One wrong turn forever changed the life of a U.S. Marine. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was in the process of moving to San Diego when he found himself in Mexico surrounded by armed soldiers. Then he found himself in prison.
Sgt Tahmooressi was driving a truck loaded with all of his possessions, including a few guns, when he crossed the border. Before he could get back on the right track the Mexican military quickly surrounded him. He declared that he had the weapons and he went to jail.
He's been there since March 31st and his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, is spearheading a push to bring him home. That effort brought her to Omaha Friday night where she told those assembled for a rally, “God couldn't have picked a better warrior than Andrew, a Marine. The saying is that a Marine is the first one in, that God sends them in, you break in, get bloody and bruised but it makes it easier for the folks coming in from behind."
It was an emotional night for a Florida mother on the road here in the heartland.
“At the border in California he made one wrong turn and that ramp led him straight into Mexico,” she said. “There was no way to turn around that night. There was no sign that night.
“That first Mexican agent was going to escort him back. He was going to flag over an escort vehicle but then the military came on board and now we know what happened. He was arrested and he is now looking at serving his fifth month in a Mexican jail."
That’s what brought the group to Memorial Park - a remembrance of those who've come before us to fight for our country.
“So when people tell you it is a political issue you look them in the face and say nope, this is a veterans’ issue."
Using support organized with the help of Congressman Lee Terry, the group hopes to bring awareness of Sgt Tahmooressi's plight to bring him safely home.
“It is surreal but it is reality for us,” she said. “It has been an agonizing torturous experience. Andrew describes his experience as worse than his two combat tours in Afghanistan if that is imaginable."
There is now a sign on that stretch of road into Mexico where Sgt. Tahmooressi made his fateful turn. It warns drivers to turn around.
Jill vows to fight for her son but the legal fees are stacking up. If you’d like to help, click here to visit the Andrew Freedom Fund Web page.