Wounded Warriors and DHS Team Up to Fight Child Exploitation

The Wounded Warriors project is once again serving the county by teaming up with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fight the epidemic of child pornography.

The DHS is seeking the assistance of 17 special-operations veterans to participate in a one-year internship. The program, overseen by the DHS, will utilize computer forensics to help track down users and sellers of online child pornography and sexual exploitation.

All of the veterans in the program—called the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative Child Rescue Corps, more commonly referred to as HERO Corps—have some kind of physical or psychological wounds; however, these mostly young veterans have convinced officials that they can endure the difficulties of engaging in this type of work.

Supporting Agencies Working Together to Stop Child Exploitation

Other supporting agencies of the HERO Corps include Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division (ICE), the Department of Defense, and a number of other nonprofit organizations, many of which are involved with helping veterans transition back to civilian life.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) helps identify online predators and bring them to justice. Since 2003, HIS has arrested more than 10,000 individuals accused of buying, selling or possessing child pornography.

About the HERO Corps Program

However, with the sheer number of individuals involved in this type of crime, HIS needs qualified forensic examiners to sort through millions and millions of megabytes of information, which is where the Wounded Warrior Project’s veterans come in. In addition to providing veterans with employment upon returning home, HERO Corps provides them with in-demand skills and training.

The HERO Corps program, which was made possible by $10 million in private funds, may expand over the next five years and include up to 200 veterans.

The initial group of 17 veterans completed 10 weeks of training in computer forensics, as well as state and federal laws related to child sexual exploitation.