LOS ANGELES _If Dan Manrique have been alive, his mates imagine he’d be questioning what he may have finished for the previous Marine who walked right into a crowded bar and began taking pictures.
As a substitute, Manrique, 33, who additionally served within the Marines, was one in every of 12 to die Wednesday evening within the shooter’s spray of bullets on the Borderline Bar and Grill.
Family and friends mentioned he died attempting to guard others – one thing he did every single day as an advocate for veterans.
The previous area radio operator served within the Marines from 2003 to 2007, together with a 2007 deployment to Iraq, federal authorities confirmed. He rose to the rank of sergeant and earned a number of awards.
In 2012, an previous pal and fellow veteran, Jaclyn Pieper, requested Manrique if he needed to hitch the Ventura County chapter of Workforce Crimson, White and Blue, a company that gives veterans a way of neighborhood. Manrique instantly mentioned sure. By the subsequent 12 months, she mentioned, he was chapter president. It was a volunteer place that he eagerly stuffed.
Practically each weekend for 5 years, Manrique would set up occasions for space veterans, together with bowling nights and an annual workshop to show disabled veterans to surf. They helped veterans used to army camaraderie settle extra simply into life again residence.
“For instance any person went to the army proper out of highschool. … Their complete neighborhood as they understand it has modified, and so it is vital to convey them in and allow them to know they’re accepted,” Pieper mentioned.
She mentioned she will be able to’t assist however assume that if the shooter, Ian David Lengthy, had been touched by her pal’s outreach, issues might need been completely different.
If Manrique had survived, Air Power veteran Robert Felix mentioned, he would have requested, “How may we’ve helped him?”
“I need to be mad, however I am unable to as a result of he’s a Marine veteran,” Felix, a 48-year-old Workforce RWB volunteer, mentioned of Lengthy. “He is a brother, and for no matter cause he did not get assist.”
Authorities have mentioned Lengthy could have suffered from post-traumatic stress dysfunction after his army service in Afghanistan, although individuals who knew him in highschool described him as an offended loner who began fights – and specialists warn towards conflating psychological sickness with an affinity for violence.
“Sgt. Manrique’s dedication to his fellow veterans is the epitome of what it means to stay semper fidelis – all the time devoted,” Marine Capt. Joseph Butterfield mentioned in a press release.
Manrique did not simply provide up his spare hours to serving to fellow veterans. From June 2017 till final month, he labored as a program supervisor at St. Joseph Heart, an L.A.-based veterans’ social service group. He ran a program that helped veterans get their advantages and spend the cash responsibly, mentioned Va Lecia Adams Kellum, the middle’s president and CEO.
He all the time needed to be hands-on, and he had the proper disposition, Kellum mentioned. Pals and colleagues described him as a comforting presence, quiet however pleasant and open.
“He is a really accepting individual, and I feel that made him very particular … as a result of folks come by means of our doorways who’ve struggled,” Kellum mentioned.
On Thursday, Mayor Eric Garcetti posted a photograph of himself with Manrique on Instagram. He mentioned that they had met two years earlier, and that Manrique was attempting “to assist with the mission of ending homelessness in L.A.”
“I used to be very impressed by his coronary heart, his assist and his hope,” Garcetti wrote.
Manrique just lately received a paying job as a regional program supervisor at Workforce RWB. Marcos Manrique, 23, mentioned his brother himself had problem adjusting to civilian life.
“The most important irony,” he mentioned, “is that the folks he needed to assist ended up turning a gun on him.”
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