Hegseth on Capitol Hill: Secure Release of Sergeant Tahmooressi Immediately
PTS-Diagnosed Marine Needs Presidential Action, Treatment Urgently
Arlington, Va. – This morning, Concerned Veterans for America CEO Pete Hegseth testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere to help draw attention to the plight of Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, a decorated combat veteran who the Mexican government has been permitted to hold for more than six months.
Pete testified alongside Jill Tahmooressi, Andrew’s mother, Sergeant Robert Buchanan, USMC (Ret.) who served with Andrew in Afghanistan, and television personality and veterans advocate Lieutenant Commander Montel Williams.
Following his testimony, Pete issued the following statement:
“Like too many of our recent combat veterans, Marine Corps Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) soon after returning home from Afghanistan. Ten days later, while leaving treatment at a VA facility near the U.S. – Mexican border, he took a wrong turn and inadvertently crossed into Mexico with legally purchased weapons in his vehicle that are prohibited there.
“It has been 184 days that he has been held in isolation and – regardless of his mistake – isolation is the last thing someone suffering with PTS needs. Sergeant Tahmooressi needs to be released immediately so that he can resume the treatment for his original Post-Traumatic Stress – as well as for the horrors he has reportedly endured while in jail – and move on with his life.
“House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairman Matt Salmon deserve the thanks of every American for their steadfast attention to Andrew’s plight.
“It is difficult for me to reconcile the amount of effort this administration spent to trade five Taliban generals with American blood on their hands for a soldier who deserted his unit with the little to no effort spent negotiating for the safe return of a highly decorated Marine with two combat tours who simply got lost. Sergeant Bergdahl’s mom gets a presidential hug on the South Lawn; Jill Tahmooressi doesn’t even get a phone call. It’s astonishingly shameful.
“But blame for the failure to secure his release can wait for another day. Right now, Andrew needs to be released without delay so that he can get the treatment he needs and so richly deserves. You are fond of saying you have a phone and a pen, Mr. President. It is past time for you to pick up either and bring home our Marine.”
Watch the full hearing here.
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