Lost Boys of Sudan reunited at Fort Lee - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Lost Boys of Sudan reunited at Fort Lee

FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) -

The pain of war often never goes away, but every once in a while a story emerges that allows you to find hope amidst that pain.

For the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, it is rare to find those stories of hope, but we found one at nearby Fort Lee.

A tale like this one takes some time to tell.

"It is going to be a long, long story," warned U.S. Army Capt. Gabriel Deng.  

Deng met Mamer Peter Magot met at the height of the Sudanese civil war in 1987. Two nine year old boys ripped from their homeland to the safety of a refugee camp in Ethopia.

"From that moment we begin to establish a relationship because all these boys came from the poor region of South Sudan," said Deng.

They went to school and played soccer together. They established a bond so strong, they called each other brother.

But five years later, the two returned to South Sudan and then went in dramatically different directions.    

Magot joined the military in Sudan. Deng escaped to Egypt and eventually the United States.

"When you don't see that person for a long time you automatically assume that he is dead," said Deng. "There was no telecommunication in the area."

Fast forward to 2014- Deng is now a Captain in the U.S. Army and enrolled in a logistics career course at Fort Lee. He recently checked the roster of a training group coming from the post from Sudan to take the class.

He couldn't believe what he saw.

"When I saw his name I thought.. I think I know the name but could it be him or somebody else?"

His brother Magot was coming to America- to the same post- and more importantly he was alive.

"I was here waiting for him and I said 'oh you still alive?' He was like 'yeah'," Deng recalled.

It had been so long the two didn't even recognize each other at first.

"So I say.. ‘I can't believe that is you!'  He said ‘It is me!'," said Magot. "I said ‘It has been quite a long time.'"

It is a reunion two decades in the making.

"It is one of the happiest days in my life that day," said Magot.  

Hope found in the midst of awful tragedy.

Despite this joyful reunion the situation in Sudan is still incredibly unstable.  Part of what Magot is learning is how to establish a professional military to help protect the country's citizens against rebel uprisings.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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