While my Jimmy and I discuss his past focusing on his time in the bush with Kony’s rebels some stories that I know are quite hard for him to tell, just completely take my breath away. I have no words for some of things my poor husband had to see at such a young age. He tells me these stories, not with tears in his eyes or anger in his voice but with sadness. Sadness knowing that event though he is now free and happy with his life he never forgets the many friends he had to leave behind that never got the opportunity to go home.
There’s one story in particular that occurred in the beginning of his abduction that has always stayed with me. Jimmy and his group were looking for a place to stay for the night. The group that was with him that night consisted of about 60 new young abductees. While the kids were walking through the bush they found a clearing that they decide to take a rest in and soak up the sun. They all laid back and relaxed, for a moment forgetting they were ever abducted, dreaming about home. Soon a government helicopter starts to make its way over in the distance. Jimmy, knowing at this time that even if they’re children and were abducted the government soldiers will do nothing but kill them on sight. Jimmy was quick and took cover under a large tree. Suddenly flying out of the helicopter were bombs and the kids scrambled to take cover anywhere they could. Bushes are being blasted to dust and the trees are now completely destroyed all around them.
Roughly 20 minutes pass before the helicopter takes off and Jimmy is able to come out, with his ears ringing all he sees is a blood bath. These young boys who he was just with, just talking to, are all dead. There were a few of course that were still breathing… Most of them now missing a limb or two. One in particular that Jimmy remembers had the bottom half of his body blown up. This poor child couldn’t move, all he could do was scream in agony, begging for his mom, begging to be home.
There aren’t any hospitals around, and the soldiers are going to come back very soon to finish off the rest of the survivors. All they can do now is pick up those that can move and have chance and leave the others. They walk off towards safety deep into the bush, all while still hearing the screams.
I hear these stories from him and I’m still in disbelief at how lucky we are. How lucky he is to have gotten out alive and well. How lucky we are to have found each other. But my mind sometimes goes back to that boy in that field on that day… How he was all alone, so afraid, in so much pain… just begging to go home.