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Posts Tagged ‘Trafficked’

It is no secret that human trafficking is rampant, not only in other countries, but it is a big problem right here in our own backyard.  Don’t you find that appalling?  I do and this prompted me to search for a way to do something about it.

Thousands of people have read my SEALs Series outlining the workings of the criminal organization of human trafficking.  This series of books was written as fiction in a way to encourage our young people to read about this problem.  While it is true that older people are sometimes the victim of this crime, the majority are young females.  In fact, 85% fall into this category.

Many of the victims are ordinary people that have been abducted to be used, sold and abused.  The correct term is slavery.  We all know what goes on behind closed doors when this happens; so I chose to spare our young people the gory details.  What I hoped to accomplish was to educate our young people by revealing how easy it is to fall victim to this crime.  This material was written in such a way that parents do not have to be concerned about the language or content.  But, at the same time, we need to humanize the heroes that are willing to fight for the release of the victims.

There are more than 30 million people being held against their will, and the worst part is their lifespan consists of only 5 to 7 years under those abusive conditions.  In the SEALs Series I give people hope when the chips are down.  From the beginning with The Twelve SEALs and continuing through book six entitled The Lady SEAL, I have provided the reader a larger than life hero.  The victims of human trafficking have no way out.  They are drugged, abused, and stripped of their dignity.  In the first story of the series, a team of former Navy SEALs come from retirement to help a buddy find her sister.  Chelsea Steele, the first Lady SEAL, has a younger sister who has fallen victim to human trafficking.  Without giving away the story, Navy SEAL Commander Bart Nelson (the Ghost) is called upon to help her, along with four more survivors of their last mission.  Becoming separated after that tragedy, they now feel compelled to come together to help a friend in trouble.

Over the course of time, the reader is able to see how a crime of this magnitude is allowed to flourish right under our nose.  Our young people are disappearing at an alarming rate as human trafficking is now the fastest growing crime in the world at $32 billion!  How can this be?  What is law enforcement doing to combat it?  Well, not nearly enough!  And that is the reason I would like to introduce the scum involved in this atrocious crime to the former SEALs, Bart Nelson and Chelsea Steele.  They have a message for those who are destroying the lives of our young people, along with countless members of their grieving families.  That message is compelling:  “If the Ghost doesn’t get you, the Hammer will!”

In a few weeks I plan to release a book dedicated to this amazing guy:  Navy SEAL Commander Bart Nelson (the Ghost).  Bart is tough.  He is smart.  But above all, he is kindhearted and would die for you.  It is not about numbers with him.  Every single person, no matter how insignificant they may seem to others, is important to Bart.  He has proven that countless times as he is prepared to die if necessary to save the last victim.

Bart’s skills are innumerable.  He is adept as a helicopter pilot.  While stationed near Miramar California, where the navy trains their pilots to be the best of the best – “Top Gun” as we know them, Bart was afforded another skill.  He was fortunate to become highly experienced at flying an F-16 which is used by naval pilots in their special operations units.  Of course his physical conditioning and martial arts training, along with knowledge and experience using an array of weaponry, has prepared him for anything.  These many skills come in handy as you have already learned from reading previous books in the series.

Book 6 of the  SEALs Series – The Lady SEAL – was devoted to “the Hammer” and how Chelsea Steele’s skills entitled her to become the very first Lady SEAL.  Just as she had a beginning, so did “the Ghost.”  Now we are prepared to reveal how he earned the code name he is so famous for.  Make ready as we are about to release The Ghost SEAL!

In closing I would like to say something to the brave men and women in our armed forces.   We owe you everything and above all our respect.  It is because of you that we have our freedom. 

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Roger:  Hello, audience.  I have a treat for you today.  Bart Nelson has agreed to make an appearance to help create public awareness concerning human trafficking.  Welcome, Bart.  We want to thank you for taking the time to make this rare appearance.  We all know how busy you are and have heard of the good you have accomplished in the battle against human trafficking.  (Bart smiles and looks all about before staring directly into Roger’s eyes.  Roger immediately asks the first question.)

Roger:  For the benefit of our audience and to answer the question that I am constantly being asked, how tall are you and how much do you weigh?

Bart:  They really asked you that?  (Bart pauses and smiles before answering.)  I am 6’2” and weight approximately 210 to 220, depending on how much I eat.

Roger:  Is food a problem?  

Bart:  It is not about the cost.  When we are on assignment, food often becomes scarce.  There are no shopping malls in the jungle, and sometimes we are forced to live off the land. 

Roger:  For the record, you are 6’2” and weigh 210+, dark short hair, brown eyes, and a nice tan.  And, ladies, he does have massive biceps.  (Bart blushes, forcing a smile.)  What size are those shoes? 

Bart:  Actually, they are boots.  I wear a size 12.  Do your readers really want to know that?

