In 1894 a French Foreign Legion General said, “Legionnaires, vous etes faits pour mourir, je vous envoie la ou on meurt.” Legionnaires, you are made for dying, I will send you where you can die. When I was in my mid-teens and first read those words they were powerful and confronting. I read them as a challenge and an invitation. The words, and the feelings they evoked, remained with me until I was ready. On 20 May 1988, I enlisted in the French Foreign Legion.’
Based on his diaries, this is a frank account of how Mason came first in basic training, trained other Legionnaires, went to Africa, did sniper, commando and medic’s training and took part in two operations, both in the Republic of Djibouti where a civil war nearly crippled the nation. It tells of his daily life in the Legion, in the training regiment, in Africa and with the Legion’s Parachute Regiment. But more than this: David’s gripping account reveals his disillusionment, frustration and disappointments, and how the Legion today is not what it seems.