In or out of their uniform, the Navy SEALS are always committed to a cause. From shedding their blood in the service of the nation to standing up for what they also consider a part of their duty. These retired Navy SEALs have decided not to just rest on their laurels but go out there and make some good things happen.
Human trafficking is a scourge of mankind. Children, especially girls are kidnapped, coerced, and sold as slaves by crime organizations. It destroys the victim, it destroys the family. And when the elite soldiers of a nation get together to do something for them, it gives the helpless hope that there is someone looking out for them.
A volunteer group of retired Navy SEALs, volunteers, and retired police officers have banded together to form a group called Saved in America or SIAM to trace and rescue missing and runaway children who are the prime targets of human traffickers and nearly 15% of them are the victims of sexual exploitation.
The Navy SEALs have skills that make them suited for such acts. In 2016 alone there were 7,621 instances of human trafficking. It included the child of David and Maureen. Their daughter disappeared in January 2016 and the couple contacted SIAM three months later. It took them just three weeks to locate and eventually rescue the child aged 16 from the trafficking ring which had been sexually exploiting her.
Based out of San Diego, these volunteers are experts in the field of surveillance and investigation. Police collaboration is ensured as there are police officers associated with them. Their job does not end by rescuing the child. They also ensure that the rescued children have access to rehabilitation and treatment.
SIAM plays a vital role in combating the menace of human trafficking. The law enforcement authorities have their hands full and can only do so much. Their resources are stretched and they are also not legally bound to ensure due diligence in finding a missing child.
The law enforcement authorities are thankful for all the help that SIAM is rendering the police. This is the partnership that they desire the most, something of an extension of their work. The families of missing juveniles are the most grateful as the whole family is devastated when a child goes missing.
Their contribution is all the more vital as people, mostly children, are afraid of opening up to a policeman, says Chief District Attorney of San Diego, Summer Stephan. But private investigators do not have the power of the police. They instead compliment police work and follow up on the work of the law enforcement authorities. The Navy SEALs have that inbuilt tenacity to pursue a case till the end. Years of training and discipline have ensured that.
As they were part of a set up that lays store by operating within the law, the police have experienced no problems with them. SIAM was founded by Joseph Travers, a private investigator, and a chaplain after he heard about the abduction and subsequent murder of Brittanee Drexel in 2009.
Travers has noticed that the parents of missing children found the pace of police investigation extremely tardy. They are in a state of panic about their fate and want quick answers. They had nowhere to turn to and SIAM has stepped in at the right time. Traver’s son Joshua was a marine and he now serves in SAIM. He is the head of case management.
Every family or social groups are potential victims, not just the poor. The ideal scenario for society is when such groups are no longer necessary. The fact that they exist points to the enormity of the situation. And they continue to provide hope and sustenance to the families of persons who go missing.