This week’s MUST LISTEN episode of the Riton Podcast, guest host Jerimiah Alexander, sits down with Tom Cochran of Destiny Rescue on location at the Florida Firearms Industry Range Expo in Immokalee Florida. Learn about the important actions Destiny Rescue is doing across the globe to combat child sex slavery.
Be The Riton Revolution
Jerimiah Alexander 0:07
Hey guys, we’re doing the Riton podcast today. coming at you from Florida. We’re at the fire event here. It’s been a long three days, as you can see on my forehead. We’ve been out in the sun. Introduce yourself, sir.
Tom Cochran 0:24
Yeah, my name is Tom Cochran. I’m with destiny rescue here at the F.I.R.E. event, we were the charity of choice actually, where proceeds were donated to us. So we can rescue what we do is we rescue kids out of the commercial sex industry around the world.
Jerimiah Alexander 0:37
Right. So we talked in Price, Utah. Last year, summertime last year.
Tom Cochran 0:43
Jerimiah Alexander 0:44
And I was actually kind of run in the right arm booth at the tactical games. And I think they even kind of messed your booth up, right, so we had to like, give you some space.
Tom Cochran 0:54
Yeah. They gave my canopy away. So we just got to share canopies and hang out. It was fun.
Jerimiah Alexander 0:58
Yeah. So we watched the other guys sweat and miss targets.
It was good times
Tom Cochran 1:02
laughed at them while we maintained our dignity.
Jerimiah Alexander 1:06
pretended like we would do better. Yeah,
Tom Cochran 1:07
Jerimiah Alexander 1:08
No, I really, I really, man. You know, I’m a family man. So when I heard what you guys did and heard your story, I you know, I immediately intrigued the wrong word. But I was interested, you want to help in any way that you can?
Tom Cochran 1:22
Jerimiah Alexander 1:23
And I reached out to ownership at Riton and talked to them, you know. And now we were all about what you guys got have what you have going on? Tell us a little bit. Well, tell us a little bit about yourself first. And then we’ll go into kind of what prompted you to get this thing rocking and rolling.
Tom Cochran 1:40
Yeah. So my I’ve been married for almost 14 years. And in that just the the reality for my wife and I as we’ve always found ourselves in positions defending kids. So we were youth pastors for a while. And then we went and got we got into the involved in the foster care system and our local community. And that just began to drive home. I mean, my parents, as I was younger, they they drove in a sense of you’ve got to protect and care for people who can’t care for themselves. My dad was a cop, long history of family in the military. So with that came this idea of I need to defend those who can’t maybe defend themselves or even speak up for themselves. And so found out this reality of trafficking and said, Hey, I, I’m in a position where I could use my voice, my platform, and my talents to be able to do something about it.
Jerimiah Alexander 2:27
And you found out through the youth pastoring or through the
Tom Cochran 2:31
just through local connections with with foster kids, and then some friends of mine work for the organization as well. That
Jerimiah Alexander 2:37
Tom Cochran 2:37
Jerimiah Alexander 2:38
And so I remember you telling me a story like you You went on a trip somewhere, right? Or someone you knew went on a trip and and you kind of have some some input that kind of boils your blood a little bit?
Tom Cochran 2:49
So I you know, I for I’ve been in Thailand, in Cambodia, where we do a lot of our rescues, and actually, I’ve been out with our teams and doing some undercover work. And the things that you see you realize that kids should never be put in that position are the reason our founders started destiny rescue was because he had overheard somebody say that they’d been offered a child to do with whatever they wanted for 400 US dollars. And he came home and looked at his wife and said, This can’t be with it. So they actually sold their business. He was an electrician by trade, moved his family to Thailand and began to rescue kids.
Jerimiah Alexander 3:21
I’m gunna, we’ll give me two seconds to not get teary eyed. And then No, I don’t know, man, when you were when you were talking to me earlier before too. It sounded like very, like specific operations that you guys have gone like very detailed, not
Tom Cochran 3:39
Jerimiah Alexander 3:39
so cuz it cuz right in my mind, I’m like, I got though. Yeah. Okay, you’re gonna, you want to do bad things, you know?
Tom Cochran 3:45
Jerimiah Alexander 3:46
we’ll do bad things, we’ll be better at doing bad things. Right. And I mean, that’s just the initial, I guess.
Tom Cochran 3:50
Jerimiah Alexander 3:51
Tom Cochran 3:51
like your gut reaction is, is well, let me go stop this, like, we’ll go out and grab every kid and we’ll rescue and we’ll take out the bad guys. And, you know, the reality is, is that most of these kids are in this position because of vulnerabilities. So for example, one of our agents is sitting at a bar that’s known to sell kids in Southeast Asia. And while he’s sitting there talking to this young girl, he begins to tell her who he is and what he does. And she says, Well, I’m here because I’ll do anything for my family to eat. That that vulnerability drove her to go find a job somebody exploited her and trapped her and thinking that she was working at a restaurant she’s actually working at a bar where she’s forced to sell drinks and food to customers and and her self
Jerimiah Alexander 4:36
Tom Cochran 4:38
So in in that, like our agents are very specific in how we rescue we covert rescue where we’re in the places where kids are sold. We’re giving we’re breaking, we’re taking them out, and then revealing who we are what we do and giving them a chance to for freedom. We do raids where our guys are gathering intelligence to shut down bars, brothels, places Also to arrest traffickers. So just at the end of this year, we had some very successful raids where, you know, over, over 80 individuals were set free, in one particular raid and other raids where young kids are, we’ve arrested the trafficker, and there’s another partner of that trafficker that said, another establishment, he won’t come bring anybody else. But a 15 year old girl speaks up from the back of our van and says, I can take you to where he lives. And we take our team with the National trafficking police in the Philippines, and we hit that guy’s door and rescue 11 more
Jerimiah Alexander 5:37
that’s what I was gunna ask you, I mean, obviously, if you come to America, and start kicking in doors, and do a covert operation, this is gonna, gonna catch some attention. Right?
