PV2 Isaac T. Cortes
By Emily, Isaac's Mom
Isaac T. Cortes, born in The Bronx on May 29, 1981 to Emily Toro and Isaias Cortes, grew up along with younger brother, Christopher Cortes in the Parkchester area of The Bronx. He attended local public schools (PS83, 205, 32, MS127) and Christopher Columbus High School. With profound sadness, Isaac leaves behind his loving parents, grandparents, brother and best friend, nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins and a child he raised as his own. Isaac touched many lives with his unique style in ways that will forever be cherished and remembered by family, friends, classmates and neighbors - with warmth and fondness.
Before joining the Army, Isaac held various jobs. Being a Bronx native, he was extremely proud to work at Yankee Stadium as a security guard. This job inspired a future goal – to become a NYC Police Officer. In preparation, he first wanted to gain experience and training to be ‘the best he can be’ and thus Isaac decided to join the US Army.
Isaac T. Cortes enlisted in the Army on November 21, 2006 and was sworn in on January 3, 2007 at Ft. Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn, NY. He completed his individual infantry training course from January 12, 2007 to April 20, 2007 in Fort Benning, GA. He then moved onto Fort Drum. In September of 2007, PV2 Isaac T. Cortes was sent to Iraq.
PV2 Cortes was an Infantryman in Charlie Troop, 1-71 Cavalry Squadron at Fort Drum; a rifleman in the Infantry Squad. He was a HUMVEE driver and performed operator level maintenance on the vehicle. He was trained in the use of Crew Served Weapons (M2 heavy-barreled 50 caliber Machine Gun; M240B Machine Gun) as well as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and the M203 Grenade Launcher. While at Fort Drum, he trained in land navigation, map reading, use of land mines and explosives, weapons marksmanship/crew gunnery, first aid, use of communications equipment and squad tactics. While overseas in Iraq, he participated in mounted (HUMVEE) and dismounted (walking) patrols. Isaac engaged in weapons cache searches and Humanitarian Aid missions to the local Iraqi people. Private Cortes was an important member of Charlie Troop, 1-71 Cavalry Squadron.
On November 27, 2007, PV2 Isaac T. Cortes was one of two soldiers killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated as his vehicle rode past in Amerli, Iraq about 100 miles north of Bagdad. His awards and decorations include The Purple Heart, The Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.
Isaac’s memory lives on in our hearts and minds. He has been honored in several local (Bronx) and national ceremonies across the country - as well as a street and the Post Office dedication in his name. We strive to achieve ways to give back to the community through events such as blood, clothing, food, cards and toy drives.
PV2 Isaac T. Cortes’ motto was “Go Big or Go Home.” He did his best to ‘Go Big’ but sadly, he didn’t get a chance to ‘Go Home’ in living, loving ways… to the Bronx.