David Joseph Latoria

Private First Class
Army of the United States
18 May 1949 - 15 May 1968
Chicago, Illinois
Panel 60E Line 025

Combat Infantry

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
David Joseph Latoria

The database page for David Joseph Latoria

04 Oct 2001

You are forever in our hearts
and we will never forget you.

Your loving family

E-mail address is not available.
17 Nov 2001

You will always be my buddy. I wish I could buy you a frozen Butterfinger and play some baseball.

Your cuz,

Michael Latoria

09 Apr 2002

Dave was a good friend and a member of the Class of 1967 at East Leyden High School.
He is gone but not forgotten by those of us who knew him.

Barbara Ellyn Tuttle
Franklin Park,Illinois

09 May 2002

I never had the pleasure of knowing you,
But I am proud of you and your
service for our country.

From a cousin,
Brent Bluthardt
Antioch, IL

29 Oct 2002

David - On November 8, 2002, the Veterans Park District in Cook County, Illinois will dedicate a park in your name. Once again, in death, you have brought honor to the family. You were a sweet and gentle boy, who deserved to live a long and happy life. Those of us who knew you, will always remember your handsome, smiling face and will honor your memory.

From a cousin,
Diane R. Bluthardt
E-mail address is not available.

18 Apr 2003

On March 19th, America was at war once again. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is what this war is known as. It's a different time, a different country and has a different name, but war is war and when lives are lost, they are all the same. It's been almost thirty five years since my brother, David, was killed - some days it seems like yesterday. As I watch the news coverage, I am reminded of Vietnam and am flooded with memories. My flag is proudly flown every single day and the next time I see a serviceman I will say thank you.

May God bless our troops, their familes and may God bless America.

From his sister,
Fran McCarron

06 Sep 2006

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Wabash Plaza. The memorial was dedicated by Mayor Daley on Veterans Day, November 11, 2005.

I thought of you today and placed a flag next to your name.

The names of more than 2,900 Illinois servicemen killed or missing in action are engraved in black granite. The names are listed by year of death covering the years of 1962 to 1973 and beyond.

It is so important to know that you and your fellow veterans are honored here and not forgotten.

I'm very proud of you and proud of the great City of Chicago for building this wonderful memorial.

Your sister,

13 Feb 2007

This photo of David and The Wall with his name behind him was presented to my family at an annual dinner-dance in honor of David. The money raised at this affair is used to present two scholarships at David's high school - East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Illinois.

From his sister,
Fran Latoria McCarron
16 Aug 2003

I remember you well from Franklin Park Grade School. I was in the same grade as your sister Fran. To have your sister design this The Virtual Wall for you shows how very much she loved you. And that you are still in her heart of hearts and forever will be.

I know that you made the ultimate sacrifice for your country and beliefs. I personally and profoundly thank you for your sense of honor, duty and commitment. Your family has every right to be very, very proud of you.

It is a terrible tragedy nonetheless when a young and promising life is lost so prematurely and I know so many mourn your loss.

As you look down from above, please know that others deeply care and you will always be remembered.

From a classmate,
Donald Birner

13 Jul 2004

Dear David,

I never met you. But knowing that you are family and that you fought for our country I wish I would have. I just want to say thank you. I am only 15 and family is very important to me. I am glad to have had someone like you in the family.

From a cousin,
Michael Louis Vinci
Franklin Park, Illinois

14 Dec 2004

David, it has been a long time since I thought about the young man who left for Viet Nam and didn't come back. I remember how sensitive your eyes were and how friendly you were to younger cousins who were probably pestering you in your corner lot yard in Franklin Park at family parties or on Sunday nights when the men played cards. You were a good guy and while you were gone too soon, to this day you touch the lives of those who met you. You had the demeanor which said to everybody around you, "Calma e bollenti spiriti, e vedrai tutto pui chiaro". Miss ya, cuz.

From a cousin,
Frank Peter Latoria

4 Jan 2005

David, you served as many of us have never been called upon to serve.

I was a "best friend" of your brother Mike in high school and knew your family very well. You were 6 years younger and one of the "little kids" who just hung around while we were having fun. But I do remember you, as I remember all of your family.

