She’s an Army combat veteran who served four years in the military as a weapons instructor and mechanic, a stint that included a tour in Afghanistan.
Now, Kinessa Johnson has taken on a new fight for a cause she passionately supports — combating poachers in East Africa who kill protected wildlife.
Johnson — whose striking photos showing her handling formidable weapons are circulated widely on the web — joined a group called VETPAW, Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife.
According to a report by a Seattle TV station not far from Johnson’s hometown of Yelm, Wash., “VETPAW is a nonprofit organization that works to help end the African wildlife poaching crisis by utilizing the skills of U.S. veterans to train park rangers and support their communities.”
In an interview with the station, Johnson said that, despite her military training and her depiction as a gun-toting war-fighter, the mission of VETPAW is not to hurt anyone, but to help those trying to stop the poachers.
The VETPAW website notes that “nearly 100 elephants are slaughtered every day for their tusks. Without action, this iconic species, and others, will be gone from the wild within a decade.”
Says Johnson of her work protecting elephants and other endangered animals: “Our intention is not to harm anyone; we’re here to train park rangers so they can track and detain poachers and ultimately prevent poaching.”
An article on Johnson’s Africa mission by Liberty Cannon Media notes that Johnson is the only female currently deployed on the VETPAW team.
While some are making her out to be some hardcore war mongering death dealer, when you talk to her about her mission it’s a totally different story.
Behind that heavily tattoo’d bad-girl exterior is a heart made of gold and a sincere love and passion for her team, her job and the animals she is protecting.
If you’re interested in Kinessa Johnson’s work with VETPAW, you can follow her mission in East Africa through her regular posts on her Facebook page.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom