Good morning. This is the Rhodesian Broadcast System:

Two American ex-Marine deserters from the Forces who robbed jewelry stores in Salisbury, while carrying stolen Uzis, were involved in a shoot-out with authorities at the South African border. The two men managed to escape by stealing an aircraft from Charles Prince airport. Their most likely destination is Zambia. The authorities are still searching for an unknown accomplice who piloted the plane. We’ll keep you updated with further developments.   

I knew who the accomplice was.

I had to scramble and round-up another American involved, then report to the Duty Officer, and set an appointment with Special Branch for an “interview.”

No matter what you may have heard, Rhodesia did not employ mercenaries during its bush war (1966-80). The Left, mainstream media, authors who should have known better, and some individuals who somehow felt special have used that label.  A few might have indulged in actual mercenary work before arriving in Rhodesia, and some would in later years move onto such, but all foreigners who served in the Forces were just more soldiers or para-military police who happened to have been born in other countries.

During the Vietnam war, thousands of Canadian citizens enlisted in the U.S. military, especially in the Army and Marine Corps.  Except for the Far Left, nobody in their wildest imagination called them “mercenaries.” They were just more Soldiers and Marines who had been born elsewhere.

It is said that “a mercenary fights for pay.”  Well, few armies last in the field who don’t pay their soldiers — regulars or conscripts.  Certainly, Canadians who enlisted at the time that I did hardly pictured themselves as “mercenaries” at $98. a month before taxes.  In the Rhodesian Army, a captain made no more a month (in U.S. dollar equivalent) than an entry-level bookkeeper in the States.