NOVEMBER 11, 2019 AT 11:11 A.M
Veterans with family members ride in this parade
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THESE PAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN CHALLENGING WHILE WORKING ON THE 15th Annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade, attending the 242 Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebration and overcoming the grief related to the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting. This really really hits home.
On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, I and along with a few other Military Veterans were humbly recognized on the field during the Los Angeles Dodgers Military Appreciation Night.
Prior to the official ceremony we Veterans do what we always do with one another, we unleashed the camaraderie with each other. I am always humbled and honor. It was that evening I met a 33 year old Thousand Oaks native, Marine Daniel Manrique, head of the Ventura County chapter of veterans non-profit Team Red, White & Blue.
The short time I spent with Dan I was impressed by this young Veterans advocate and his hard work helping Veterans with mental health diagnoses. Dan's whole thing was about making Veterans lives better. We talked about the isolation a Veteran feels when they return home without continuity or consistency in their daily lives. I could tell he was all about giving back to the veterans community. We talked about his Veterans participating in the San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade. I could tell his whole life was about helping others. UNFORTUNATELY Daniel Manrique was killed during the Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting.
This new revelation and all the other stuff that just gets thrown into the mix of life "INTENTIONAL or UNINTENTIONAL" is what fell upon my being. I just had to march forward and PUSH through IT all for the Veterans, my son Alfred and Mr. Daniel Manrique. “Semper Fidelis and God Bless you.
Thank you Ruben Zaragoza.