Boredom Has A Price

It is Saturday and the Syrian missile strike is winding down in the media….the “Big Bang” in Afghanistan is still newsworthy (for now)……of course there is North Korea which is , well, North Korea……now they are ramping up for the mid-terms in 2018….beginning with the special elections to replace all those unfortunates that joined the Trump admin from the Congress.

So keeping with my tradition I will post on anything other than what the media is fixating on……

My early years were full of indecision and confusion and a loss of direction…like most young adults……after 2 and half years in Vietnam I was released from the Army and turned lose on society…..unfortunately my job in the Army had NO civilian equivalent.

Life in America after Vietnam was a boring mess…..I drifted from job to job and all the while I was missing the adrenaline high from my days in combat…American society in the 1970’s was a boring mess after combat….most everything was pretentious and ego driven.  Nothing I did offered any challenge….I was bored out of my mind.

Finally I decided that if I could not find the high that I needed in American society I would do the next best thing……I considered joining the French Foreign Legion….believe it or not it still exist and still a place a person can go to outrun his past… questions asked.

I read this article about the unit is what made me think about my youthful decision…..

What comes to mind when you think of the French Foreign Legion? Most likely men struggling through the desert in heavy blue coats and white peaked caps. Men who joined up after a lifetime of crime, fighting valiantly, then leaving the Legion to become tough, faceless mercenaries trading on their background, or else dying in the mud of Dien Bien Phu as the last choppers leave for La Belle France.

The reality is different. In its first version, the Legion was seen as a rough mercenary force that guaranteed immunity from criminal prosecution, as well as a new life and French citizenship. In its second incarnation, the Legion became a sort of substitute family. Now in its third, the official image of the Legion is of an elite fighting force, to be compared with the British SAS or the US Navy Seals. Today, legionnaires are much more than a band of mere ‘expendables’.

Source: Why young men queue up to die in the French Foreign Legion | Aeon Essays

The answer your next question…NO!  I did not join the “Legion”…after much thought and agonizing days…I decided to return to college and get my degrees in International Relations and Conflict Management…..a wiser choice on my part.  This decision afforded me a chance to travel and out run the boredom.

Well that is a look into the life of chuq….time for me to shut down the keyboard and enjoy the weekend…..hopefully you will do the same… well, be safe……chuq


6 thoughts on “Boredom Has A Price

  1. You illustrate one of those likely very rare situations where combat vets have indeed managed to at least pigeon-hole their lingering combat emotions enough to form a self-renaissance of sorts. I am sure it was not easy. Nonetheless, sounds like it turned out great for you in many ways. Would like to learn more about your career and how you used those degrees.

    Since their Indo-China adventures and the reduction in influence in any remaining colonial Africa.. I was not aware that there was a lot of “empire” left for the French, or need for the FFL. I do know there was some French military involvement as peacekeepers in Char and thereabouts. Interesting.

    1. OOpps.. meant Chad there. That’s what happens when you misplace your glasses and have lacked the discipline to memorize the keyboard for the last 50 years.

    2. The Legion is now there “elite” troops….but it is still a place for those adventurous souls….

      The degrees did me little good as far as a job….think tanks are BS….so I went to work for the “government”..LOL chuq

  2. I think you did well to avoid the impulse to join the FFL. Back then, discipline was brutal, and the training camps were more like prison camps. I used to work with someone who was a legion deserter. He hated the regime, and the harsh treatment. At the time, it restricted his travel, as he was still officially ‘wanted’ by the French for his crime of desertion. Postings to Chad and Benin are not much fun, I would presume.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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