Veterans return home to help children

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Thousands of US service personnel have returned from the battlefield with career-ending wounds, but many of them still have a sense of service and a lot of fight left in them. Some of them are putting their skills to work chasing down people who abuse children.

Former Army Ranger Tom Block and 23 other elite war veterans from the US Special Forces - whom the US military spent more than a million dollars each training to be physically and mentally exceptional - are now prepping for a new mission at a non-profit called Protect.

The group is partners with Homeland Security Investigations and US Special Operations command - to train and place veterans with law enforcement agencies around the country.

"You see groups of children being abused at levels the average American can't fathom. The abuse seems to be getting more documented and worse, says J. Christian CEO of NAPC.

Protect says the United States is the world's largest producer of child pornography. The images - too hard to look at, often too horrible even to describe, but for these heroes, the idea of not taking action - is not an option.

In order to qualify for the program, the veteran must have been wounded, ill or injured in service to their country.

Block - the army times' 2014 soldier of the year - was badly wounded during a raid in southern Afghanistan in 2013.

A suicide bomber - charged him and his team. the explosion went off just 8 feet from where block was standing.

After learning to walk again - SGT. Block endured several reconstructive surgeries.

Knoxville native David Keith is actually a very big part of this program.
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