Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veterans Continue to Fight for Justice

An Arizona veteran is joining more than a dozen others from around the country to help combat a familiar problem: child pornography and sexual exploitation. 

This program is through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Seventeen veterans in eleven different states will have the tough job of combing through online photos and videos, all in an effort to rescue victims. 

"For me, I was trying to find a new mission," said Neil Wiles of Scottsdale, Arizona.

He is a military intelligence officer who has served overseas, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, he'll be serving his country in a new way - by investigating photos and videos of children being raped, looking for clues as to where the victim is so police can rescue the child and arrest the perpetrator. It's a one-year pilot program called HERO Corps.

"He wants to continue serving, he wants to continue helping," said American Legion Post 75 Chief Financial Officer Randy Price.

He said it's important for veterans to have this type of meaningful work. 

"Everybody that comes out of the military has lots of trade-abilities," price said. "They have management, they have leadership."

"We are looking for things that make us feel uncomfortable," said Arizona State University professor Dominique Roe-Sepowitz. "The way that their waist looks, the way their arms and legs are gangling, the fat on their face," she said.

She said they work with a small unit within the Phoenix Police Department, who are thankful help is on the way.  

"There are 23 members and they have a lot of work on their hands," Roe-Sepowitz said. "The idea that there's manpower elsewhere to do some of the work to find those leads is really important."

The training just wrapped up and the program is expected to be fully underway in the new year. For more information visit: http://www.protect.org

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