Olivia Hammar, mother of U.S. Marine Jon Hammar, who was held in a Mexican jail for four months, has words of courage for Armando Torres' mom.
The whereabouts of Torres, who is 25, are still unknown. He crossed the border to Mexico on May 14 to visit his father and has not been seen ever since.
This is personal for me. I can actually say that I empathize with Armando's mother, as opposed to just sympathizing with her. I get what she must be feeling and it absolutely breaks my heart. I would not wish that kind of fear on anyone.
First and foremost, I will be on my knees everyday, praying without ceasing. And if I had the chance to speak to her, I would tell her: cry out to God. He is the only one who can meet her where she is and comfort her as no one else can.
They may not be active duty, but they are still Marines. These guys are almost clan-like. They do not call themselves a band of brothers for nothing.
- Olivia Hammar, Mother of Jon Hammar
But again, I am with her in thought and prayer and I will not stop until Armando is home.
My hope is that when the cartel realizes that they have a U.S. Marine they will release him and provide an escort to the border. The leadership of these cartels is composed of strategic guys and my hope is that they will realize that "once a Marine, always a Marine."
Several articles have referred to Armando as an "ex-Marine" and any Marine will tell you that is a non-existent term. They may not be active duty, but they are still Marines. These guys are almost clan-like. They do not call themselves a band of brothers for nothing. I honestly believe that if Jonny had not been released when he was, there would have been an international incident.
We were flooded with correspondence from all over the country from Marines who were completely distraught about Jonny's situation. And these were the guys that did not know him personally. Any one of them would have risked his life to have saved him without a second thought. It is simply what they do for each other.
I cannot imagine that these cartels, whose sole purpose in life is protecting their drug routes, would want the ire of the U.S. Marine Corp. The Marine Corp. maintains about 200,000 active duty service men and around 40,000 reservists. I believe Armando served in both capacities. And then you factor in the hundreds of thousands of inactive Marines and it is a formidable group.
These guys view each other as family. To this day, Jonny and the Marines he served with care for each other and, they will tell you, they never leave a brother behind. So until Armando is found and released, they will not forget him.
Journalism is Mexico is under constant attack, particularly in the northern border states. And in Tamaulipas it is a virtual media black out. And President Enrique Peña Nieto has become complicit in creating this environment by not protecting Mexican journalists. So it is going to be up to the American and international press to cover this story.
Olivia Hammar is the mother of Jon Hammar, a 27-year-old U.S. Marine wrongfully jailed for four months in a Mexican prison.