Tom Cochran 5:48
Jerimiah Alexander 5:48
So what do you mean, let me back up one second to I keep thinking of this story of like, you know, dad and son are out in the desert. sun gets bit by a rattlesnake, right? What’s dad do? takes off, he’s not gonna let that rattlesnake get away with it. Right? Yeah, kid dies, right? Because that didn’t help the kid. He just wanted to go kill the rattlesnake saw that. I want to talk a little more about that later. But you know where I’m going with that mindset. But But how does it work with getting, I guess permission? And then, man, how do you help I imagine the goal, right is to be able to help these countries do a better job.
Tom Cochran 6:25
So the the, we have a memorandum of understanding with every country that we operate in. So we’re there with permission of the government to do the work that we’re doing. And we do it in partnership. It’s not, it’s not an antagonist thing, where we’re coming in and trying to show people how to do the right thing. We’re coming alongside working with the government, because at the end of the day, humanity believes all of us believe that we should treat people with dignity,
Jerimiah Alexander 6:48
Tom Cochran 6:48
respect and add value. So with that, that work that we’re doing, it’s helping countries, build their police force, their expertise, their knowledge of how to address this. And you know, one of the exciting things for us is that we currently rescue in eight countries, by the end of 2021, will be in 14, the goal is to be in 30 countries by 2030. One of the countries that we want to be able to rescue in by the end of this year is the US. Yeah, so it’s building those partnerships with law enforcement agencies, because you think about the US. We have incredible tasks, task forces, we have incredible law enforcement from the local and federal level that are addressing this problem. And it’s going to take all of us to do our part in that fight.
Jerimiah Alexander 7:31
Well and it’s
man, there’s like a political part of this as I think about it, right? Like, why is there a war on drugs? Right? Well, I mean, it’s lots of money that, that people used ever, not everybody knows that, right? It’s not like just drug sales, that money goes places and does things other than that. So there’s a real big reason. And they see weapons and they seize, you know, all kinds of things. So and this is sad, right? But like, what, what do we do to help people understand the value of a human life? And and everyone does when you ask them,
Tom Cochran 8:05
Jerimiah Alexander 8:05
but we’re not doing it. Right, you’re having to like, and people are having to quit their jobs, to be like, you know, what, we’re gonna have to step in as regular folks and become not regular folks to help. So, like, what is it that we do to, like, get awareness out that this is a deal like something?
Tom Cochran 8:22
Yeah, I think it happens in a couple of different ways. I think first, it happens in the in your family,
Jerimiah Alexander 8:26
Tom Cochran 8:27
So as parents, you’re talking to your kids about this issue, you’re helping them no one for their safety, but to to know that there are other people who don’t have a safe bed to lie in.
Jerimiah Alexander 8:37
Tom Cochran 8:38
And and then talking to your peer group, and, you know, sharing, you know, sometimes social media, you get lost in the noise if you share a lot of stuff, but share that point people to factual real stories of life change from a credible source that’s doing really good work. You know, there’s a lot of organizations that do really great work, find one and start talking about how they’re, how they’re engaging your their community, how they’re engaging the fight around the world, and then begin to ask the question, what does it take to rescue for for destiny rescue, the average cost of rescue is $1500. That’s it.
Jerimiah Alexander 9:15
Tom Cochran 9:16
And because of the F.I.R.E. event, multiple kids are going to be rescued
Jerimiah Alexander 9:19
Tom Cochran 9:20
because of the money that they’re donating. So you think about that. So our team has an advocacy program where individuals can use their talent. We have kids that are mowing yards in Indiana right now. Well, not right now. It’s winter but they would during my lawn mowing season, they would mow yards and they would use all of their lawn mowing money. Adults are are using their skills that make jewelry they’re selling jewelry. Others are motorcycle groups are organizing a motorcycle ride. I mean, though, all those things that we do naturally in the US to raise funds. People are doing those things to be able to direct those funds to rescue kids.
Jerimiah Alexander 9:57
They work you know, and I’m glad that you guys And that we’re able to help get that word out because you don’t you don’t hear about at times, right?
Tom Cochran 10:06
Jerimiah Alexander 10:07
such a big issue such a big thing. And I’m like, I hear about bullying. Right on social media and and not to downplay it.
Tom Cochran 10:14
Jerimiah Alexander 10:14
But I hear about a lot of things. And this one isn’t one that you hear about quite as much. And and, and as soon as you hear about it, you’re like, Hey, why don’t why don’t we talk about it?
