12 November 2008

Another Trad Magazine...

This magazine

came in this envelope

and later this letter came. I have no idea what it says...



But I did understand this article....I was alerted for Zaire when I was in the Army. These guys went instead of us. Good on them.

The Kepi Blanc in formation. I did consider a "contract" with the French Foreign Legion but the five year minimum enlistment turned me off. Still, a great place to learn French.

You can show off this watch at a bar...impress the girls...

Years ago I wound up having a conversation with an older veteran at the bar in Fraunces Tavern. He guessed I served based on my hair cut, watch and posture. I guessed he served based on his crew cut. He said he had been a Marine. But that wasn't quite true. I knew enough about the Marines to know he had never been one two drinks into our conversation. He knew he had been found out.
He was embarrassed and I can only think that was why he opened up four drinks into the conversation. He knew his stuff but he didn't know the US Armed Forces. I guessed he had been a mercenary and moved the conversation in that direction. No, he wasn't a mercenary. With great reluctance he admitted, six drinks into the conversation, that he had been in the French Foreign Legion. Blew. Me. Away.

The discussion level lowered while he expressed concern about losing his citizenship if the State Department ever found out and I wound up with an address for the magazine published by the Legion, "Kepi Blanc." It was a major pain getting the subscription but the first issue finally came. Leaving Kepi Blanc on the coffee table when company comes over is a helluva lot of fun. Adding that you just get the subscription, don't know who sends it and mumble something about the State Department is priceless. Ah, oui?

8 comments:

M.Lane said...

Trad, this is one of the coolest things I have read in months! What a magazine! I recently read "Legionnaire" by Simon Murray (former CEO of Hilton Hotels and of Deutsch Bank) about his service with the Legion. I highly recommend it. I probably would have died in boot camp. Or during one of the two annual festivals they put on.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The toughest LOOKING guy I ever saw in my life was a Legionnaire I followed up the street during a port visit in Marseilles back in the mid '80s. The white kepi and ramrod straight back were most impressive. Obviously a Senior NCO, he had facial scars and the whole bit. Like a Marine Sergeant Major with a knife fighting hobby.

Scott

W.Essex said...

Very cool Trad, thanks for posting. If the economy continues to crumble, I wonder if I could transfer my commission (circa 1997)?

heavy tweed jacket said...

Had absolutely no idea that this magazine even existed. Wow. I wonder if all Legionnaires look as cheerful as the fellow in the watch advert. His teeth are so, well, bright.

Anonymous said...

Aaahaa! Yooou're 10541. 'splains a lot. Buffy.

Muffy said...

I read the letter from the letter from the Kepi Blanc, and in my poor highschool french, I see it says basically that your subscription number is #612. if you want to renew the magazine, as I know you will, to prevent interruption you should include the subscription number #612 with your payment. If you have already sent your payment after receiving the letter it is fine. In honor of your loyalty, i ask you to accept the good wishes of the legionaires. Hope this is of interest to you.

Anonymous said...

You might find this interesting. An american legionnaire goes to survival school.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/world/europe/01legion.html

tintin said...

Anon-1 Dec,
Thank you for the link. Great piece and nice to see the Legion still pays well.