Jailed former Marine in Mexico told to report for duty
Here’s your headline: more problems for a young man who is already in a world of hurt. Former Marine and combat veteran Andrew Tahmooressi survived two tours in Afghanistan, but is now in the midst of his toughest battle yet – as in a battle to get him released from a Mexican prison. Six weeks ago, Tahmooressi says he got lost at the U.S./Mexico Border and ended up driving into Tijuana. As he pulled up to the checkpoint, he told police he had three guns in his vehicle. Because of Mexico’s strict gun laws, he was arrested immediately and imprisoned.
But the former Marine sergeant’s problems just got worse: the Marine Corps has ordered him to report for duty next month. Congressman Duncan Hunter has been trying to get Tahmooressi released from the Mexican prison, and is now making efforts to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble with the Marine Corps if he cannot report for duty because of his incarceration. And on Wednesday, he fires off a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, which basically says “the federal government couldn’t care less about the jailed Marine’s plight. Given the evident lack of interest in Andrew’s case among the president and Secretary of State, I would like to know, given the issuance of orders by the Marine Corps: are you in a position to provide any form of assistance to expedite Andrew’s legal proceedings or secure his release?”
As you make your way into Mexico from San Diego, you are reminded of two things via freeway signs. Number one, where the last American exit is if you don’t want to go into Tijuana, and also, that bringing guns into Mexico is totally illegal. When Tahmooressi called 911 after he was detained by Mexican federales, the dispatcher said the following:
“There’s a huge sign that says it’s illegal to enter Mexico with guns when you’re driving down the 805 and the 5 freeways.”
It is an understatement to say Tahmooressi’s plight is heartbreaking. After getting discharged from the Marine Corps, he enrolled in college only to drop out. His girlfriend then broke up with him. He then decided to head to California from his Florida home because he heard the La Jolla VA Hospital could help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder. But the fact is, this Marine veteran is light years away from La Jolla, locked up in a federal Mexican prison with a most uncertain future. And Tahmooressi’s bravery in combat earned him a battlefield promotion to sergeant.