From Catching Terrorists to Catching Traffickers

Wow, my conversation with Jeff Tiegs felt great this week! I’ve heard his name mentioned so many times, and this was a conversation that I should have had many years ago.  It seemed like I was talking to a long-lost friend throughout the conversation.  

I had no idea how much he and I have in common, and I can now see why so many people have mentioned his name to me over the years.

I wish I had several additional hours to learn more about Jeff. However, the podcast format doesn’t allow for a 12-hour conversation… and who would still be listening at the end of a marathon meeting?  There was a moment, however, that I wish we had a lot more time to unpack. Jeff is the first guy I’ve met who could articulate a transition that I went through many years earlier.  

Jeff mentioned the change his life has taken since leaving the US Army.  Throughout his incredible career in Special Ops, Jeff picked up some skills that don’t translate well outside the military.  While many guys with Jeff’s skillset end up working in para-military organizations for the rest of their lives, Jeff was able to refocus and redirect his energy and skills from counterterrorism to countertrafficking.  

I was fired up listening to Jeff talk about his powerful transition, and I immediately thought about my first overseas mission trip during the Vargas Tragedy.  Flying back to the USA after helping dig for survivors of a mudslide on the coast of Venezuela gave me a chance to use a few of my skills to do good for the first time in my military career.   

Because every human has an innate, God-given gene in their DNA to do good for others, I want to explain Jeff’s transition to protecting the vulnerable during this powerful part of our podcast conversation

Do what needs to be done

In today’s world, finding parts of your job you don’t enjoy is common. However, it’s important to remember that you still have a job to do, and you owe it to your boss to give it your all. Not only does it showcase your character and work ethic, but it also helps you develop skills and knowledge. When you face challenges with this mindset, hard work becomes its reward

Jeff grew up and learned what it meant to be a man of his word while serving in the US Army’s Ranger Regiment.  He then went to Special Forces, where he learned to fight against an unconventional enemy.  Finally ending his career in the most elite US counterterrorism Unit, Jeff’s skills in finding and killing terrorists gave him the ability to track down and catch sexual predators and human traffickers like few other people. 

There’s a deep sense of satisfaction in completing a difficult task.  That satisfaction is even greater when you accomplish something that you didn’t enjoy in the first place.  I flew home from Venezuela exhausted, but feeling the same satisfaction of a job well done.  

Do bad things to bad people

Jeff has lived most of his life in dangerous and dark circumstances like any great special operator, and he has thrived in the conditions that most people would find unbearable. Moreover, as a special operator, Jeff has also learned how to face down some of the greatest evil on the planet.

During our conversation, Jeff described how vulnerable women and girls are to sexual predators and traffickers. I hope everyone felt the same challenge to rescue these vulnerable women and to attack the people at the source of the sex slave industry.  

Do good things for good people

I’ve walked away from more than a few combat missions knowing that our efforts made the world a little safer because of the terrorists that we captured or killed on that objective.  There’s a great deal of personal satisfaction in knowing that the world will be a slightly better place because of your efforts.

Most combat missions I participated in left homes damaged and lives destroyed.  It was tough, but necessary work.  After retiring from the army, like Jeff Tiegs, I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to doing good for good people.

You don’t have to dedicate the rest of your life to human trafficking issues to help make the world a better place. You can start right where your life is this holiday season and help someone in need. I hope this article has inspired you to take some of the skills- whatever they may be- and use those to improve someone else’s life this holiday season. 

Listen to my whole interview with Jeff Tiegs HERE

Further reading

Discipline vs. Drive

Angela Fuller displayed the drive and discipline to make a remarkable recovery from her spinal injuries.

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