“Wheels Up; Rings Off”: But How Old Were Those Women?

Eleven Secret Service agents and 10 military personnel are under investigation for having as many as 20 sex workers in hotel rooms before President Obama’s arrival in Colombia. It’s alleged that this isn’t unusual conduct for some members of the Secret Service whose private travel motto is “Wheels Up; Rings Off.” Read between the lines and ache at the complete absence of integrity in the officials whose spines are supposed to be strong as steel so they can sacrifice themselves for our political leader. Apparently, their character is not so solid.

As news of this Secret Service sex scandal breaks, my daughter’s bags are packed to go fight sex-trafficking in India. The village where she will be working initiates girls into prostitution on their twelfth birthday. This has been most sobering to me. As a result, the picture I’m getting of this breaking sex scandal might be different from yours. It’s all right and good that we should consider if the actions of these—do I have to use the word “men”—were a risk to our President. But what about the twenty women? And were they even women at all?

In Colombia, prostitution  is legal for fourteen year olds. That’s young, right? But one report of prostitution in the country revealed that prostitution begins at a very young age—usually before adolescence. (America is not exempt from this incomprehensible evil. The photo in this blog is pulled from a PSA created by Truckers Against Trafficking.) It is estimated that there are 35,000 child prostitutes in Colombia. They were probably not woman at all in those hotel rooms. They were probably teenage girls. And it’s most likely that those girls experienced significant childhood abuse of some type, and were forced into prostitution. Fifty to ninety percent of prostitutes report childhood sexual abuse. Seventy percent say that the abuse had an influence into their entry into prostitution.

I imagine a lot of people reading the Washington Post today cringed at the infidelity, and pictured adult women committing the act of adultery with these married individuals. But the fact is that it’s highly likely that these employees of the government—I just can’t get myself to use the word “men” for them—were paying to have sex with teenage girls who are so broken by a past filled with trauma that they’ll gladly mop up a man’s sexual greed for a few bucks. In the United States, we call that statutory rape. The penalty in Virginia, where I imagine some of the alleged participants may live, is five years to life in prison. As it should be. Should we be less concerned because the victims did not have an address a few miles from our capital?

I want to know how old those “women” were.

If you think that’s valid, let’s make a little noise. What good is all this social media at our fingertips? (I’m pretty sure its best use is not to broadcast the mundane facts of our life: “Lie To Me marathon.” “Ack! Too many ideas in my brain!” “Elmo is my favorite.” These were a few I just read on my newsfeed.) I think that the highway of information created by Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is best used when we are socially responsible. Now is a great time to prove it.

  • Pin the Truckers Against Trafficking PSA graphic above, and raise awareness.
  • Post a link to this blog, and ruffle some feathers than need ruffling.
  • Tweet your own outcry, demanding that the investigation address the safety of the VICTIMS as well as our President.

But don’t be silent. Our service men should be the kind that knock down the doors of brothels to protect victims of the sex trafficking industry; they should not be knocking on them.





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  • This is really sad and breaks my heart the these men are leading our country. We need to go back to what this country was founded on The Bible. ONE NATION UNDER GOD. If men can’t be faithful to there family how can they be faithful to people they don’t even know??

  • Great article. Is it possible that you meant ‘likely’ in the sentence ‘But the fact is that ti’s highly LIKELY that these employees of the gov’t……were paying to have sex with teenage girls……’

  • Interesting…but you’re right. Just how old were they? This has been on my mind lately ever since I heard Matt Redman and LZ7’s song bringing awareness to human trafficking. I just never realized just how big the problem was…and here we have “men” that are called to uphold certain standards and integrity. To think they might have been with girls that were being forced into this is just sickening.

    Here’s the song if you are interested….

  • Very well written. It is sad but true. I have 3 teen girls myself and can hardly imagine the horror of them being forced to do these kids of things with “men” who care about nothing more than filling some kind of masculine need that should only be filled by the ones who gave them the “rings” they took off. Maybe they should all be forced to watch “Courageous” and see if any of them would have the courage to stand up and be counted!

  • Thank you much for writing this.we need more people to stand up against this injustice! You may be able to start a petition to find out the ages of those poor girls at change.org.

  • @Karen Santos
    “One nation under God” wasn’t added until 1954. Just so you know the next time you decide to go on an uniformed rant. As much as I agree with you that what these men did was horrible, this country was founded on freedom of religion- not the Bible. Sorry to burst your happy little ignorant Christian bubble.

  • Since when do the Secret Service lead the country? Their actions are reprehensible, but not because they are “leaders”.

  • What is ths world coming to??? This country needs to pray but also get involved, our prayers are not enough!!!

  • This whole thing is disgusting. It’s going on in America on the Streets. I think we all agree to that. But voicing all of this on here does no good. The only way things will change is we have to hit the streets and take back government. If anyone thinks voting is going to change anything wake up. This is corporate America and the puppets do what CORPORATIONS want them to do. Remember Vietnam when we hit the streets the war ended.

  • I am appalled at the MALE’S! (definitely do not deserve to be called men) If even one of those women were under age they need to be held accountable! How many of those males are married and or have kids, not to mention daughters, the same age or younger as who they chose to have sex with!? The fact they are to be doing a pertinent job and representing the U.S. This is extremely disturbing and embarrassing!!! They need to be brought out to us, the tax payers, who pay for there secret service job, snow ball effecting to the funds they utilize for their prostitutes!!!
    How old are those girls? Who are all the male’s (name and picture)?

  • @Anonymous #11
    While you are correct about “one nation under god” not being added until 1954, you are incorrect about what this nation is based on. Our nation is formed and based on the Bible. I’m sorry, Someone must have hurt you in the past for you to go off on Karen the way you did. Remember that Christians are people too, and that eventually you will get hurt by a person. While I think you owe Karen an apology for the way you addressed her in the last sentence, I’m going to pray that God speaks to you his love and divine plan for your life. So Anonymous #11, may you be delivered from whatever anger/wall you have put around yourself, in Jesus Name, Amen.

  • @Jrae
    Actually you are incorrect aswell. The foundation of this nation is more aptly articualated in J.S. Mills harms principle, as well as more classical philosophical ideas. The French liberals were especially influential. Ben Franklin was in love with the sublime poetry which encapsulated their writings. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

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