Uncle Tommy is Ishmael's father's brother. He is a carpenter in Freetown who struggles to raise his children and the children of relatives who can't care for them. He is a kind and gregarious man who loves to laugh and to help others.
When Uncle Tommy learns of Ishmael's fate in the rehabilitation center, he comes immediately to see him. He offers Ishmael a home and embraces him. He continues to visit every weekend, taking Ishmael for walks and telling him stories of his own childhood with Ishmael's father. When Ishmael is ready to leave the center, Uncle Tommy takes him in and treats him like a son. Uncle Tommy is significant in Ishmael's life because his love provides Ishmael a home for his future. When other boys at the center are denied by their families, they often return to soldiering and their army families.