A Note from the Author
SOLDIER BOY started with a brief email. In March 2012, my cousin John wrote that he wanted to introduce me to a friend he’d met while working with non-profit organizations in Africa. The man’s name was Ricky Richard Anywar and he ran an NPO in Northern Uganda called Friends of Orphans. At age fourteen, Ricky had been abducted by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army and spent two-and-a-half years as a child soldier in Northern Uganda. Thirteen years after his escape from the LRA, Ricky wished to share his story. After a brief email introduction, Ricky and I scheduled our first Skype chat. Five minutes into our conversation, I knew I wanted to help Ricky tell his story.
Three months after that first conversation, Ricky visited with my family for a week. He spoke of his time in the LRA, and we discussed our vision for the book that would eventually become SOLDIER BOY.
Ricky and I have corresponded regularly through emails, Skype, and Facebook Messenger for the past four-and-a-half years. It has been my goal since our first Skype conversation to represent Ricky’s story with accuracy, authenticity, and respect. I am so excited to share SOLDIER BOY with you and hope you will be as inspired by Ricky and his story as I have been.