Tom Cochran 10:24
Jerimiah Alexander 10:24
Why isn’t my talking about that?
Tom Cochran 10:26
I think that I think a lot of times, we don’t talk about the issue, because it makes us really uncomfortable.
Jerimiah Alexander 10:31
It makes everybody
Tom Cochran 10:32
it makes everybody uncomfortable. We don’t talk about it, because we don’t know how we don’t talk about it. Because the problem is so big. I mean, you think about the the stats right now, or there’s from the the International Labor Organization, there’s at least a million kids trapped in the commercial sex industry around the world. Human Trafficking as a whole will raise 100 will make $150 billion at the end of this year, is outpaces the sale of guns and drugs. The sell of people for sex will generate $99 billion. That’s $11 million an hour.
Jerimiah Alexander 11:06
And what happened? What where does that money goin? Like? I mean, it’s not they’re not donating to charities, my guess. So like, what are? What are the ripple effects? That’s a lot of money.
Tom Cochran 11:15
It’s a lot of money. A lot of money. Yeah.
Jerimiah Alexander 11:16
Where’s that going? You know, and what negative things are that doing?
Tom Cochran 11:19
Right, right. Yeah,
Jerimiah Alexander 11:21
we don’t know. Right?
Tom Cochran 11:21
Jerimiah Alexander 11:22
Yeah. Gosh, that’s. So I mean, I’ll back up a little bit, too, because you said, the girl in the bar says, I’ll do what I have to do for my family. And it made me think I want to say it was my sister in law. She was like, kids should respect parents and and do this. And they should, you know, be grateful that they have food and whatnot. And she made a point that kind of caught me because I’m like, Yeah, I mean, yeah, I’m pouring my life out into the kids and the family. And yeah, it’s, uh, you know, like, want anything other than like, some some mutual like, Hey, I’m doing this for you, like, use this, please, like, learn and make new mistakes and do things. But she made a comment that was Don’t forget, they didn’t ask to be born. They were born into your family, right? Without saying I want to be born. So I was like, solid point, quite honestly, you decided or decided not to make sure it didn’t happen. But you made the decision to bring this life into the world. Right? So it’s your responsibility. But what I’m hearing here is, these kids are being being born and having like, what feels like, no choice but to support their own family, because of, I imagine like some overpopulation and like not enough money to feed mouse like, right.
Tom Cochran 12:43
I mean, there was a there in one situation, there was a I know a family that they made up the average, the average of $27 a month.
Jerimiah Alexander 12:54
Tom Cochran 12:54
And there were there were multiple kids in the house. The the reality that a lot of these kids are facing is that, you know, there’s, they’re in a culture where there’s really no margin, and dad gets sick and loses his job
Jerimiah Alexander 13:07
that is, right?
Tom Cochran 13:08
they have so extreme poverty drives so much of this. Now think about COVID. And how the entire world shut down. That’s only gonna escalate vulnerability,
Jerimiah Alexander 13:19
we’re complaining and people are asking for checks from the government, right? Because they’re sick and can’t work as much. And that’s more than what 27 I’m not a mathematician, that’s a year’s worth of pay in some of those places,
Tom Cochran 13:33
Jerimiah Alexander 13:35
So, so some of these, some of these people, and I want to say girls, boys, because that’s how my mind works, I guess. But it is it
Tom Cochran 13:42
is it right? We do rescue boys and their boys who are being exploited, you know, on average, 99% of victims are women and girls, but there are a lot of boys who are being put into this situation as well.
Jerimiah Alexander 13:54
And if I remember, right, you told me last time to like, multi generational to the point, it’s just an understanding that you’re going to have to do this for your family. Hey, I’m your mom. This is how the reason you’re alive. And things are going good because I did this. Because I’m like a mom.
Tom Cochran 14:13
Jerimiah Alexander 14:13
how doea a mom knowingly do that. And you said something to that effect? I think.
Tom Cochran 14:16
Well, yeah. So what I what I had said was that there are there we rescue generate, we do what’s called generational rescues where their babies are born in brothels. And sometimes the brothel manager owner will claim that baby as their property just like the mom is
Jerimiah Alexander 14:35
Tom Cochran 14:36
So it’s not necessarily the mom saying because I did this, you have to do this. It’s, there’s not there’s not that option for some. We actually just rescued a four year old girl within this last year where she was sorry, I get choked up as I as I talked about it. She was born in the brothel. Her mom was in the brothel. And mom didn’t want her to protect her. So she cut her hair short and dressed her like a boy, oh, wow. One day the mom had to go out and get some drinks for a customer. When the mom came back, the door was shut, locked, and she heard her daughter. She kicked down the door, and then was able to get ahold of our team and our team was able to rescue them. Sometimes there’s not the choice, you know, and, and honestly, like when we think about the the the vulnerabilities that drive people there, they’re not doing it, because it’s a choice. They don’t want to be there. They feel like they have no other option they feel like they have to
Jerimiah Alexander 15:33
Right. I have a few questions about that, but so that I don’t cry in front of everybody, I’ll back up to. It sounds to me, based on what you’re saying, there’s a lot of different ways to help, right? Obviously, funds of any of any kind are really helpful. And we’ll talk on the end at the end and make sure everybody knows how to do it. But you have individuals that sounds like right. And I mean, I would guess like some previous training of some sorts, and maybe not. But talk to us about like, if you’re if you’re a guy right now that’s mad, and try not to tear up like yeah, and you’re like, dude, I want to get in here and do something like what what, what kind of people? What kind of background? What kind of training?
