[VIDEO] Veterans Take On Dangerous Mission To Protect World’s Most Vulnerable

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Skill, passion and a purpose fuel these combat veterans

A big problem facing veterans today is lack of purpose.  They served their country with a drive and passion that they can’t find in civilian life.

A big problem facing the world today is protecting endangered species from ruthless poachers.

Now there is a program that enables skilled veterans find a purpose in protecting these endangered animals.

The program is VETPAW which stands for Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife.  This program utilizes U.S. veterans to train overwhelmed African rangers to track and subdue dangerous poachers who threaten their lives and African wildlife.

Check out the post below and be sure to watch the fascinating video of this selfless operation.

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Post 9/11 veterans using their skills to train anti-poaching rangers in Africa.
VIDEO – U.S. Veterans Help Rangers Fight Poachers in Africa

In the last decade, poachers have killed more than half of central Africa’s elephants.

Now, a group of US veterans is rallying to stop the illegal killing of animals on the continent.

Kinessa Johnson served as an Army mechanic in Afghanistan. A knee injury sent her back to civilian life early.

“I got out. I was really confused. I kind of became a nomad for a month,” she said…

…She moved to Western Washington, always searching for the sense of purpose she’d known in the military.

That’s when she met Marine Corps veteran Ryan Tate.

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Marine Corps veteran Ryan Tate, left, founded VETPAW and teamed up with Army medic Azad Ebrahimzadeh, right, to make it work.

“It’s time that we start using those skills and putting them back to work,” said Tate.

While traveling to Africa, Tate crossed into a new battlefield. Some estimate nearly 100 elephants are killed by poachers every day. A rhino horn is worth more than gold.

Tate believed he had the solution for two problems. He founded VETPAW – Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife – and teamed up with Army medic Azad Ebrahimzadeh to make it work…

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Tracking poachers is mostly done on the ground.

…Ebrahimzadeh and Tate knew that park rangers in Africa are overwhelmed by work, and yet American veterans often feel overwhelmed by the exact opposite.

“They were a part of something bigger. They felt like they were contributing to something, that they were making a difference,” said Ebrahimzadeh

Post 9-11 veterans are using their skills to train anti-poaching rangers, increasing efficiency and skill set…

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The group practices taking down potentially violent poachers

…The group made its first trip to Tanzania earlier this year…

…Since their work focuses in an area where families have a tough time feeding their children, VETPAW is also several efforts to improve daily live in Tanzania.

They support local orphanages and are planning to start an agricultural program linking veterans with PTSD with local farmers.

See MORE awesome pictures of VETPAWS veterans in action on the next page!

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