In certain places around the world, usually where the sun beats down on desert rocks in Africa, in the mountains of Eastern Europe or in the jungle swamps of South America, there are small enclaves of rebels, guerillas and all-round bad guys.
They terrorize local villages and towns: causing fear and suffering while they steal and vandalize their way from one area to the next. They take resources and dignity away, all in the name of a war-lord or drug baron.
But when these tormentors are gathered around the campfire at night, cleaning their guns and eating the spoils from a raid, they all appear to have a common thread among them: fear.
Not fear of the villagers, or fear of getting caught. Neither fear from their bosses or superiors.
As the flames cast long shadows deep into the jungle or across the sands, the same ghost story is eventually uttered, talking about nights when the French Foreign Legion came.
Revered by few but feared by many, the French Foreign Legion was founded in l831 by the King of France and over the past 200 years has developed into one of the world's toughest armies, based under the control of the French government and used worldwide, usually for initial 'shock-and-awe type' actions at the beginning of a conflict, but more often than not for the darker side of French 'black ops' where things get done on the quiet, so to speak.
One of the unique features of the Foreign Legion is that it is open to any male from 18 - 40 years old from any nation. All you need to do is get to France.
Joining can be done at any Foreign Legion recruitment centre. You just have to walk in the door and give the recruitment officer your passport. You are immediately stripped of your identity and given a new name, along with a contract for five years that is virtually irrevocable!
What follows is the most painful three months of your life as the Legion break you down from individual to putty, then reshaping you into a well-trained, battle-ready Legionnaire.
During your five-year tour, you can expect to spend time in France, Guyane, Haiti, Djibouti and the Congo.
The bilingual motto on the poster: Change Ta Vie.....Change Your Life.
Now there's a future that might be worth exploring further!