February 22, 2011 4 Comments
One of the major trepidations I have about writing on the Selous Scouts, and drawing analogies with Christian mission, is a deep sense of unworthiness. Regardless of the books read, and even a sense of proximity of having lived through the Rhodesian bush war, how could I ever truly know what these men went through? I was just a kid who went to bed each night in the far-flung outer suburbs of southern Bulawayo with a sense of security, while Selous Scouts and the rest of the Rhodesian Army made huge sacrifices and lived with constant deprivation attempting to protect our lifestyle.
I have often wondered what it must have been like for those guys, particularly Scouts, to return to “civilisation” for their R & R. How was it to be air-lifted from deep within the tribal trust lands, dressed in the ragged, faded denim of the enemy, brandishing an AK-47 to find oneself hours later in one of the wild-west saloons of downtown Salisbury or Bulawayo? With all they saw in the field, and were called on to do, was it possible to cast it aside as they returned to the “normality” of civilian life for a time or, more importantly, at the end of the war?
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