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Old 07-09-2003, 05:02 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Slain Marine's father says he lost job for speaking against Iraq war

Slain Marine's father says he lost job for speaking against Iraq war

By Leonel Sanchez

July 8, 2003

The father of a 20-year-old Marine killed in Iraq in March said he lost his job at an Escondido printer last week allegedly because of his anti-war activities.

Fernando Suarez del Solar said one of the owners of Mi California told him he was spending too much time speaking out against the war with Iraq and that his views threatened to cost the company business from people who didn't agree with him.

"He gave me an option: leave politics alone and dedicate myself 100 percent to work; or dedicate myself to politics," Suarez said yesterday.

"I told him I'll leave and look for a job that will allow me to talk in favor of peace," Suarez said.

Suarez lives with his wife, their 18-year-old daughter and two nephews, 10 and 13. He previously worked at a check-cashing business for 10 years.

Fernando Sirio, a co-owner of Mi California, would not comment on whether Suarez's anti-war activities had anything to do with his separation from the company.

He said Suarez was an independent contractor whose business agreement with Sirio's company ended last week.

Sirio added, "I have no personal take on any political thing about the war, about peace, whatever ? and if I did, I'd reserve it to myself."

Suarez, 47, described his departure from Mi California as amicable. "I understand he (Sirio) has to take care of his business. I'm not upset. I'm sad, but he has that right."

Suarez worked there for a year as a salesman and helped distribute the company's bilingual newspaper.

Suarez said his work productivity declined after his son, Lance Cpl. Jesus Suarez del Solar, was killed in a friendly fire incident March 27.

Suarez said he poured his energy into keeping his son's memory alive and in doing so found himself speaking out against the war. He has been active with a local group that promotes alternatives to joining the military, has emphasized the U.S. government's failure to provide proof of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and has called for an investigation into American deaths by friendly fire.

Suarez said Mi California, which also does marketing and graphic designs, was supportive following his son's death and built a Web site in his honor.

Last week, however, after Suarez's return from a speaking engagement in Philadelphia sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, Sirio expressed his concerns, Suarez said.

Leonel Sanchez: (619) 542-4568;


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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