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Military Vets Wage New War Against Child Porn Thanks to Federal Program

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz got choked up as she joined officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Association to Protect Children.

“It just gives me goose bumps,” Wasserman-Schultz said as she announced the hiring of 15 military veterans who will work with Homeland Security agents in the fight against child pornography and exploitation.

The new hires are veterans from all branches of the military, many of them disabled vets, who’ve been trained as members of HERO Corps, or Human Exploitation Rescue Operation Corps. It’s a federal program aimed at hiring veterans to take on a new fight rescuing children from online predators.

“These elite corps of highly trained military veterans are assisting law enforcement in the hunt for child predators,” said Joe Trias, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Miami. “Their mission on their new battlefield is to hunt and save children in danger.”

The 15 new HERO Corps members have been training for the past year and will now work closely with Homeland Security investigators on computer forensics and online investigations aimed at arresting child pornographers. One of the new hires is David Blau of Fort Lauderdale. Blau served two tours of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Marine.

“When this opportunity opened up I jumped on it,” Blau said. “It’s giving all of us an opportunity to face another battle. We have another mission and it’s to save children.” (10:11:57)

Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz was an original sponsor of federal funding for the HERO program. She has introduced an amendment seeking funding to continue the program in the future.

“Enlisting these veterans into the HERO Corps gives them a new mission and builds not only on their deep sense of patriotism but also on their protective nature,” she said.

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