Jailed Marine's parents on the struggle for his release

Jon and Olivia Hammar fight for their son's release from a Mexican prison


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 18, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Factor Follow up" segment tonight. As we have been reporting, 27-year-old former Marine Corporal Jon Hammar, an Iraqi and Afghan vet, has been in a Mexican prison since August on bogus gun charges. With Christmas just a week away, we are respectfully asking the Mexican government to release him on humanitarian grounds.


HENRY: This is a 27-year-old former Marine who as you know is in a Mexican prison. His family is urging the administration to do something about it.

We don't know all the facts of the case and what he did and what he didn't do, but his family is asking the White House to look into it. Is there anything going on to ascertain the facts to see whether he's innocent or not, because again, we don't know what really happened?

CARNEY: Well, I'll have to take the question because I don't know the facts myself on that. So I'll have to take the question.


O'REILLY: The fact that Mr. Carney doesn't know about the story is very, very disturbing.

Joining us now from Miami, Jon and Olivia Hammar, the Corporal's parents. So I understand you have a lawyer on this case. What is the latest?

JON HAMMAR, FATHER OF EX-MARINE JAILED IN MEXICO: The latest is that he met with a couple of judges today and they have promised him that they will have a decision by the end of the week that should lead to his release.

O'REILLY: Ok. So you are optimistic tonight? You're optimistic that John may be released this week?

J. HAMMAR: Probably physically next week, but yes, we are.

O'REILLY: All right. So before Christmas is really what we want. We want him back in Florida before Christmas.

Now, Mrs. Hammar, tell us about your son. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I understand he was in combat there and he was in the Marines, you know, serving his country honorably. Correct?


O'REILLY: Tell us what he went through over there.

O. HAMMAR: He was a good Marine. He went through two combat tours. The first was in Afghanistan. He -- his unit provided security during Karzai's first -- the first election in -- in Kabul, Afghanistan. And then he also was in Fallujah, Iraq, for his second combat tour which was much more taxing.

O'REILLY: When he came home, he had post traumatic stress disorder I understand when he came home?

O. HAMMAR: Right. Right.

O'REILLY: Did that influence him going to Mexico? Did it have anything to do with him going to Mexico?

O. HAMMAR: Yes. He had been in a nine-month in patient treatment program in the Napa Valley called "The Pathway Home" and he had -- had really done well there and was really -- had learned some coping skills and had gone through some exposure therapy and really felt like it had helped him. But it's an exhausting program because you're really working through tough stuff and when he got out, he wanted to take three months and go and spend three months in Costa Rica.

And he wanted to take an RV. So in order to do that, they bought an RV that they planned to drive. They were really just trying to drive through Mexico.

O'REILLY: Right to Costa Rica and then he had an antique gun, I understand, Mr. Hammar given to him by his -- by you, I guess. Right it was passed down in the family, which he registered with the U.S. authorities in Brownsville and then he walked it across with the paperwork to the Mexicans and they slapped the cuffs on him, whereby they could have just confiscated the gun and send him back but they wanted to extort money the Mexicans that's what I understand happened. Am I wrong there?

J. HAMMAR: I -- either that or they wanted to stick it to American G.I. It's unclear what, but you know he's -- he wanted to figure out how he could go across the country legally with it.

O'REILLY: Yes and he didn't sneak it. He walked into the Matamoros customs office with it, with the paper works. So this is whole bogus. The whole thing is bogus. Which politicians have helped you the most?

O. HAMMAR: Certainly Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has been wonderful and she's sort of leading the fight.

O'REILLY: Your Congresswoman, right ok?

O. HAMMAR: Right. We've also gotten help from Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson has also been very outspoken about Johnny's plight.

O'REILLY: Ok. But you haven't heard from Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, or President Obama as we just heard, the President's spokesman doesn't know anything about it. Does that discourage you?

O. HAMMAR: It sort of shocking at this point.

J. HAMMAR: It's more discouraging the feedback we get from the actual State Department.

O'REILLY: They say they told us they visited your son four times and they're monitoring his case.


O'REILLY: But certainly they haven't come out and asked for his release and Secretary of State Clinton hasn't said anything.


O. HAMMAR: Right.

J. HAMMAR: They've told us they can't do anything.

O'REILLY: Is that right? The State Department said they can't do anything?

J. HAMMAR: Over and over. Yes.

O'REILLY: Oh that's a bunch of bull. Certainly they can do something. Certainly President Obama can do something. Let's hope that's not necessary. Let's hope that at the end of the week you get the Mexican government does the right thing in the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of humanity.

We're going to give everybody a little breathing room for three days. If they don't do the right thing, there is going to be hell to pay. And there will be. We promise that, Mr. and Mrs. Hammar. We'll get your son out of there one way or the other.

J. HAMMAR: Thank you Bill. Thank you.

O. HAMMAR: Thank you so much.

O'REILLY: Let's do it the right way. But if they don't, all hell is going to break loose.

Thank you very much. We're praying for you guys and for Jon.

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