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AbledWarriors Post Banner shows US Army Ranger Vet Oskar Zepeda standing beside a computer work station as he is interviewed for a TV news story. He is one of 17 special ops interns working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The headline reads: Special Ops Vets: The HERO program recruits interns for war on child predators.

Wounded Warriors Find Second Career Busting Child Porn Distributors

 

He has served his country, and then some. Former Army Ranger, Staff Sgt. Oskar Zepeda is a veteran of nine deployments to Afghanistisan and Iraq – a record of service cut short when a Taliban commander he was trying to restrain blew himself up with a grenade.

 

As the Seattle Times reports, When Zepeda awoke three days later, his entire right side mangled, doctors were debating amputating his arm and leg. He had lost his quads, his hamstring and suffered foot and wrist drop. For six months he couldn’t walk.”

 

Surgeons rebuilt his body, giving him a foot brace to allow him to walk normally and removing the damaged tendons in his hand so he could use it again. Through months of physical therapy, he regained his strength.”

 

AbledWarriors photo shows Staff. Sgt. Oskar Zepeda standing facing the doorway to, and nameplate of, the Digital Forensics Lab of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Photo from the JapanTimes/AP.

 Photo: Japan Times/AP

 

Now, three years and 25 surgeries later, Zepeda is training for a second career as one of 17 Special Ops veterans in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement program called HERO. They now go into battle in the war on child predators, and Zepeda, who underwent a strict vetting process, searches the hard drives of computers seized from suspected pedophiles, looking for evidence of child pornography. 

 

It’s had such a big impact on ICE’s caseload that the agency is expanding the program, and with it, opportunities for wounded warriors like Zepeda. In fact, ICE is recruiting its next class of interns. Special Ops vets who have recently transitioned or who are in the process of transitioning can email hero@ice.dhs.gov for more information.

 

Seattle’s KING5 did the following report on Oskar Zepeda’s internship:

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Abled Public Service Ad for Wounded Warrior Project Shows a veteran with his arm around the shoulder of a young woman. It appears that he suffered facial injuries and finger amputations. He is smiling, wearing a yellow cap and red T-shirt. The Wounded Warrior project logo shows the silhouette of a soldier carrying a wounded comrade on his back next to a box containing the words 10 years. The headline text reads A Decade of Service - A Lifetime of Commitment. Give the gift of hope to an injured veteran. Click here to go to the Wounded Warrior Project website.

 

Abled Public Service Ad for Walking With The Wounded. Their logo depicts a disabled veteran with an artificial leg cross country skiing and pulling a sled with supplies. CLick here to go to their website.

 

Abled Public Service Ad for Soldier On - Sans Limites - part of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services as part of the Canadian Armed Forces. Their logo is comprised of a crown-topped broach that features a propellor, an anchor and crossed sabers that represent all divisions of the Canadian Armed Forces and the RCMP. Click here to go to their website.

 

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Abled Public Service Ad for Warrior Canine Connection where service members and Veterans with combat stress take on the critical mission of training service dogs for fellow Wounded Warriors. Click here to go to their website.

 

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