War Army Veterans

PTSD war veterans from the US are using their combat skills to protect the Rhino in Limpopo from poaching and are healing themselves in the process!


US Army Veterans are finding peace in protecting South African Rhinos from poaching. The US spends millions of dollars on training its soldiers in combat skills and when they get home from the war there isn’t much for them to do. Most veterans come back to face a high unemployment rate and often suffer from some form of PTSD or mental illness.

One man, Ryan Tate, saw the need to give army veterans a fresh start and a massive need to protect the dwindling number of Rhino in South Africa.

“Everyone gets PTSD when they come back from war … you are never going to get the brotherhood, the intensity again … [There are] all these veterans with billions of dollars of training and the government doesn’t use them. I saw a need in two places and just put them together,” says Tate.

“After what I’ve done, I couldn’t just go and do a nine to five. I’ve never had nightmares or flashbacks or anything … [but] after years of doing what I’ve done, this is good for the soul,” says Kevin, the former Green Beret. “It’s in a good cause and you get to watch the African sunset.”

Many do not agree with this method but Ryan Tate has set up a number of teams that protect over 200,000 hectares of land in Limpopo. Not only does their presence protect Rhino but it also discourages violent break-ins on farms within these area’s thus curbing the number of farm murders simultaneously.

Ryan founded Vetpaw which is a US based non-profit that fully funds the vets being in South Africa. The teams also train local game rangers and security forces with skills needed in the fight against poaching.

One could say they are now fighting a war on poaching! In 2007 only 13 Rhino were poached, two years later it was 1200! Since 2015 the number of Rhino killed has been on a slow decline.

The scale of the challenge to protect South Africa’s rhinos is clear to everyone, which is why so many different people are taking up the important cause and we shall cheer them all on!

Sources: The Guardian 
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

1 comment

  1. Good news – they need to protect our Rhino on a National basis. KZN and Eastern Cape. Our rhino are being targeted everywhere. Problem is they may come up against some of our officials!

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