Veterans organization

Sailor killed in California shooting was head of veterans’ organization

One of 12 people murdered in a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Wednesday night was a Navy veteran who worked full-time to help other vets find community.

Leaders of veteran support organization Team Red White and Blue confirmed that full-time staff member Dan Manrique was among those who perished in the horrific shooting. Task and objective reported for the first time that Manrique was among those killed.

“We are heartbroken to confirm that Dan Manrique, Pacific Regional Program Manager for Team RWB and Marine Corps veteran, was one of the victims of the Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks last night,” said announced the organization in a press release. “Dan’s life has been dedicated to serving others, throughout his military career and beyond. At Team RWB, we keep everyone affected by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers.”

According to Manrique’s official biography, he served in the Marines as a radio operator with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 2007, he deployed to areas of the Middle East with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The RWB team is dedicated to helping veterans reconnect with their community after their military service through physical and social activities.

Bana Miller, the organization’s public relations director, told Military.com that Manrique became grounded in 2012 and became a chapter captain for Ventura County, Calif., in 2014.

“He found the same sense of connection there that a lot of our Eagles have,” Miller said, using the organization’s name for its members. “His life was truly dedicated to the service of others.”

Miller said amid the shock and grief, plans were already taking shape for the group to commemorate Manrique.

“We will share this information on our website and focus on Eagle Nation coming together in a compassionate way that leads to individual and community healing,” she said. “And we will honor Dan’s memory.”

Currently, the RWB team website has an ‘In Memoriam’ section on Manrique, with an address where those who wish can send their condolences to the family.

According to media reports, at least one other Marine from the Borderline Bar and Grill that night survived the shooting. Brendan Kelly, who had previously survived the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, escaped unscathed on Wednesday night, helping others to take cover in the chaos, local channel ABC7 Chicago reported.

It emerged Thursday that the shooter himself, Ian David Long, who killed himself after the rampage, was also a Navy veteran. According to military records provided by the Marine Corps, Long was a machine gunner who rose to the rank of corporal and once deployed to Afghanistan.

In a message shared on Twitter Thursday, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, sent a clear message that Long no longer had any claim to the honorable title of Marine.

“Sincere condolences to those who suffer from this tragic and senseless act of violence. #ThousandOaks“, he said. “The despicable actions of the ex-Marine run counter to what the vast majority of veterans are rightfully known for: serving with honor and then making positive contributions to society. “

— Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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