Tags: Marine | jailed | Mexico | book

Father Who Lost Son in Mexico Tells Jailed Marine's Family to 'Keep Hope'

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 06:26 AM

By Sean Piccoli

In a new memoir about the death of his 14-year-old son, first-time author Gene Kiepura describes how his grief was compounded by the difficulties he endured in bringing his son's remains home from Mexico.

With Americans focused on a young U.S. marine jailed in Mexico, Newsmax TV spoke to Kiepura, author of "Back To Tonic," about his own ordeal and how a parent copes with a family crisis that cuts across national borders.

"I don’t speak the language. I had a difficult time maneuvering my way through, and it seemed like every town down there had a different set of rules and demanded more money for one thing or another," Kiepura told "America's Forum" host J.D. Hayworth on Tuesday.

Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, a combat veteran and active reservist, was arrested in March on weapons charges in Mexico. He has family, U.S. officials and members of Congress lobbying for his safe return.

And there is precedent: Mexico freed a jailed Marine under similar circumstances in 2012.

Asked what advice he had for Tahmooressi's supporters, Kiepura made it clear he didn't think his own experience — although "tragic and rough to deal with" — gave him special insight into the case.

"I would say pray because I honestly don't know how to resolve issues down there," he said.

Kiepura's son, Jacob, died with four other people in an accident on a missionary trip to Mexico. He was 14. "Back to Tonic" recounts the loss and Kiepura's own quest, in which compassionate strangers proved more helpful than local officials and American Embassy bureaucrats.

Through several days' worth of twists and turns, Kiepura finally succeeded in bringing his son's remains home. His struggle to cope with Jacob's death was just beginning. The book details Kiepura's return to stability and to a faith he almost abandoned.

"I came to discover a much different God than the God I thought I knew," Kiepura said.

"Back to Tonic," the novel's title, is how musicians describe a composition resolving itself by returning to its root — the note or chord that defines the composition's key. Kiepura, a retired railway company employee and a Christian motivational speaker, picked up the phrase while learning to play guitar.

To the Tahmooressi family, "I would certainly say keep hope and keep faith," he said.

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Toddler Wounds Both Parents with 1 Shot from Handgun

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 09:09 AM

Authorities say a 3-year-old boy got ahold of a handgun from his mother's purse and fired just one shot that wounded bot . . .

Obama Budget Proposes $478 Billion Public Works Programs

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 08:34 AM

President Barack Obama's budget will propose an ambitious six-year, $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge . . .

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Picks Patriots; Inmates to Get Popcorn

Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 23:21 PM

The Arizona lawman who bills himself as America's toughest sheriff predicts the New England Patriots will win the Supe . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved