in other words, what events changed or altered his life
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One day Ishmael, his older brother, Junior, and some friends make an overnight trip to another town. While there, they learn that the war had come to their village. They try to make in home to find their family but it becomes obvious that it won’t be possible.
He and his brother and friends keep traveling, for months, looking for refuge. During a rebel attack at one of their stops, Ishmael and Junior are separated and never see one another again. Ishmael and his friends spend months moving from village to village until they think they have found safety in a village with a large army detachment.
It is here that Ishmael’s second battle begins, his time as a child soldier. The army suffers serious losses and the men in the village are given a choice, to join the army or take their chances with the rebels. The rebels represent near certain death so Ishmael, now 13 years old, and his friends become soldiers. For two years, fueled on war movies, cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamines, Ishmael fights the rebels, even becoming a junior lieutenant, leading a squad of other child soldiers. He becomes a cold killer, capable of cutting a man’s throat with no emotion.
After two years, Ishmael’s third battle begins, rehabilitation. One day men from UNICEF arrive at camp and Ishmael is selected to leave with them. He doesn’t realize it at the time but his war is over and he is sent to a rehabilitation camp in Freetown. After many months he released to an uncle and begins a period of assimilation back into society. His troubles are not over though there are happy times.