America has many enemies, but there's one that every American parent fears. Child pornography. It's a growing problem that our nation's law enforcement struggles to defeat every day. But now there's a new weapon on the battlefield: a team of American military veterans, many of them wounded veterans who were facing the unknown after life in the military.
They come from the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan, where they served with honor. Now their mission is to take down child predators. Oh, and get this: the 17-member team of veterans trained in computer forensics are volunteers!
Technically, most members of the new team assigned to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are receiving disability compensation because of injury sustained while serving our country. They were already transitioning out of the military because of it when they were approached by ICE and offered the chance to get training in computer forensics that could help them in the job market down the road.
But while they're with ICE, they'll be fighting once again for our nation's children. So it's not quite the same as driving a Humvee through an area where insurgents might be ready to blow them up, but there's a heroism to this too.
It's simply a different kind than we tend to have in mind when we think of our nation's military.
Viewing this sort of material isn't for the faint of heart, folks. These soldiers have to go through disgusting images of innocent children, the sort of thing that would turn your stomach.
Can you imagine volunteering to do it?
Me neither. It takes someone special to put aside their distaste for the sake of those kids. And kudos to these guys who have!
Especially when you consider the end game -- shutting down child pornographers doesn't just mean getting these creeps off the street, it means getting them away from kids they are hurting and kids they may hurt in the long run. It very literally saves children's lives.
A huge thank you to these folks for their service -- both in the military and now.
What do you think of this program? Would you ever be able to volunteer to do something like this?
Image via evilthomthai/Flickr