HURLOCK, Md. - Image after image, director Martin Jones shows WMDT pictures from his trip to Nigeria to film his documentary about a former child soldier.
A journey he calls successful for more reasons than one.
"We actually found his brother and his brother was alive," said Jones.
The documentary began as an idea back in September when Jones and several others heard Charles Wratto speak about his experience as a child soldier. According to the United Nations Children's Fund, better known as UNICEF, an estimated 300,000 children under 18 are involved in conflicts worldwide. The children are used as combatants and messengers during war, says UNICEF, with some abducted or forcibly recruited.
Charles Wratto was one of them.
"We hear so many things about the violence. We hear about the gangs. We hear about the child soldiering, but they're basically just like us," said Jones.
Jones says Wratto lost contact with his family when the war ended, before this recent trip where he came across one surviving family member.
Jones calls it "blind luck."
With this, Jones says, the documentary changed. What once was the story of Wratto's struggles now goes beyond the Liberian born man.
"Charles and I, we visited probably four or five different schools to talk to the students about the dangers and the horrors of war," said Jones. "These children are the future of tomorrow and when you put guns in their hands and send them off to fight, the war will eventually end and then they are left with nowhere to go."
This was the second trip for the team. Back in February, producer Jordan Johnson flew out to Liberia.
Jones says he plans to return back there later this year to fulfill a promise to his friend to reunite him with his family.