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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayen Makoor is chasing his dream in aviation after relocating to Jacksonville in 2001 as one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan."

Nearly 150 young men from Sudanduring that country's second civil war were placed in Jacksonville, as a total of several thousand were relocated to the United States.

Makoor, 32, now lives in Atlanta with his wife and five month old son, Guot. He now works for Delta as a mechanic, realizing his dream of being in aviation and having a pilot's license.

"I remember when Sudan was one country," said Makoor during a recent visit to Jacksonville, where he attended community college and earned an associate's degree in aviation.

"All I remember is the genocide and all of that, you have to run for life, my littlefeet taking me across the country to Ethiopia, coming to Kenya, so I walked a thousand miles," said Makoor, who said he was robbed of childhood starting at age eight.

Makoor says this country has been so good to him as he is closing in on earning a master's degree.

"You cannot pay back the opportunities given to you. If you do good yourself, go to school, that is the biggest thank you to America that you can do," said Makoor.

Makoor is also helping his native country, Sudan, by setting up a foundation, www.nyarwengfoundation.org, to help families and children who still struggle for the basics.