SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 22, 2012

Marine veteran detained for months released from Mexican jail

(Continued)

The congresswoman also applauded the outgoing Mexican ambassador, who was on vacation — and on his last week on the job before a new president takes over — while dealing with the Hammar case.

“I said, ‘What a good way to end your tenure and a good way to start with a new Mexican administration,’ “ Ros-Lehtinen said.

Hammar, 27, joined the Marines after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before receiving an honorable discharge in 2007 and later serving another four years on inactive reserve.

Upon his return, Hammar, a former lance corporal, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He checked into a treatment center for veterans in California and planned the surfing trip to Costa Rica as a way to find peace, his family said. A lifetime surfer, he traveled with some custom-made boards, including one engraved with the name of a childhood friend who died in a motorcycle accident, according to his mother.

(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)

Olivia Hammar said her son had spent the last few days sick with a stomach bug.

“We’re worried about his re-entry process,” she said. “I don’t even know that I’ve been able to process it yet. … You don’t realize what a physical toll fear takes on you until you have it continually, for months at a time.”

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©2012 The Miami Herald

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PHOTO (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): Hammar

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