Our family at R4 and a much larger military community was rocked today to learn of the passing of our good friend Brian Mancini. Our board and staff share our deepest sympathies for all in our family effected by this tragedy.
Brian served two tours in Iraq as a combat medic. During his second tour he was severely injured and was medically retired. For his service and sacrifice in the US Army he was rewarded two Purple Hearts, the Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Air Assault Badge and Flight Medic Badge.
Many people would call Brian’s surviving wounds as severe as his a miracle. We believe it was sheer tenacity and power of will. Brian knew God had greater plans for him. After an unimaginable endeavor recovering at Walter Reed, Brain went on to continue fulfilling his destiny.
Returning home, Brian ran into countless barriers to his recovery and reintegration. He was processed through a system that didn’t effectively take care of his needs. Faced with such adversity, many would become defeated. Not Brian, he persevered with a vision to be the agent of change for his fellow veterans. Brian worked tirelessly to found The Honor House. Through this amazing non-profit Brian served countless other veterans in his community and across the country. Brian’s vision was to establish an infrastructure nationwide where non-profits, the VA, and other resources could work in harmony with Veteran peer mentors to truly give guidance and healing to our returning wounded. His vision was to provide the healing our veterans needed rather than simply sending them home with a fistful of pills.
When Brian and R4 first pioneers’ first met, he told us of the vision for the Honor House and we told him about the dream of R4 Alliance. Together we pledged our allegiance to each other’s efforts. Brian played a key role in the development of R4 Alliance. All of the core objectives R4 set out to achieve were established with his insight.
Brian Mancini was the rock for so many others. He was always the one giving support making sure those around him were taken care of. After all of these years, it’s heartbreaking to learn he succumbed to his post-traumatic stress. Brian is loved by countless people more than he could ever know. As a veteran, someone to look up to, and as a dear friend, he will be missed.
May this serve as a harsh reminder to all of us charged with helping our returning service members and their families. The best way to honor Brian’s life is to continue. We will continue to march forward as a family achieving our mission collectively in ways we cannot alone. While we keep the bigger picture at hand, we must also remember these things. Never be too busy to reach out. Never lose sight of why we do what we do. Most of all be tireless in our pursuit, and never never never give up.