Wounded Veterans Battling Online Child Sex Predators | NBC 6 South Florida

Wounded Veterans Battling Online Child Sex Predators




    More than a dozen of America’s bravest heroes, ex-military who were wounded in battle, have been given a second chance to protect and serve by going after online child-sex predators.

    The 15 veterans are the first to have trained and graduated from what’s called the HERO Corps program, or The Human Exploitation Rescue Operative.
    It’s a year-long program designed to give those who have sacrificed so much for this country a real career by going after online child-sex predators.
    "We’re catching child predators, we’re going out there, we're searching computers and homes for people that are sexually assaulting children," HERO Graduate David Blau said.
    Blau, who served in Iraq from 2002-2006, was part of a news conference Monday at the Department of Homeland Security Office in Doral. Blau was joined by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who secured the millions of dollars in funding necessary for the HERO Corps, and HERO spokesperson actor David Keith.
    "The Hero Corps puts them through an intensive training program that allows them to be able to go after child sexual predators," Wasserman Schultz said.
    As of Monday, 14 of the 15 HERO Corps graduates have been hired by the Department of Homeland Security.
    "Once they got on the job they proved themselves invaluable and so now the Department of Homeland Security said 'hey, we got to pay these guys,'" Keith said.
    For Blau, it’s the opportunity he was waiting for.
    "I worked some side jobs trying to find the community, the lifestyle in the military," Blau said. "I have three boys, 10, 8 and 6.”
    Blau said he can’t give too many secrets away about his new skill set but he's urging everyone to keep an eye out to stop those who exploit children.
    "They say it’s the guy down the road or guy in a trench coat but it’s family and friends that are doing most of the crimes," he said.