A 21-year-old Marine from Waterbury will be buried on Thursday in Middletown.
Cpl. Xhacob LaTorre, 21, died on Dec. 8 from wounds he sustained while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense. He suffered the injuries about five months earlier, according to the mother of one of the Marine's serving with LaTorre.
LaTorre was a mortar man assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
In late July or August, LaTorre was on patrol when an improvised explosive device went off and he was seriously injured, said Michelle Pawlak, whose son, Tyler, was with
LaTorre when the incident that gravely wounded him happened.
Tyler rushed to help his fellow squad member and LaTorre was taken, conscious, to a helicopter, Pawlak said. For months, LaTorre had been treated at a Texas hospital and he had slipped in and out of comas, she said.
Family members of LaTorre’s fellow Marines decided they wanted to do something to help his family with travel expenses to be by his side, so they planned a fundraiser.
It was to happen on Nov. 11, but the battalion was due back just days later, so the fundraiser was put off. Families were making preparations for the military members' homecoming and LaTorre’s situation was not good. He had slipped into another coma, Pawlak said.
The hope was that when the event was held, that LaTorre would be able to be well enough to attend, said Kevin Hayes, a director of the Warrior's Wish Foundation. The New York-based group is run by volunteer veterans and makes terminally ill veteran's dreams come true.
On Tuesday of this week, several of the guys were on their way to visit LaTorre when they received the devastating news that their friend had passed away. Now, instead of sitting by his bedside and wishing him well, they are giving up their leaves and traveling to be together and say goodbye to a fellow Marine.
LaTorre attended Crosby High School, where he was active in Army JROTC before he joined the Marines, Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura said, and graduated in 2005.
Three days after graduating from high school, LaTorre went to boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina. From boot camp, he went to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and was deployed to Iraq in July 2006. He was deployed for the third time on May 18 and suffered his fatal injuries on Aug. 10, according to his obituary.
LaTorre's wife, Frances (Figueroa) LaTorre, and 1-year-old son, Javier Xhacob LaTorre, live in Pennsylvania.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell has ordered all U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to be flown at half-staff in LaTorre's honor.
His body is returning to Connecticut on Monday. Calling hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Albini Family Funeral Home. His funeral service will be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home. He will be buried Thursday at the State Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown with full military honors.
Besides his wife and son, he leaves his parents, Nicolasa "Nicole" LaSalle, of Waterbury, and Daniel LaTorre Sr., of Hatillo, Puerto Rico, a brother, Cpl. Daniel LaSalle LaTorre of San Diego, a sister, Nicole M. LaTorre, of Waterbury, maternal grandparents, Pablo LaSalle and Ana Morales, two uncles Pablo LaSalle Jr. and Eduardo LaSalle, and four aunts, Carmen LaSalle, Laura LaSalle, Maria LaSalle and Jessica LaSalle.
Copyright AP - Associated Press