Roger:  They want to know everything.  You do have some admirers out there. 

Bart:  If it will help put a stop to human trafficking, then I am willing to do anything I can.  So, ask away. 

Roger:  Everyone knows you are a Navy SEAL.  Tells us what it is like training to become the best of the best. 

Bart:  There are a number of Special Forces out there, all good men.  But the SEALs have very high standards as most people know.  Not everyone that tries out makes it.  If you do, it is considered an honor. 

Roger:  When you began training for the SEALs, did you ever consider quitting? 

Bart:  Never!  I know it sounds strange, but that is the one thing that sets us apart from the rest.  A SEAL never quits.  It is referred to as ‘fire in the gut’.  Either you have it or you don’t.  

Roger:  There is so much we could ask about that.  However, for the sake of time, we need to get into the mission you are currently involved with.  I understand it is to take down human trafficking.  What drives you to risk everything for this cause? 

Bart:  It is personal now.  Many of you know Chelsea Steele, a demolition expert.  Her sister, Vanessa, became a victim of human trafficking. 

Roger:  Without revealing the details of the book, we will withhold specific information about that abduction.  Hopefully, she is safe now.  But tell us, how dangerous is this battle? 

Bart:  Human trafficking is a $32 billion business.  With that kind of money at stake, they will kill in a blink of an eye to keep it covered up. 

Roger:  So, it is pretty intense, I take it. 

Bart:  As intense as any battle I have ever been involved in. 

Roger:  We all know about the tragedy that occurred during your last mission in the official capacity of the Navy SEALs.  I believe you were extracting the attorney general from his abductors when it happened.  If I recall, you were working for the president on this mission. 

Bart:  I don’t like talking about it, but yes, we lost half of our men. 

Roger:  That must have been hard to swallow, seeing how things turned out.  But let’s move on to your current mission, human trafficking.  Most people think of this as a problem that the victims bring on themselves.  How do you choose to address that? 

Bart:  That idea is totally off base.  While some of the women involved did in fact make a mistake that landed them in this predicament, most are innocent victims.  They are tricked, coerced, and often threatened in an effort to force them into a life of which there is no escape.  

Roger:  How is that?  Can you enlighten us on the procedures used in human trafficking? 

Bart:  First of all, they are very shrewd.  Seldom do they appear as criminals, thus setting a snare for the victims.  Generally they stalk the victims for days, sometimes weeks.  When the target of their interest is at their most vulnerable state, they make their move, leaving behind no witnesses and no evidence that a crime has been committed.  They do that for a very good reason.  It is a known fact the case will soon be dropped under those conditions. 

Roger:  So, you think many of the missing persons are, in fact, abductions not runaways. 

Bart:  We know they are.  My team has been responsible for freeing victims from all over the globe.  There are thousands, possibly millions, of victims, waiting to be rescued from a life worse than death. 

Roger:  That brings up a good point.  Why doesn’t the United States simply go after them with our military and free those that are being held against their will? 

Bart:  It is a matter of jurisdiction and can complicate things.  We cannot send military operations into those countries.  We are at peace with them. 

Roger:  But isn’t this war?  Aren’t you declaring war on human trafficking? 

Bart:  That is a sensitive issue, and I am bound by an agreement with a top ranking official not to disclose the details. 

Roger:  So you are working undercover, performing your duties for someone high up the ladder.  Is it the president? 

Bart:  You know I can’t answer that.  But it has been made very clear that if we get caught, we are on our own.  

Roger:  That must be difficult to swallow.  Here you are, doing a good service for your country, and you could end up disappearing like the victims.  Nobody would own up to the fact these orders came from the president. 

Bart:  I didn’t say they came from the president, and that is a point that I need to make very clear. 

Roger:  Okay, so we will leave that question alone.  This covert operation could get you and your friends killed.  If something happens to you, nobody will come to your defense.  Why would you do it? 

Bart:  The answer is simple.  The very first victims we rescued convinced us this must be done.  When we looked into the eyes of these young women, it became clear I had no other choice. 

Roger:  What did you find?  Can you describe the victims to us?

Bart:  In the beginning we targeted victims that were between 18 and 30, very attractive females who had simply disappeared.  Nobody was looking for them, and eventually the cases were closed.  Once we located these young women, it was obvious what was going on.  They were despondent, having been drugged and abused.  Their lives had been taken away from them.  Now they were the possession of someone else, modern day slavery if you will. 

Roger:  Slavery still exists around the world?  Most think it ended some 150 years ago. 

Bart:  It is worse now than ever.  Back then slavery was not hidden.  It was out in the open for all to see.  But human trafficking is very much alive and a bigger problem because it operates under the radar.  

Roger:  Why doesn’t law enforcement get involved and shut them down?  

