The 12 year-old was conscripted to fight a losing-war between Nigeria and the new state of Biafra. He was taken alongside his uncle on their way to harvest fruits in the rural parts of the Igbo heartlands, much against their will. It was determined as a desperate attempt of the nearly vanquished army in the uneven sided war of genocide waged against the much hated ethnic group. At that point in time, men and boys of almost any age were taken to combat to stave the impending defeat by the well trained and equipped assailants who used all at their disposal including: hunger starvation (total malnutrition and abject poverty) to achieve their end.
After more than a year in the ill prepared role of a soldier; without a gun, the child- soldier was picked unconscious from the rubble of a bombed out shelter at a college compound that served as a make-shift army barrack. He was bleeding profusely and his left leg was shattered and he was unresponsive at the scene. His uncle who had tried to protect and keep him alive was also severely injured.
However, both recovered, though with visible external and internal wounds.
They shared the same hospital for wounded soldiers when the war ended; with the routing of the ill-equipped army that was fighting only for survival (with no meaningful arms, ammunition or military organisation)
The intervention of the international Red Cross and the religious charities protected and sustained the wounded service men and all the ethnic population who symbolically considered all as wounded too.
The end of the war saw the then 13-year old back at his secondary school.
As his physical, emotional and psychological being was put together he continued his studies even to the highest level of academic and professional achievement.
The novel ends with the former child-soldier receiving his accreditation and taking his Hippocratic Oath to practice medicine: ("to care and save not kill".)