Saturday, November 1, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATEMENT OF TAHMOORESSI FAMILY ON RELEASE OF SERGEANT ANDREW P. TAHMOORESSI (USMC) FROM MEXICAN CUSTODY

Tahmooressi family confirms release of Sgt . Andrew Tahmooressi after 214 days in Mexican Jail and asks for privacy

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91: 1-2

It is with an overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief that we confirm that Andrew was released today after spending 214 days in Mexican Jail. He is back on American soil and will shortly resume treatment for both his pre-existing Combat Related PTSD and the residual effects of months of incarceration – which has taken a toll on him far worse than his two tours in Afghanistan.

We will never be able to adequately express our gratitude for the outpouring of support for Andrew and for us during this ordeal. We are asking the media and the general public to understand that Andrew needs privacy, time and space to decompress from the trauma of the past several months.

Our family also needs privacy and space as we attempt to support him in the resumption of his treatment and his reentry into normal life. As Andrew regains his strength, he will, in his own time and own way, appropriately acknowledge all those whose efforts were so important to winning his release.

To all those across the country who walked shoulder to shoulder with us as we fought for Andrew, we thank you. It has reminded us that at a time of much discord, Americans can come together for one of their heroes, and we have never been more proud to be Americans. The support we received for the We The People petition was overwhelming and deeply humbling.

The depth of our gratitude cannot be adequately expressed in words. So many have relentlessly shared our anguish and our prayerful pleas to the Almighty. Let the message today be that our pleas were answered. We do want to recognize everyone who has played a role in securing his release.

First, we are forever mindful of the power of prayer and we are so humbled that our Heavenly Father answered our calls. This journey, though an ordeal, has been blessed with the peace that surpasses all understanding that only the Holy Spirit through our belief in Jesus Christ can provide. Throughout this process we searched for purpose in God’s will and perfect timing.

We even take comfort in new, visible U-turn signage at the San Ysidro border crossing to provide direction for motorists which we hope will save others the ordeal we have endured.

We also want to acknowledge and thank those who played an invaluable role in Andrew’s case, our family owes them a debt of gratitude.

• The Honorable Presiding Judge in Andrew’s case who was engaged, highly professional and also was kind enough to always allow Jill to see Andrew at the Courthouse during each appearance.

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• Fernando Benitez, Andrew’s (third) lawyer who skillfully took over the case midway through and got it back on track – we cannot say enough about his expertise, his professionalism and his never ending persistence which was a great source of comfort to us and to Andrew.

• We are incredibly grateful for the work of former Governor Bill Richardson and the Richardson Center for their invaluable work behind the scenes throughout this process, as well as for serving as a trusted source of information and a logistical resource throughout this process. We'd also like to extend deeply personal thanks to Juan Massey from the Richarson Center for his dedication to Andrew's case.

• We will be forever grateful to Chairman Matt Salmon and Chairman Ed Royce as well as Congressman Duncan Hunter for taking up this case and fiercely advocating for Andrew with high-ranking Mexican officials. We'd like to particularly thank Leah Campos from the Subcomittee staff for her hard work.

• Serving California and its President Philip Dunn who stepped in to help us early on and provided invaluable guidance in navigating the Mexican judicial system and served as a pillar of strength for our family and for Andrew. We will never be able to thank them enough for their work for Andrew and their persistent advocacy for all veterans.

• Retired Lieutenant Commander Montel Williams who significantly raised the media volume on Andrew’s case and with it the pressure on the Mexican Government at just the right time. In oureyes, he’s become a lifelong friend.

• To the staff at Consulate Tijuana who worked tirelessly to ensure Andrew’s safety and that the process moved forward as expeditiously as possible.

• To all of our friends and family, current and past military who prayed for us and repeatedly offered any help we might need.

• To those in the Press who made sure Andrew was never forgotten – Greta Van Susteren, Joseph Kolb and Dan Gallo, Glenn Beck and the Blaze for their daily count of the number of days Andrew had been incarcerated, Chris Cuomo, Nick Valencia and others at CNN, and others including stellar reporting by the San Diego Union Tribune and so many others.

Again, we ask all to respect Andrew’s privacy and that of our family as he decompresses from this ordeal. We will continue, of course, regular updates via our family Facebook and Twitter.

Media requests should be forwarded to Jonathan Franks, whose contact is below. There will be regular media briefings in the coming days - outlets can request accreditation by contacting Mr. Franks.

CONTACT:
Jonathan Franks
LUCID Public Relations
310-735-9001 x 102
jonathan@lucidpublicrelations.com
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Twitter: @lucidjonfranks
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