Medal of Honor recipient Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer announced Thursday that he’s becoming the official spokesman for the International Harbor Foundation, a non-profit group of special forces vets dedicated to busting human traffickers.
In 2015, a group of special forces veterans came together to create International Harbor Foundation to track down human traffickers in the U.S. and abroad, but also to engage in advocacy efforts, connect victims with recovery resources and work to make sure trafficking is pulled out from the roots.
Meyer’s decision to join up with IHF coincides with the organization’s fundraising drive, which launches on August 29 and has the goal of bringing in $50,000 in 50 days. Donations are routed into day-to-day operations and, more importantly, rescue missions and intel operations.
“As a new father and veteran, this cause is especially important to me,” Meyer said in a statement. “These Special Forces veterans and I fought for freedom, under direct orders, around the Globe. Now that we can choose our own missions, we want to liberate the thousands of enslaved persons in our own neighborhoods and help the survivors reclaim their lives.”
Meyer received the Medal of Honor in 2011 disregarding his orders in Afghanistan to pull out troops pinned down by 50 Taliban insurgents. He rescued 36 Marines and soldiers, killing eight members of the Taliban in the process, despite being wounded in the firefights.
And now, Meyer is ready to take his heroics to the human trafficking front with IHF.
“Right now, we’re pretty new, so we’re focused on fundraising and that will go towards our general mission,” Monique Hamm, communications director at IHF, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
And that mission is not only to send intelligence to law enforcement, but also for special forces vets at IHF to conduct their own operations, as well.
“That’s what makes us unique,” Hamm added. “We provide intelligence and we actually will do the operations in conjunction with law enforcement. A lot of our guys are former Delta, and Delta is a quick response team, and so they have already established these relationships with FBI agents, and so they’re hoping to use that to be an active part of these rescue operations.”
The value IHF provides is that intelligence for a single operation can sometimes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. IHF will provide cutting edge intelligence services to law enforcement authorities for free and make sure agents are kept up to date with the constantly evolving tactics of traffickers.
“The advertising has changed over the years,” Hamm said. “Human trafficking used to be done by flyers, and now it’s moving to places like Backpage and Craigslist. We also look at chatter on the darknet. We also have informants, too. We treat it like we would any intelligence operation.”
Eventually, as IHF expands, the organization will be able to target trafficking around the world.
“We don’t want to limit ourselves to America,” Hamm said. “Sometimes people from American get trafficked out and people from outside the U.S. get trafficked in. So first we’re going to focus locally and then we’ll expand. We’ve got a lot of great connections all around the world. We have all the tools. We just need the funding in order to use them.”
Disclosure: Monique Hamm formerly worked an internship at The Daily Caller.
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