Former United States Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine) and Iraq War Veteran Jon Hammar endured much in his tour in the streets of Fallujah, but now he spends most of his time chained to a bed in a Mexican jail on trumped up gun charges that could result in twelve years in jail. Not surprisingly his commander-in-chief Barack Obama has been absolutely silent on the matter, even though he was arrested on August 13. Didn’t anyone tell you this?
Hammar took to Mexico with friends to surf, as it was the only thing that seemed to ease his mind following his service in Iraq. He is now within walking distance of the U.S. border, but sadly does not possess the freedom to do so.
And why is a former Marine chained to a bed in a Mexican Jail? McClatchy DC reports:
The reason might seem ludicrous. Hammar took a six-decade-old shotgun into Mexico. The .410 bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun once belonged to his great-grandfather. The firearm had been handed down through the generations, and it had become almost a part of Hammar, suitable for shooting birds and rabbits.
But Mexican prosecutors who looked at the disassembled relic in the 1972 Winnebago motor home dismissed the U.S. registration papers Hammar had filled out. They charged him with a serious crime: possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces.
Hammar isn’t the only American accused of questionable gun-related charges at Mexico’s border. Last April, a truck driver who was carrying ammunition through Texas got lost near the border, dipped into Mexico to make a U-turn and was forced to spend more than six months in jail.
According to his grandmother the shotgun was more like a “glorified BB gun.”
Both Hammar and his friend Ian McDonough were arrested, not because of the gun, which had cleared customs, but because of the length of the barrel. The Mexican prosecutors “dismissed the U.S. registration papers Hammar had filled out,” charging Hammar with the serious crime of “possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces”:
Curiously, it wasn’t the type of shotgun that broke Mexican law. It was the length of the barrel, which the formal citation said was shorter than 25 inches, although a discrepancy has emerged over how the barrel was measured.
Hammar’s friend, Mcdonough, was released and allowed to walk back into Texas.
According to Marine Sgt. James Garcia, who served with Hammar in several combat situations, he said Hammar was “one of the best we had.” According to the reports Hammer, who is now only 27 years old, “joined the Marines and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before receiving an honorable discharge in 2007, serving another four years in inactive reserve.”
During his stay he has received death threats and as he was sent to a state prison in Matamoros, his parents in Florida received extortion phone calls demanding $ 1,800. They did not pay, but instead contacted U.S. diplomats who were able to get Hammar moved from a wing of the prison controlled by a Mexican drug cartel into solitary confinement.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, “His family has described a very disturbing situation that includes their son being chained to a bed in a very small cell and receiving calls from fellow inmates threatening his life if they did not send them money. The family also says that the jail where their son is being held is controlled by the dreaded and brutal Zetas drug cartel. The family wants their son back home, and I will do my best to help them.”
I’m pretty sure the Mexico is pretty ticked off still over our government’s blatant supplying of arms to Mexican drug cartels with the Fast and Furious scandal has hurt our relationship with them. No doubt there should be no need to take it out on a U.S. citizen, but this is what happens when you have a man like Barack Obama in the White House.
While Garcia says, “He doesn’t deserve this. We never leave a brother behind. We never leave a Marine behind. We have to do something,” and the Hammar’s own representative says she will do all she can to help, Barack Obama has said absolutely nothing on the matter or lifted a finger to help this marine who served his country.