Tom Cochran 16:16
Yes, so we have people from all different backgrounds that are rescue agents. One of our rescue agents is a drummer, was a drummer with a band. Another one was a chiropractor. Some of our other rescue agents do have previous law enforcement military background, the reason why we got connected to tactical games is because Tim Burton the the founder, was our rep was a rescue agent for a couple years
Jerimiah Alexander 16:37
super Tim’s an awesome guy
Tom Cochran 16:38
Tim’s an incredible guy. And Tim was able to rescue, I want to say 36, or 37, he was in on 37 rescues.
Jerimiah Alexander 16:46
And I talked to him pretty frequently. And he’s never, he mentioned that he helps you guys out, but he’s never
Tom Cochran 16:52
one of the most humble guys that I know
Jerimiah Alexander 16:54
really, really, really awesome guy
Tom Cochran 16:55
And so I mean, because see, we have a lot of times we get this preconceived idea in our heads of when we’re gonna go rescue that we’re gonna be fully head to toe and tactical gear, or coming in and night vision goggles, and we’re kicking the door, we’re breaching the door taking out these traffickers. That’s really not the majority of the ways that our guys rescue,
Jerimiah Alexander 17:13
Tom Cochran 17:14
We have law enforcement that and national police that we built partnerships and friendships with for years that they have our back, we’re going in as the undercover guys, we’re making the buys.
Jerimiah Alexander 17:23
Tom Cochran 17:23
And so you want to be able to have to have the skill set to talk to people, and to engage them and to have conversation, to play the perpetrator to play the creepy guy.
Jerimiah Alexander 17:34
Sounds like some weird conversations, but
Tom Cochran 17:36
it is I mean, so for example, like I there was a moment where I was out on rescue with our team. And I, I was in the position of the the friend who was coming into the country who wanted to party and like the young kids. Yeah, next country. And so with that, like you have to be able to play that role. But you also have to be able to gather the intelligence and get the have a conversation and pull information,
Jerimiah Alexander 18:02
be playing a role and be like, filing information, right as you go and directly
Tom Cochran 18:08
and you’re, you’re identifying kids and girls, boys that are that are victims. And then you’re also being able to do some investigative work. You know, if you have cyber skills where you’re able to do cyber investigative, we’re launching out into a whole new territory with that, as an organization. We had one of our first cyber rescues during COVID
Jerimiah Alexander 18:29
Tom Cochran 18:30
so we were able to rescue a year and a half year old boy,
Jerimiah Alexander 18:33
it sounds like I mean, you can use kind of every skill set. I mean, anyone possesses probably some kind of skill set or ability,
Tom Cochran 18:42
Jerimiah Alexander 18:42
To help you guys out, you know, cuz again, I mean, I guess I’m a guy, I’m just a guy’s guy or whatever. And yeah, I’m thinking, you know, night vision.
Tom Cochran 18:51
Right, right. Yeah. Cuz I mean, honestly, like, if I if you know if that’s that was my first thought was I’m like, I don’t have the I don’t have the ability to do that. Like, I don’t have the training.
Jerimiah Alexander 19:01
Tom Cochran 19:02
But it’s, it’s being able to have a conversation and restore dignity. I mean, there’s a reason why kids in these environments will gravitate towards people, because we’re not touching them. We’re not oogling over them. They realize there’s something maybe a little different, but we’re able to then build a relationship out of trust, where I mean, it takes about six months for one of our agents to rescue a girl undercover out of a bar, because she’s expecting us to lie to her and to take her and do whatever like everybody else has done
Jerimiah Alexander 19:33
Tom Cochran 19:34
So it takes a while for her to build up the courage to come out. We’re able to rescue them maybe a little faster in raids because we don’t have to do the lead time.
Jerimiah Alexander 19:42
They see right
Tom Cochran 19:43
right they see that thing Yeah, I mean and so we we also have individuals who go overseas to be a part of our our aftercare team you know, it’s it’s one thing to rescue it’s also a completely other to help them stay free, and we uniquely do aftercare in In a pretty incredible way I think it The idea is, is that we each child has an individualized path to freedom. We don’t just say, here’s the way to go. And you have to do X, Y and Z.
Jerimiah Alexander 20:09
I don’t think our path is the same.
Tom Cochran 20:10
Right? So are our teams assessing the needs of that child? Maybe she doesn’t need job skill training. Maybe she needs education.
Jerimiah Alexander 20:18
Tom Cochran 20:18
So maybe she’s, you know,
Jerimiah Alexander 20:19
another skill set right?
Tom Cochran 20:21
You know, maybe she’s a little bit older. So she needs that skill set that job skill training, maybe there’s medical care, maybe there’s not we rescue in Nepal, and about 90% of those that we rescue haven’t been trafficked, yet they were lured to a border, and then promised a job or marriage or there maybe with traveling with their traffickers at times, we’re able to rescue them ahead of time, because our agents are equipped to stop anybody and asked all kinds of questions, and they’re really good at what they do. And so they average a rescue on the border a day.
