Some veterans dedicate their retirement to other kinds of service — whether it be therapy or fighting for animal rights. Others, like 95-year-old Harvey Djerf, prefer the quiet. Neighbors surprised the World War II vet by placing chairs in their yards as pit stops on his daily walk.
“It’s kind of snowballed now. I’m up to 12 chairs now,” he said. “They must’ve seen that I was pausing and catching my breath and that’s when they probably took pity on me.”
On occasion, Djerf’s thoughtful neighbors also surprise him with lemonade and cookies. A resident of the Plymouth community for 66 years, Djerf seems to have scored gold with its kind inhabitants.
Because the humble hero dedicates most of his time to his wife in an elderly home, returning to the neighborhood brings him comfort. It may not be Beverly Hills, but I’d say Djerf is living the ideal American Dream.
Some war veterans choose to retire comfortably, whether in the city or the countryside. However, this is not the case for one special air force officer. Lt. Col. Faye Cuevas, who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa has returned to her latter post to assist in the conservation of African elephants.
The number of Africa’s savannah elephants had dropped to about 350,000 by 2014 because of poaching, according to a recent study.
“At the current rate of elephant decline, my 6-year-old daughter won’t have an opportunity to see an elephant in the wild before she’s old enough to vote,”
“Which just is unacceptable to me, because if that is the case then we have nothing to blame that on but human apathy and greed.”
Elephant ivory, which has virtually no medicinal value, is popularly sold in China as a means of alternative healing.
Together with the U.S.-based International Fund for Animal Welfare, Cuevas introduced a smartphone-based software app (tenBoma) that allows rangers and field investigators to enter and share information immediately.
tenBoma has revolutionized wildlife security, among other conservation strategies. Poaching is a worldwide battle that has not yet been won–but with the help of people like Cuevas, victory is closer than ever.