As I reflect, I can only wonder how and why you were one of those who fell in the conflict; I can not imagine the feeling of loss to your family and close friends; I cannot dream the dreams that you must have had for your life; and I cannot imagine why these things should happen to good people.

Now, as I reflect on my good life, blessed with joy of family, friends and free of threat, it saddens me greatly that you have been deprived of the simple pleasures of a good and simple life.

I am compelled to write to you and remind you that you are not forgotten, that you are remembered with reverence, that you must certainly be a better person than those of us who remain, and that your service and duty has made a difference in the world.

God bless you David, and your family and all of those who loved you.

From a friend,
Bill Koehn

13 Jan 2005

David, you were such a kind person, we all miss you very much. Many people honor your memory at a dinner-dance each year - I hope you know how many hearts you have touched. I wish my sons Daniel and Mark could have met their Uncle Dave.

Your brother Dan

Daniel Latoria

16 Jan 2005

My Nam Brother,
The Village was dedicating the Park in your name as I ventured out for a walk around the block. It was a week after my quad by-pass surgery and it was my first time out. I was a little wobbly and a little nervous. I stood in the distance as they made the dedication and really I did not hear the words that were spoken in your memory. I was lost in my own thoughts. I was a survivor, not only of Vietnam but a heart attack. I was the lucky one. You and so many of our generation were gone forever, a sad and painful memory to live with. Rest in peace, my brother. Your Nam brothers carry you in their "Hearts" always.

120th Avn Co. (Airmobile)
Viet Nam

07 Jun 2005

David Latoria is my cousin. He lives in my heart and he shall remain there, always. His sense of humor and kindness amaze me still. To this day I have not met anyone like him, not even close. I am so happy that our family was blessed with him. I am still saddened that he was taken. I think everyone in the USA needs to go the Viet Nam War Museum on Indiana Street in Chicago, Illinois. It is where reality will meet you.

From a cousin,
Claudia Andersen

21 May 2006

I stumbled unto David's memorial, not knowing it was there. Upon opening it, all the memories of our youth came flooding back, grandma, grandpa's house, Aunt Ro, Uncle Vito, all of us cousins gathered together, and David. Big brown eyed David. You were always a joy. A big hole was left in our hearts the day you died, time has helped us move on but not without thoughts of you forever in our hearts. I am so happy I could see your beautiful face again, I will come back to visit you often.

Your cousin,
JoAnn (Latoria) Hausen

06 Feb 2007

My Dear Brother, here I am ready to leave for Chicago for the 26th dinner-dance in your honor! Each year more and more come to honor you, and in the last couple of years even your buddy Sherman and his family.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you. Sometimes I see your sad eyes in my son and sometimes I see your sad eyes in his daughter, beautiful Cassidy.

How sad, so much you missed and we missed of you.
You live on and we miss you very very much.

Love, Roseann

Roseann Latoria

19 Feb 2007

Fellow Leydenite and brother at arms. It is with the greatest respect that we remember you at a dinner-dance held each year in your honor. I am proud to know your family - my brother Rob remembers many a ball game you and he played together.

Your memory lives in each of us. Rest in peace, my fellow soldier.

From a long time family friend,
Doug Eden

02 Aug 2007

May all Americans understand the commitment, honor and courage you had while serving our country. Your death was the ultimate sacrifice and you gave that for our freedom.

Though I'm too young to remember your handsome face and friendly smile, Mom has shown me pictures of you holding me on your lap. I'm sure we would have been the best of buddies today.

Thank you for all you did and for all our troops continue to do.

Proud to be your niece,

Michelle M. Sellers
North Port, Florida

13 Feb 2008

Dear David,

It hardly seems possible that forty years have gone by since you passed on in the service of your country. I will never forget your smile and gracious attitude. When I find time, I go to the Veterans Memorial and talk to you as though you were still alive. I also think about you on your birthday in May and realize it was 3 (three) days before your 19th birthday that you were killed.

I will always think of you and be proud of the fact that I knew you. Heaven is a better place because you're there.

From a classmate at East Leyden High School, Class of 1967,
Barbara Ellyn Tuttle

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 4 Oct 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009