Topic: "Goin' Home" (3)
Beer Ayuel, originally from southern Sudan, was displaced by war, but somehow won a scholarship to study in Cairo. He learned four languages, and resettled in the United States in 1999. Atlanta, Georgia, was fortunate to receive this new resident. Through his church he would become a mentor for a group of young men you may have heard about, dear reader, "The Lost Boys of Sudan." These children, separated from parents during the chaos of War in the Sudan, survived months of wandering and came of age in dismal refugee camps. In 2001, when the first group was brought to America, Beer was there to greet 150 even newer residents to his adopted home town.
There are many stories about these young men and how they adapted to a 21st Century environment, when all they had ever known was the Stone Age, with rifles. Few stories are told about those who worked directly with these young men, in the spirit, of the Spirit, if you will. Beer quickly became a special source of inspiration to the "Lost Boys," since he, too, had survived war, and was willing to give selflessly to these who followed him into a New World.
Six months ago, Beer Ayuel traveled back to Cairo to wed his fiancee, Ms. Amiot Kur, but only after he had achieved American citizenship. The new bride remained in Cairo, waiting for a visa, while her husband returned to America. Beer had great difficulty finding employment suitable for his new responsibilities in Georgia. The best alternative he found was to work as an Arabic translator for L-3 Communications, a New York based company that provides translators and other services in Iraq.
This past Tuesday, after 17 days in Iraq, while assigned to assist soldiers of the Third Infantry Division in restive central Iraq, Beer Ayuel was killed in a suicide bombing. His brother-in-law, who lives in Nebraska, is arranging for Ayuel's remains to be flown to Atlanta where he will buried.
Frodo is cleaning the lint off of his dark suit. He will be one of at least 151 "Lost Boys" there to send Beer Ayuel home. Perhaps Frodo can learn enough Sudanese to simply say "I am so sorry."
This death will not be included in the nightly number. It will be as if he never happened at all. Had he merely failed to survive the first war from which he escaped, it would have made little difference to most. But not to all. That is what Frodo keeps telling himself, through his tears.