Jerimiah Alexander 20:54
Tom Cochran 20:55
And most of those kids have not been. So now we get to do preventative education, we get to assess, like, what their vulnerability was that drove them to this point, and lean into that and help address that vulnerability. And that child gets to stay free. And she doesn’t have the trauma of what some of these other kids that have been trafficked
Jerimiah Alexander 21:13
To step in first. Well, and I was gonna get to that. But while we’re at it, I wanted to talk about it. Because, you know, we are our family wants to like help in all kinds of different ways. And one of them was like, we made like bags for homeless people.
Tom Cochran 21:30
Jerimiah Alexander 21:31
we kept them in our car. And it’s not it’s not like money. It’s like beef jerky, and, you know, garments and things like that and a raincoat or something.
Tom Cochran 21:40
Jerimiah Alexander 21:41
And, and we’d like to do that. And it feels great, you know, to do it, and we want the kids to that’s part of the our in home training, like,
Tom Cochran 21:48
Jerimiah Alexander 21:48
not everybody has. Some people have better than you. Some people have worse than you.
Tom Cochran 21:52
Jerimiah Alexander 21:53
like, understand where you’re at and what you can and can’t do. But one of the things I’ve mentioned to them also, I said, here’s, here’s the downside, we made it easier. But I gotta be homeless today. And I don’t love that idea. And you’re addressing that. So it’s a multi faceted issue to deal with, right? You’re not just right. If you rescue a kid and say you’re free, and then set them free into a place that they know nothing about, then you didn’t really as a total waste. So there has to be preventative, which it sounds like you’re doing there there has to be teaching the local government agencies what you’re doing.
Tom Cochran 22:30
Jerimiah Alexander 22:30
And the aftercare in particular. I mean, it’s sex and prostitution sound like they I mean, it’s like randomly called the the oldest profession or something you hear people say, right. So it’s been around forever. And I really don’t know, the reason why. I don’t understand. You know, there’s a lot of things I understand that I don’t know, it’s tough for me to like to grasp, I don’t get it. But I see that it happens. And I’m like, there’s a place for this. And people are choosing to do it sometimes. How do we give them some other skills. So it sounds like aftercare may even be the most important part.
Tom Cochran 23:09
And I would I would even say I would go as far as to say this, and this is, this is my opinion. So this is my thought is is I don’t know that anybody truly chooses?
Jerimiah Alexander 23:19
Tom Cochran 23:20
I think we’re I think those situations were exploited and things happen. And they were left no, like, we have to do something,
Jerimiah Alexander 23:28
Tom Cochran 23:29
And so I, it really does, like, I think that it all stems down to one thing, if you can look at somebody in the eye, and you can see them as a human. And you can bring dignity and honor and respect to that person, you begin to raise their level of care. And with that, you realize that, okay, the the young girl that I saw in the bar that had a number isn’t a number.
Jerimiah Alexander 23:58
And she has a number like so someone can
Tom Cochran 24:00
she has a plastic badge that has a number she had number 23 on her. And I called her number two, and she came over and sat down next to me. And I began to talk to her and gather information so that our team could come in and do a rescue. She’d only been in the bar for a week, but everybody knew her as 23.
Jerimiah Alexander 24:17
Wow, just the number
Tom Cochran 24:19
She has a name. She has a soul.
Jerimiah Alexander 24:21
Tom Cochran 24:22
She has a story. She has a future. She has future dreams. I mean, this young girl has dreams and hopes. And if you can, as an individual come along and say hey, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to help you do that.
Jerimiah Alexander 24:36
I imagine the first time that you do this, right? It’s probably hard to stop. Like, you know, and I mean, I think everybody likes to help people but this sounds different to me, then then then a homeless bag or you know, x, you know, nice thing for someone. So, do I mean a lot of these people kind of lifers as far as getting in there. I mean, you get addicted. almost to the wanting to help.
Tom Cochran 25:02
Yeah, and I mean you so you you, we have guys who have been doing it for years, we have others who one was a law enforcement officer was on loan to us for a while and recently got re called back to his department. So you have, we have others who are taking sabbaticals and coming and doing, we have others who will come in just as a need. When we have a need for an operation, they pop in just for that operation, and then pop back home.
Jerimiah Alexander 25:30
Tom Cochran 25:31
So, you know, it really does, like, we do have folks that have given their life to it, you know, I’m a big sports guy. So I tell people all the time you got to the analogy I use is you got to leave it on the field. So you you take everything, and you just pour your heart and guts into it. Our founder did that. We understand not everybody has the ability to sell your business and move halfway across the world. But you can do something, everybody can do something. The The problem is, is when we choose to do nothing,
Jerimiah Alexander 26:00
yeah, well, I’m I think sometimes death by committee happens when you’re like, I don’t know what to do. Like, you know, and well, guys are over there given this, and I can’t do that. And
Tom Cochran 26:10
Jerimiah Alexander 26:10
so I think if we can illuminate something, one thing today that really everybody has something and a lot of little things, you know, turning into a big thing, but, um, as as you’re talking, and I’m thinking, so for the guy that’s like, Hey, I’m really good at talking to people. You know, I think that I could do this. But how do I stay safe? You know, maybe, maybe that guy has a family? And he’s like, well, I don’t want to bring trouble home to my family. Right? But I want to go help. Obviously, there’s a lot of ways to help.
