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Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

August 21, 2005

I have written in this space before about our young men and women
fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and certainly the story of
my own Air Force Special Tactics Staff Sergeant Son who survived his
multiple tours of Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, the current standoff in Crawford, Texas between Cindy
Sheehan, whose son died in combat, and President Bush, raises some
serious issues we should examine.

No one can understand the pain she must feel for her loss. Those of
us, who like so many other parents, including Cindy Sheehan, sat on the
edge of our seats every time there was a report of a suicide bomber on
the streets of Baghdad, or a helicopter crash in Kabul, or any other
event that has killed or maimed our brave warriors, probably come the
closest to understanding her pain.

I never forget how lucky I am to only have to worry about whether my
Son can handle what he has been through, in terms of his mental
capabilities, for all the ugliness of war that he witnessed. Beyond
that, the physical pain he had to deal with, before and after his ankle
was reconstructed from his unmentionable injury, is nothing compared to
what Sheehan had to endure in dealing with the tragedy of losing her

Yet, because her son and mine enlisted in the military and they knew
full well the risk of dying either in combat or in training, let us not
get wrapped up in the politics of death in war. I don't want to
minimize in any way, Sheehan's loss, or the fact she is angry about his

At the same time, I think she is being selfish and she dishonors her
own son and the many families who have accepted as heroic, the death of
their loved ones in war. She is the one who minimizes the valiant
service of her son by clamoring for an end to a war she disagrees with,
without regard for the fact her son, and mine, and those who are still
there, were and are the best-trained troops in the word and they have a
mission they are committed to completing.

People who don't have military experience, like me, are often
surprised at the importance our young warriors place on the value of
the "mission". It's why they are in the military, it is their JOB, it
is why they trained, and why they exist.

The mission is to save lives, protect people, get rid of the bad guys,
protect American soil, help people learn the precious notion of
freedom, stop terrorism, and keeping terrorism from reaching our shores
and killing our own people in our streets. It's utopian for some, I?ll
readily admit, but it is also the truth. And you don't have to look
that far from Iraq to see it.

In Afghanistan, little girls can now go to school, women can now teach
and join the workplace, and they are not totally restrained by the ugly
and repressive buhrkas. Cindy's son and mine, and thousands of others
are the reason freedom found a foothold in that part of the world. The
Afghans held historic elections and while there are still problems
today, that in itself is ample proof that freedom isn't easy and it
isn't free.

There are days when I have serious doubts about whether we should stay
in Iraq and Afghanistan or whether we should bail. No one likes to hear
that another soldier, Marine, or Airman has been killed. It's just as
hard for me to hear that 30 civilians or policemen were wiped out in
the streets by a car bomb. But we are not quitters and we are not
French. We fight - we don't run and hide, or surrender.

Part of what makes us Americans is that we have the resilience to
stand tall, in the face of overwhelming opposition from our enemies and
the anti-war protestors. If it weren't for our brave young and women,
we would all be speaking Japanese or German today. As unpopular as
today's war is for some, it should not diminish the brave work of our
military and their efforts to keep the bad guys overseas instead of in
our back yards.

Cindy Sheehan's whining about President Bush not meeting with her in
Texas, he HAS met with her before at the White House, seems to be
getting the majority of the media attention. When that anti-Sheehan
idiot in the pick-up truck ran over the 58 crosses with the names of
fallen soldiers, it got plenty of coverage. I hope some judge impounds
the guy's cowboy hat and boots, gives him a good kick in the ass, and
sentences him to a highway chain gang picking up horse manure.

Another group of Americans tired of Sheehan's mouthings are taking a
different approach and the media should track it.

This week we are seeing the debut of the "You Don't Speak for Me,
Cindy" Tour. A group called "Move America Forward" is leading a caravan of military families who
have loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to Crawford, Texas to
take on anti-war activist Sheehan and her campground friends.

Since the news media has been obsessed in reporting every anti-war
comment Sheehan has made, Move America Forward leaders decided it was
high time that "the other side" was heard and given some air time.

Their caravan will culminate in a giant "We Support Our Troops and
Their Mission" Rally in Crawford on Saturday, the 27th. The group says
it wants the terrorists overseas to know full well that: "AMERICA
the group's press release amplified in capital letters.

The often vilified Fox News Channel is urging Americans to head to
Crawford for the big patriotic pro-troop rally. Some will criticize
that while ignoring that online media and political giant is
backing Cindy Sheehan's vigil. The anti-war activities are being
coordinated by Joe Trippi, the man who ran Howard Dean's campaign, who
is now the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. It sounds
like a modern day version of a political gunfight at the OK Corral.

CNN, the anti-Fox News Channel, is reporting on the pro-troop caravan
and rally, proving that confrontation is a sure way to get media
coverage. By the way, the Move America Forward event delegation is led
by Deborah Johns of a group called Northern California Marine Moms,
living proof that there is a leader for every cause and challenger for
every person suffering from the over-exposure of the ubiquitous 15
minutes of fame.

May I suggest that we not let either protest leader, Sheehan or Johns,
draw attention away from the hard work our troops are doing to rescue
repressed people from hell, and at the same time, try to keep hell from
knocking at our front door.