Lost Legions (2003) – Many battle scarred legionnaires depend on their old battalion to save them from a descent into madness and depression.
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The French Foreign legion enjoys a formidable reputation on the battlefields, cultivating an image of honour and glory. However, for many surviving veterans, there’s no happy ending on retirement. Haunted by past battles, they fall prey to violence, alcoholism and depression. Their only consolation is the Legion’s vow to look after its own. Gilbert Hensinger runs the official retirement home for legionnaires: “My role is to help the bums become lords again,” he explains. At his castle in Provence, veterans make wine, earning their keep with dignity. “The legion never abandons its own – whether in combat or ordinary life – that is our motto.”
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Produced by ABC Australia – Ref 1625