Many veterans after they return home often are looking for an opportunity to find purpose in their lives. Some start a career or do something that they are passionate about. Others find a new career path, become business partners, teachers or police officers. Some find a chance to fight against child pornography and join the H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps.
The HERO Corps is an acronym for the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative Corps. It is a pilot program that is training wounded veterans, like Justin, to track down online child sexual predators and pornographers.
Justin is one of 17 wounded veterans from Special Operations currently training at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. He’s learning computer forensic analysis and digital evidence collection to identify and rescue child victims of sexual abuse and online sexual exploitation.
These dedicated veterans not only fought to defend our freedom, but now they are fighting to defend our children against the fastest growing crime in America – child pornography.
H/T Conservative Tribune:
A group of veterans, including former Special Forces operatives, have joined together to fight a different kind of battle on the streets back home against a different kind of enemy — pedophiles.
The Hero Child Rescue Corps, is a collaborative operation of the National Association to Protect Children, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Special Operations Command to hunt down and put away pedophiles.
Injured and ill veterans receive training in computer forensics so they can join federal agents fighting against online child sexual exploitation in the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative, or HERO, program.
Veterans undergo 11 weeks of training and 10 months of on-the-ground experience where they work alongside law enforcement teams before they are placed in Homeland Security investigations field offices in the country, according to CNN.
J. Christian, CEO of the National Association to Protect Children, told CNN that many of the veterans in the program are looking for an opportunity to find a purpose in their lives now that they are back home, and the HERO Child-Rescue Corps gives them that chance.
Christian, an Army Ranger who fractured his spine during a mission in Afghanistan, said: “A lot of the individuals who come into the HERO Corps are truly individuals who have lost their mission on the battlefield.”
They have their work cut out for them. Christian said the U.S. is the largest producer of child pornography in the world.
The Demand Project reported that there are more than 747,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S., with as many as 100,000 who are not complying with their judicial supervision or missing.
The agency also reported that child pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country, with a 2,500 percent increase in arrests in the past 10 years.
Army Sgt. Tom Block, who was named Army Times Soldier of the year in 2014, said that while those numbers are shocking, they give him motivation.
Block lost his right eye while serving in Afghanistan and wears a prosthetic eye with Captain America shield on it. He said it’s a symbol for standing up to bullies — especially the kind that prey on children.
“I’ll be honest, looking in the mirror can be tough sometimes,” Block confided. “But you keep your faith, you keep your confidence, and you go out there and try to make somebody else’s life better. It’s what you do after-the-fact, and I think I’m trying to do a pretty damn good job.”
“It’s an opportunity for me to go after bad guys again,” he said. “The complete scope of the crime is a lot more than people probably think.”
Take a look at a video describing what these red life heroes do:
Unfortunately, thanks to the digital age, child exploitation is a bigger problem than it has ever been. In the 1980s, the FBI and other authorities had seriously cut down on child pornography, but that was in the days when the only way to distribute it was to create photos or movies, make prints of them in labs and print shops, and then transport the images through the mail by truck.
But in this digital age, not only is it easy to disseminate child porn, the Internet also serves as a way to link sex offenders, giving them a feeling of community and support to urge them on to greater and greater exploitation and abuse of children.
Thanks to the H.E.R.O. Child Rescue Corps, many of these wounded veterans have a new outlook on life and a new purpose, and it’s a big one – putting these scumbag child pedophiles away. I can’t even begin to imagine the insanity they must witness each and every day on the job, and the sickness of these creepy lowlifes that they have to deal with.
“ICE is on the front lines of the fight against online child exploitation and there are none better to join with us than veterans of the U.S. military,” said Acting ICE Director Sandweg. “We are proud to work with these veterans to stand watch over the most vulnerable among us and to bring these perpetrators to justice.”
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
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