Bragg soldier to reunite with parents thought killed in Sudan civil war
Posted January 13, 2015
Fayetteville, N.C. — Sgt. Peter Kuch is a proud member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. He's also one of the thousands of young men, known as the Lost Boys of Sudan, who were displaced or orphaned during the country’s long civil war.
Kuch was just 8 years old when rebels stormed into his home in 1987, ripping his family apart. It was the last time he saw his parents.
"I ran out in the middle of the night,” he recalled. “Two o’clock, somebody came in and storm into your house and do all kind of things, and you don’t even care. You just try to get out as much as you can.”
Kuch spent 10 years in a refugee camp. He eventually made it to the United States, became an American citizen and joined the Army. He thought his parents were dead, until he learned in 2003 that they were alive. He has since spoken with them by phone.
“They were like, ‘Is it really you? Why do you sound like this?’” Kuch said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been around so many people that are not from my area, from my sub-tribe.’”
Kuch is about to make the trip of a lifetime. He will board a plane Thursday and travel to Uganda to see his parents for the first time in 27 years.
"I am just going to go there and thank God, embrace each other that, after 27 years, at least I was able to see my parents again,” Kuch said.
He also hopes to see his brothers and sisters, some of whom are still living in refugee camps.
Kuch said his life now is very different from how he grew up.
"Now I’m thinking about actually my future and all these ambitions I have,” he said. “But what can I do at this time to give back to this great country that has opened windows for me – all these opportunities that I have.”