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Brandon man dies in Baghdad

BRANDON — A Brandon man who worked as a security officer for Blackwater USA died in Baghdad last week.

David Arturo Olinger, 31, known to friends as "Dave-O," had worked for Blackwater since he left his position as a Navy SEAL three years ago, his friend Julie Kommer said. He had provided security for the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, said Jesse Scott, a former roommate.

His family declined to comment Wednesday.

Olinger, was planning to work in Iraq through September, Scott said. He had recently finished having a house built in Apollo Beach, and he was hoping to become a firefighter.

Olinger loved music, especially Fleetwood Mac and '80s music, Kommer said. Before he left for Iraq, he lived in a townhouse with several friends. Some nights, Olinger would sit on the back porch with his roommates, listening to music. Those nights, they never got much sleep, Scott said. Olinger would always say "one more song."

"One more song would always turn into 6 a.m. because he was obsessed with music," Scott said. He's planning to get a tattoo with the words "one more song," as a tribute to his friend.

Friends feared for Olinger's life, Kommer said. "But he felt it was a good cause," she said. "He believed in freedom."

The cause of his death remains unclear at this time.

Visitation will be at Serenity Meadows Funeral Home today from 6 to 8 p.m., and a funeral will be held at the Crossing Church at 11 a.m. Friday.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 661-2443.

Brandon man dies in Baghdad 06/25/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2008 9:31pm]
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