Tom Cochran 26:46
Jerimiah Alexander 26:47
but what do you what do you say to the guy and it’s like, I’ll go and and I’ll go to Thailand with you tonight? I’ll jump on the airplane. But what are you gonna do? Will you like punch me in the face and beat me up and arrest me when I get there. So that no one comes looking for me later?
Tom Cochran 27:01
Yeah, no. So we we make sure that all of our guys are fully trained like you. So you’ll go through our training process, if you if you were to come on our, our rescue team. And in that you’re able to one stay safe, your teammates are keeping you safe. Like we, we have an extensive, we have an extensive opportunity for work guys are looking out for one another. And, and they’re I mean, you you will be it is dangerous, but we do take all those precautions. And with that you’re able to kind of pop in and your identity is protected in that regard. So our burner agents are going undercover, then they’re bouncing back to their normal lives. And so that that happens, where we’re able to protect. I mean, I would a couple of questions that I tend to ask people is where are you? Where’s your heartbeat? Where’s your passion? So if this is your passion, and you say I wanted to go do something, then let’s let’s have a conversation. If you say well, I that’s not my passion, I can’t go but man, I really have the ability to tell people about what’s happening, then use that platform,
Jerimiah Alexander 28:01
Tom Cochran 28:02
You know, there are others who you go, Well, I don’t have a lot to give, but I have maybe I could do a couple of bucks. The great thing is, is that we have a we have an opportunity for anybody, no matter what you give to become a rescue partner. So that is any dollar amount where you get to help rescue kids. those monies go to help kids and programs that benefit kids aftercare, things like that, so that everybody has a part to play in rescue. There are some who are doing it on the frontlines as part of a rescue team. There are others who are doing as part of aftercare. There are others who are who are looking out for their neighbors going, man, I need to just add value to this kid who’s right up beside me because in the US, the number one traffic kid is out of the foster care system. It’s kids who are looking for love and acceptance, and they’re getting it from all these other voices. So be a safe person, be a mentor, go go volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, invest in your kids have a safe conversation where that be a safe place where they can come in and talk but to get involved and rescue people out of trafficking. There’s a lot of different ways you can jump in and be a part of us without maybe having to go overseas if if that maybe not work for you.
Jerimiah Alexander 29:10
Well, and I just think like you said, there’s that death by committee or feeling of not good enough. Or like, man, I could never do that. So I just want to keep talking about ways that people can contact you guys.
Tom Cochran 29:26
Jerimiah Alexander 29:26
to maybe you want to do Africa who knows? Maybe there’s someone guaranteed someone’s gonna listen and be like, you know what they’re not doing? Is this this? I can do this for those guys. So like, how’s what’s a good way to like to get with you guys?
Tom Cochran 29:41
Yeah, so the easiest way by far is to go onto our website, Destinyrescue.org, okay, and there’s a tab on our website that says get involved. Click that tab and it will give you the opportunity to give you some ways that you can just plug right in and you can jump in or if you don’t see that or you say hey, I don’t see that aftercare position or that rescue agent position, or whatever it is that you may say, they’re missing this, and man, I can really fill that gap. Yeah, reach out because myself or one of my team, or my wife, who is our Director of advocacy, who works with people all over the US, someone from our team will reach out to you and have a conversation, to get to hear your heart to hear what’s going on. And to have that informed discussion about what you could do where you’re at.
Jerimiah Alexander 30:28
And let me It’s terrible, right. But not all organizations are nonprofit or non for profit. And, and that’s problematic and puts a bad taste in people’s mouth sometime. What like, how do people know and and what I like about you? And what you’ve said to me before? It’s like, we just want to do it. If this group doesn’t that group does it like, Yay, that’s a win. We’re just want to go in with exactly. So but how do people know? Like, what are some things that I can look forward to know that I’m putting my time and resources to a place best use?
Tom Cochran 31:04
Yeah, so you can look at our social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you can see almost on a weekly basis, almost on a daily basis, the reports of rescue, and you can read stories, there’s documentaries that you can watch online on our website that show our operations that help you see it, if you
Jerimiah Alexander 31:24
want to cry. That’s, that’s the avenue to that. So I have watched those. Yeah. And I was like, I kind of wish I hadn’t seen these. But I’m glad I thought
Tom Cochran 31:34
there’s some that you celebrate, but there is one that literally rips my guts out. Now there’s Yeah, yeah. And all of our financials are on our website. Okay, so you can see exactly where all the money’s going. So, I mean, those are the questions that I ask of any organization that I’m going to write behind is what do you do with your finances? Because what do you do with your finances? tells me what your vision is?
Jerimiah Alexander 31:57
Well, it says my hardest.
Tom Cochran 31:58
Yeah, for sure. And then I want to see the effectiveness, I want to hear the story. And I want to know what what my investment is helping with, I want to know what my time is helping with, and we’re really clear and open about all of those, right?
Jerimiah Alexander 32:12
Well, I mean, cuz $1,000 can be used a lot of different ways. And, and we want the people that we, you know, and insert a cyber help, or whatever, whatever your help is. Efficient, efficient to help is good. Right? So and it sounds like you guys have a history, which is good. So, so people can get online, really, on any platform, it sounds like that you choose, and they can see what you’re doing on a daily basis. Absolutely. And I I’ve been there so I can see there’s comments, you can see the comments that people make. Yep. And so that’s a good way for people that want to help. Yeah, but aren’t sure of an organization that that’s, that’s the homework.
