While we embrace our full-active military service members who bravely enforce foreign policies and buttress American interests abroad, a highly-specialized cadre of military veterans and federal agents combat a home-based battle. As there are foes (nations) whose political objectives are carried out by its military forces, so too are there nemeses on American soil whose perversions are abated by heroes.

Who are these gallant gatekeepers?

Composed of federal law enforcement agents and disabled military veterans, a new program is thriving in the arena of national-level investigations. Specifically, federal agents with Homeland Security and wounded military veterans teamed-up to abate child predation, using a national net to ensnare perpetrators and decimate the scourge of perversion.

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Once a Hero, Always a HERO

Dubbed H.E.R.O. (Human Exploitation Rescue Operative), the program launched in 2013 and has bloomed to 100-plus former U.S. soldiers implementing their military training and skills. Those same robust skills are forged with law enforcement tactics and training provided by federal investigators. Predominately, the military veteran contingent conducts meticulous, needle-in-a-haystack operations in the realm of digital forensics analysis, navigating the labyrinth of computer instrumentations in search of evidentiary material. Culling through vast stores of online information, veterans produce data for inclusion in ongoing investigations targeting child predators.


Upon completion of forensics training, wounded military vets are assigned to Homeland Security offices located in key cities around the country. Vets assigned to these federal sites undergo 40 weeks of field training administered by federal officials. In-tandem, federal law enforcers and military veterans conduct child sex-trade investigations. Cumulative case work is stored at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center, the clearinghouse aggregating all the data largely distilled by wounded warriors. One can imagine the exorbitant amount of concentrated work-hours involved…just as one can revel in the life-saving results culminating in salvation of children.

Solidarity 101

In collaboration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and the non-profit National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT) developed the Child-Rescue Corps. Under the Homeland Security umbrella of agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spearheaded the investigative conglomerate which has achieved remarkable success, including providing significantly injured military veterans more heroic opportunities. Partnering with Homeland Security, the Wounded Warrior Project is a catalyst in terms of staffing the HERO program with…heroes, undeniably.

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