Bart:  As you know, training is everything.  We as Navy SEALs learned to rely on our training.  Law enforcement is not trained to deal with this sort of crime.  When someone disappears, they immediately target the last person known to have seen the victim.  That is what they are trained to do.  By the time that person is cleared of any wrongdoing, the case is already cold. 

Roger:  I’ve seen that happen.  What can we do to change that? 

Bart:  Your appearance on Dottie Laster’s TRAFFICKED is a step in the right direction.  Dottie is actively involved in training law enforcement to deal with this sort of crime.  When someone disappears for no apparent reason, we need to take a broader look at what is happening. 

Roger:  What can we do to prevent this crime?  Isn’t prevention the key to cutting off the supply of victims? 

Bart:  Exactly!  Nothing is foolproof, but here are some suggestions.  Young people need to have a buddy system in place, especially when you are going to be out late at night.  If you do not check in, someone can search for you before it is too late.  Next, do not be tricked into something that sounds too good to be true.  These people have been known to pose as model agencies, companies seeking employees, and any number of factious schemes to pull young people into their organization.  Once they control you, it is too late to get out of the predicament.  Then by using drugs, sleep deprivation, and threats against family members, they control you. 

Roger:  What are other risks you would like to point out to our viewers? 

Bart:  When traveling abroad, do not separate from your group.  Stay together.  Do your homework and avoid countries that are known for this type problem. 

Roger:  Now that you have brought it up, what are some other tricks that traffickers use on victims? 

Bart:  Date rape drugs have been around for decades.  Everyone, especially young people,  need to be careful when at bars, parties, or anywhere that give strangers access to your food or drinks.  Those powerful drugs will render the victim helpless against an attacker.  By the time you wake up, it is often too late. 

Roger:  I have literally hundreds of questions to choose from, but we are out of time.  We want to thank you again, Bart, for taking the time to speak with us.  Before we let you go, there is one I must ask or the young ladies will kill me.  I understand you are single.  Are their any prospects for marriage in the near future?  (Bart smiles and hides a blush.) 

Bart:  Well, I have my eyes set on someone special.  But to answer your question, there are no plans for marriage just yet. 

Roger:  So, there you have it, ladies.  Bart is still available.  And if you play your cards right, you might just catch him.  With his permission, I will field questions and comments on this blog site.  Make sure you leave a way for us to reach you, and I will see that Bart gets the message.  (Roger stands to shake Bart’s hand, noticing him rolling his eyes.)  So, you are concerned about the women lining up at your door?  (Bart smiles, shakes his head, and walks out the door.) 

Closing comments:  If you would like to know more about Bart and his battle against human trafficking, please feel free to leave a comment.  Be sure to check out The Twelve SEALs and the sequel, SEALs II – The Impossible.  Thanks you! 

Participants:  Roger Grubbs, author & Bart Nelson, character in The Twelve SEALs http://amzn.to/yXl5ue & SEALs II – The Impossible http://amzn.to/z92ZeK .

Dottie Laster’s TRAFFICKED on Here Women Radio:  http://bit.ly/zDUkka

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This phenomenal thing we call life is filled with many wonderful people.  I would like to take a moment to journey into the past to name a few individuals I was fortunate enough to meet.  After that, it is certainly appropriate to reveal several recent acquaintances, many of which were met on twitter. 

While I was in college, there were a number of individuals that I had the good fortune of meeting.  Since the list goes on and on, I am forced to pick only a few.  First of all, it was my decision to become a powerlifter which opened many doors for me.  Because of this competitive sport and the things we had in common, I met football legends like Pat Sullivan (Heisman Trophy winner), David Campbell (All-American), Tom Banks (legendary NFL center), David Langner (all I need to say is 17-16 win over Alabama), and Mike Kolen (“Rookie of the Year” at the Miami Dolphins, 8 seasons with Miami when they dominated the league, nicknamed “Captain Crunch”). 

Now that I have provided their names, let me reveal a few details about our association.  For those of you who do not know, powerlifting is a very competitive sport.  It never ceases to amaze me at what a well-disciplined body can accomplish.  That is where I learned concentration, persistence, patience, and positive thinking.  When you step under a bar holding hundreds of pounds of weight, you either succeed or become crushed.  So I learned to make a commitment before taking on the task.  You either do it or not – but never maybe.  That philosophy has stayed with me throughout life. 

On one particular afternoon, my friend David Campbell and I lifted weights in the coliseum at Auburn University.  It was when I offered him a ride back to Sewell Hall that I realized he was not only a legend but a giant of a man.  With the seat pushed back as far as it would go, his knees rested against the dash of my car, a Ford Galaxy.  Later a girl friend of mine sat on my left while David took a seat on my right.  Finally, unable to contain it any longer and after staring at him, she leaned over and said, “That is one more hunk of a man.”  I could not help laughing at the expression on her face.  Friendships come in all sizes. 

