A Marine veteran among 11 killed by a gunman at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday was just days away from completing the final leg of a patriotic cross-country relay run in San Diego.
Daniel Manrique, 33, was a Marine Corp veteran who served with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division as a Radio Operator, and deployed to the Middle East in 2007 with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Most recently, he worked with the non-profit group Team Red White and Blue and helped organize a cross-country relay that is scheduled to end in San Diego over Veteran’s Day weekend.
On Sept. 11, his team began the Old Glory Run in Boston. During the relay, veterans take turns carrying an American flag.
Manrique was scheduled to help carry the flag into San Diego.
Instead, the flag will be presented to his family on board the USS Midway Museum during an event on Sunday, Nov. 11. The arrival is scheduled around 3 p.m.
Hours before the shooting, Manrique met with several of his Team RWB colleagues to discuss their mission of helping other veterans.
“He was genuinely one of the nicest persons that I’ve ever met. Incredibly humble and had a servant's heart,” said Kris Lord, Pacific Regional Program Manager of Team Red White and Blue.
His friends say he made it his life mission to help other veterans, like 28-year-old Ian David Long, the Marine veteran behind the trigger in the deadly shooting.
“The irony isn't lost on me that just mere hours before Dan was taken from us, he was actually doing something where the Marine who shot all these people and took Dan from us could have benefitted from it,” Manrique's Red White and Blue teammate Genevieve Urquidi said.
One of the last posts Daniel Manrique made on his Facebook page was an open message to San Diego reminding the community to be a part the Old Glory relay.