Local military veterans, including several who were severely wounded in the line of duty, are participating in a program designed to help the feds weed out sexual predators and sex trafficking, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  It is called the HERO Corps, or Human Exploitation Rescue Operative Child Rescue Corps. The veterans will assist federal agents in investigations involving child pornography and online sexual exploitation.


  Shannon Krieger was wounded in action in Afghanistan, and can't wait to get started.


  "I am chomping at the bit to be able to go after some bad guys," he said.  "That's the whole reason we're here."


  The HERO Corps will be particularly active in the San Antonio area, because Interstate 10 and 35 have been identified as key human trafficking routes across the country.


  The veterans will mainly be working on cyber surveillance, watching for information on computer chat rooms that might lead them to arrest criminals and rescue victims.


  "We spent time overseas going after terrorists," veteran Jeremy Boutwell said.  "But we realize there are even worse people right in our own back yard, going after innocent children."


  The Department of Homeland Security says this will be a 'new battlefield' for America's veterans, as they track down enemies which are every bit as vicious and unconcerned with human well being as are the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq.