Monday, May 23, 2005



The grieving father, Fernando Suarez del Solar, lost his Marine son, Marine Lance Corporal Jesus Suarez, in Iraq in March of 2003. Devastating! This is the second time I've read about this sad Father. The first time was when he literally went to Baghdad with Global Exchange, an antiwar group. I understand and grief does something to people. He is presently making a campaign out of attempting to talk Latinos out of joining the military. He appears to be relatively successful. Less Latinos are joining up. This is not good news for the recruiting woes of the military.

That having been said, still, this is not just about a grieving father. You have a father who, in his grief, has a need to blame someone for the death of his son. I can understand but war by its very nature means loss. The military is about war and fighting wars. It is not about gaining citizenship, educational opportunities, or career possibilities. It is about war and in war, people are killed. It is a choice Lance Corporal Suarez made.

I think that quite possibly the father of Lance Corporal Suarez might be desecrating more the memory of his son than promoting his cause. It is a "tricky" emotional difficulty. He cannot bring back his son who willingly joined the Marines and bought into their philosophy. He died in service to his country. Taking it a step further, what would it have been had Lance Corporal Suarez lived: he would have easily become a citizen and made a different and better life for himself. Thousands and thousands who have gone on before him have done exactly that.

Peace groups like Global Exchange and the Quaker antiwar group, American Friends Service Committee, are missing the boat in my opinion. They are not achieving their goals with individuals like a grieving father when they would do better to promote something like a Universal Service for America's youth--an AllServe. By so doing, if America's youth were required to AllServe, an American president would be much less likely to send those like Lance Corporal Suarez to war.

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