Tom Cochran 32:50
Yeah, suggest, yeah, that’s the homework and the you know, one of the easiest ways to get involved is to start sharing, start sharing that content. So anything that we put out on social media, you can share, there’s media kits on our website, that you can even grab stuff to share. So as a business, if you want to promote or as an individual, if you want to advocate for us, you know, whatever that looks like, we want to help you be able to do that and know that we’re trusted, but to also know that you have a part. It’s not. It’s not you helping us rescue, it’s us riding together,
Jerimiah Alexander 33:21
right? When we shot a video a while back of me not using hearing protection, right, just a stupid mistake that I made. But we made a funny video out of it. And it was like 4000 views in like a week. I was like, that’s dumb. Why is that funny? That’s not funny. But Wow. Right? And what a reach for for a gray haired dude that just forgot to put on hearing protection. So point is, man, you really don’t know the butterfly, the ripple effect, right? That just sharing posts on social media so really want to drive home? Like, there’s probably not anything too little to do. Right? And, you know, get in the habit of doing really little bitty things if that’s if that’s how it works, cuz i do that i bought, you know, a little treat for myself at the store today. I definitely didn’t need that I just something I wanted, right? You know, on there four bucks just disappeared. I won’t remember a week where that money went? Yeah. Right. So there’s, there’s, there’s a whole lot of ways to do that. And so it sounds like because now the you know, the last thing is like Alright, so is this some endless fight against you know, a perverted portion of humanity. It may be yes. And you said what sounds like the best thing in the world to me to do which is like, make sure your kids know it’s a safe place. And then they’ll let their friends maybe who don’t have a safe place know that you can come to our home. If you’re having a problem, and you want to talk, and let that ripple because then they’ll do that. And our kids will do that. And their and their kids will do that. But like, over where you’re talking about, like, what a daunting task to to change your culture. I mean, is that right? Is that too
Tom Cochran 35:15
far it is a big task. But I can tell you this without telling you the country, one of the countries that we are rescue in, we started out doing covert only. And we were we’re as we’re doing covert, we’re just scratching the surface, we start doing raids. And all of a sudden, we noticed that the this bar down here that we used to rescue in closed, then all of a sudden, this bar over here down the street closed. And then this bar, there’s a particular area where over half of the bars that used to sell kids are no longer open. And that was a concerted effort. Like we’re not the only folks there. We are working in conjunction with the international police the Trafficking Task Force there. And because of a concerted effort everybody’s driving home, you’re we’re able to see the almost immediate impact of what consistent rescue looks like. And you know, you were saying that do little things over time and it builds up it snowballs, that happens how you change culture that happens how you rescue, I do seriously believe that our our our generation is talking more about this now than we ever have before. We’re more aware of what happens. I mean, just you read the news. Yesterday, there was a raid where kids were rescued in California, you know, so it’s happening over and over and over again. And I truly believe that we can end this in our lifetime. I don’t think that it’s an impossible reach. I think that it is a dream worth pursuing. And I believe that I mean, in the driving force for us as an organization is that every kid should have a safe bed.
Jerimiah Alexander 37:01
I like that. So a good positive attitude obviously is is key. Yeah. And Lord knows how you keep that so well. Good on Yes.
Tom Cochran 37:11
What we keep it because we see so many so much
Jerimiah Alexander 37:13
success. Right? Right.
Tom Cochran 37:14
So so a young lady named Sonia, who was being trafficked. She was in her 20s, early 20s. After a year of where our team first met her she comes in says, Hey, I need to apply for a job. Can you guys help me? We said Yeah. Or what are you going to do? And she goes, I want to apply to be a law enforcement officer. Nice. She’s a cop now patrolling the border that she was wanting to be almost traffic over. Yes. Others are saying, hey, I want to go be social workers. I want to one young lady in Thailand said I’m going to open up a hair salon. It’s my wife and I actually got to see it firsthand. And she shows us she turns around so proud shows us three empty chairs, and three empty stalls. And she’s like, you know what those are for? And I said know what she goes. Those are for my sisters who have yet to be rescued. Oh, awesome. So we’re seeing so many hope filled stories and lives transformed, that we’re going if we can do it, if that can happen for her that can that’ll happen for the next girl that we the next Sonia, the rescue the next young boy that we are able to rescue because oh, man, you get me fired up talking about that. That’s so that’s what drives our hope. And then the reality of knowing that there’s, there’s still more, yeah, there’s a video that we show that’s on our website called Red Shoes, I would encourage everyone to watch it. Our founder still has the picture on his phone. I was I got when I first met Tony, two years ago, he still had that picture on his phone. It’s a picture of two red shoes that had been kicked outside of a door of a an area, a hallway that he knew what was happening behind the doors. And he couldn’t rescue that girl. But he was able to walk upstairs and get another young lady to jump on the back of his moped and take off. Yeah. And he still remembers that this little girl is still there to be rescued. Right?
