His second deployment to Iraq was October 31, 2007 to May 18, 2008. His third and final deployment was May 18, 2009 to Camp Leatherneck where he transferred from Weapon to Fox Company.
In 2007, Xhacob married his longtime girlfriend and the couple has a young son. Xhacob was promoted to corporal in June of 2008. He was injured on August 10 2009, and was sent to the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he died at age 21 of the wounds he sustained while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Xhacob was a loving and caring father and husband who provided for his family and served his country with his life. He was a happy and fun person throughout his life even in his last few days in the hospital.
Xhacob is the son of Nicolasa LaSalle and Daniel LaTorre Sr. In addition to parents and his wife, Frances, he leaves a son, Javier, a brother, Cpl Daniel L. LaTorre. a sister, Nicole M. LaTorre, maternal grandparents, Pablo LaSalle and Ana M. Morales among others.
LaTorre was married to his high school sweetheart, Frances LaTorre. They have a son, 1½-year-old Javier, whom family members say has a strong resemblance to his father.
“To me, it’s like he never left,” said LaTorre’s brother, Danny LaTorre, also a Marine corporal. “Seeing his son is seeing him grow up all over again.”