Another person I would like to mention in Mike Kolen.  After completing his first year in the NFL as Rookie of the Year, we lifted weights together one afternoon while he was on break.  He paid me a very nice compliment concerning my physical condition.  Imagine how that felt coming from a pro.  I would also like to mention legendary center, Tom Banks, an outstanding pro football player.  He lifted with us as a team in the state championship.  After completing my lifts, I was called upon to judge the competition for the heavier weight classes.  Once the lifts were completed, I – along with two other judges, provided a thumb’s up for a pass or a thumb’s down to signal a failed attempt.  Can you imagine looking up at Tom Banks to make such a call?  Everyone who knows anything about centers realizes those guys are gigantic.  But I survived, and winning the team trophy will remain a highlight of my life.     

A few years later I had the rare opportunity of meeting Hank Williams, Jr. in a private setting.  I did not recognize him at first; but when I did, he chuckled and we struck up a conversation.  Other notable people that I met in my business endeavors are Don Logan, Chairman of Time Warner, and Ken Griggy, Chairman and CEO of Wilson Foods.  All of these people, while very influential, were some of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet.  

On the business side of my journey, I was privileged to be featured in several national magazines which was quite an honor for me.  During my weightlifting career, I was even featured in the same magazine as Arnold Schwarzenegger – he a body builder and me a powerlifter.  My kids got a kick out of reading those articles and ended up making copies to take to school to convince their friends.  I also met several celebrities at the National Competition level including the residing Mr. America (that was before Arnold made it big) and the great power lifter, Terry Todd, holder of world records. 

The list goes on, but I want to get to the reason for this blog.  For years I have resisted joining twitter out of concern that this social media is a very powerful tool.  Would the people be kind or demeaning?  Well, I am happy to say it has been a wonderful experience.  I have found that twitter friends are so kind that it is only appropriate to take a moment to mention a few. 

When I first began this amazing journey, there was a kind person named Mary L Delgado (MaryLDelgado) who followed me.  You know her well as all America fell in love with Mary on “The Bachelor”.  She is a former Tampa Bay Buc’s cheerleader and a very beautiful young woman.  But it was twitter that has provided me with the chance to connect with her on a more personal basis.  I must say that Mary is a wonderful, considerate, caring individual.  She takes the time to tweet me back and is always a pleasure to speak with.  Like me, she is a competitor and has proven herself as we have already seen.  Mary is currently involved in several secret projects and has mentioned that we may see more of her soon.  However, what she would like very much is to be on “Dancing with the Stars”.  So, Mary, what do you think?  Are you up to the challenge?  I sense a smile – all the answer I need.  We hope to see you soon on DWTS.

In conclusion I would like to mention several close friendships that have developed as a result of twitter.  Caleb Pirtle (CalebPirtle) is a well-known author, screenwriter, with movie connections to Kenny Rogers.  Recently Caleb placed me in his “Author’s Showcase”.  (http://bit.ly/zSEQeh) Thanks to my friend, sales for the book he featured – SURVIVAL – are rising.  His showcase is providing me an opportunity to reveal my works to readers.  Thanks, my friend. 

Ann Marie Dwyer (AnnMarieDwyer) did an “Author Interview”  http://bit.ly/saWtay which gave the readers a chance to get to know me on a more personal basis.  

As many of you are aware, I am involved in a project intended to provide public awareness concerning human trafficking.  The Twelve SEALswas used on Dottie Laster’s TRAFFICKED, Here Women Talk Radio Show, for that purpose.  This guest appearance,  http://bit.ly/zDUkka, is archived if you would like to poke a little fun at my accent.

Now I would like to mention a very special person that came into my life on twitter.  Stacie (whatzMineIzYurz) is a true friend that I will be forever grateful to.  She has connected me with some very dear acquaintances:  Dottie Laster TRAFFICKED, Ana Herradon (AnaHerradon), KC Oliver (KC_oliver), Judy (jThomasross), Brian (CharlieNitric), and Mina (minamaya13).  Others special friends I have met on twitter that I would like to mention are Vonda Norwood (VondaNorwood), Raine Thomas (Raine_Thomas), Michelle Hughes (MichelleHughes_), Christine Warner (ChristinesWords), Brian Bohls (BrianBohls), and Ticia Verveer (ticiaverveer).  This by no means is a complete list, and hopefully in time I will be able to mention many more.  I have already run over the allotted space.  So, here is to my friends on twitter that scan the globe:  I am so thankful for all of you. 

There is no doubt about it:  twitter friends are the best.  

In loving memory of Stacie Dorego – a tragic loss of a true friend!

Roger

Donations are now being accepted by Johnston Firefighters Local 1950 – for Stacie Dorego’s children  http://bit.ly/zGFvQW

 

 www.booksbyrogergrubbs.com

www.Dr-Andrew-Rogers.com

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