Jerimiah Alexander 38:58
I remember you saying that. And I did watch that. And that’s it’s very motivational. And and, man, I got what I hope to get, which was the passion that you guys have. And it can be fixed. It can because and again, I’m I mean, we’re seeing it through through, you know, my experiences and my life because that’s all that I have. And so I’m like what a daunting task and I know that you have a plan. And I know that you’re seeing things go good. So I’m grateful that we were able to, to push that. That message of hope that this is going forward and getting bigger and bigger. We’re not it’s not it. We’re not it’s not two steps forward one step back round, right. We’re really getting at it. So, man, I love that idea. Is there I mean like is there anything else I’m going to fire off some fun questions to end on the hi Happy, happy note and we’re headed that way so but anything else that you would like people to know about?
Tom Cochran 39:59
There’s nothing thing that that’s too small for somebody to do to get involved to change life. So what you have in front of you to do is to figure out what has been given what you have in your hands. And to use that to change somebody’s world, you can be a rescue partner for any dollar amount, you can go be a part of a team, or you can invest yourself in your local community and mentor, but it’s everybody’s responsibility to do something. And you know, I’m thankful for you guys for right on and for the opportunity to share. You guys you’re using your platform to help bring rescue you guys, we’re here at fire and made fire a successful show. And people came because you guys were here. And the out of that kids are going to be set free and rescued. So you guys are using influence and you guys are, are helping people hear the word. So thank you guys so much for using that because kids will be free. And we’ll be transformed to live into their destiny because of you guys. Right? And man,
Jerimiah Alexander 40:58
I encourage you guys to get on and look at those those videos because they’re a powerful. Yeah. And it’s a powerful private message. So you can just like at your own pace and in your and then you can be like, let me think about this. Let me process what I just saw. And so yeah, it’s, it’s super powerful. And again, we’re here we’re having fun, you know, we’re shooting, we’re talking to people, a bunch of other people are doing the same thing that don’t even know that they helped to make this thing go forward. So like, pass this along, get that word out. I think social media has been such an amazing, powerful way to get the word out that I mean, one single person is most definitely going to change the life of a whole lot of kids that need Absolutely. So I like that let’s so as we, as we kind of close up a little bit, we have this rapid fire questions. It’s kind of like, just the first thing that comes to your mind aren’t right or wrong answers. So let me I’m gonna I’ll have to read them here. But again, the idea is literally this whatever is the first thing that pops into your head. Yeah. All right. So if you had a superpower, what would it be
Tom Cochran 42:05
Jerimiah Alexander 42:06
laser vision and why laser vision.
Tom Cochran 42:08
I just liked the idea of being able to like burn things like burn through things with your eyes or being able to blow stuff up just because you look at it pretty intensely. So
Jerimiah Alexander 42:17
well. How accurate would you be? 100%? The high accuracy?
Tom Cochran 42:22
I mean, I would hope that I would be
Jerimiah Alexander 42:25
Oh, okay, so if you could have a beer with one person alive or dead? Who would it be? Alright,
Tom Cochran 42:31
so there’s a lot of people but I would have to say one of my favorites is AWS Guinness. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah, though. So if you haven’t read the story of AWS Guinness, and how he started the Guinness beer company, I would recommend you go. But I would love to hear that story and what motivated him because he transformed an entire community. Just by his beer.
Jerimiah Alexander 42:50
that’s a that’s a fun story and have a beer with him as kind of, I see what you did there.
Unknown Speaker 42:55
Jerimiah Alexander 42:56
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why pizza? I think that’s partly why.
Tom Cochran 43:03
So I like I love Italian food. But I so I would probably eat like lasagna the rest of my life. Yeah.
Jerimiah Alexander 43:10
My actual favorite food. Yeah.
Tom Cochran 43:11
Okay. See, I knew I liked you, man. Yeah,
Jerimiah Alexander 43:14
no, honestly, we hit it off at tactical games. And then, you know, life happens when you get busy. Yeah. And I’m, I’m disappointed myself. I haven’t done more at this point. But I’m glad that we’re back on top.
Tom Cochran 43:28
I mean, it’s a small world, and we tend to run in some of the same circles. So it’s cool to just yeah. Reconnect.
Jerimiah Alexander 43:33
What would the title of your biography be?
Tom Cochran 43:37
This stupid crap. Tom said.
Jerimiah Alexander 43:41
Like, we should ask your wife what the biography would be alright, so
Tom Cochran 43:45
so my wife is in the background. Sarah, what would my biography be?
Unknown Speaker 43:51
Okay, right on.
Jerimiah Alexander 43:53
Yeah, you’re right on target that you did there. I would like to point out for your sake, also that I asked you to tell me something about yourself and use the first words out of your mouth, if I remember right where my wife is. I was like,
Tom Cochran 44:09
I am not dumb. I figured out key to life.
Jerimiah Alexander 44:14
All right. Hey, thanks so much for coming on. You guys are awesome. You’re doing cool things. Thanks. And yeah, check them out on social media guys. Share this. You know if nothing else, just share this. Get it out. Let people hear and and see what happens. Yeah. All right. Thanks. Awesome. Thank
Tom Cochran 44:29
you guys so much. Yep.
Unknown Speaker 44:35
Thank you for listening to the right on podcast. Please like, subscribe and review. For more information on right on optics visit us at right on optics.com that’s r i t o n optics.com