At the end of Patpong Street, the infamous Red Light district in Bangkok, Thailand, was Luci Tiger Den. A non descript bar run by Tiger Riddick, an off shore oil Expat, and his Thai wife Luci. What makes the place special, was their walls that were covered with messages from Expats looking for lost friends and notices for jobs, or tips on where to go for whatever. The whole place was a giant Bulletin board. This was 1978 and the Internet didn't exist for most of us. You could walk the walls with a Singha beer in your hand for hours.
Among the patrons were the burn out GI's from the Vietnam war, who didn't want to go home for whatever reason. Some were addicted to drugs, some were addicted to Danger, others were just screwed up. Many were listed as MIA's whose family never knew what happened to them. Soldier of Fortune magazines and American Newspapers filled a reading rack. But most important to them was a section of wall that listed contact numbers and locations where a Mercenary could make a drug run.
A drug run paid $100usd. Not a lot for the danger and time involved, but provided a way to keep the party going. It was a 2-3 day trip up the Mekong River on a Rooster Tail boat. They were called Rooster Tail because the motor was a car motor mounted on a swivel with a long shaft and propeller that sprayed a stream of water, under fast acceleration, that resembled a Cocks Tail. Fast as hell and very maneuverable.
They would deliver Pharmaceuticals to Communist Vietnam, still in short supply and very profitable. Then cross over to Cambodia. Still under the control of the Khmer Rouge, for a load of Thai Stick, Marijuana wrapped around a piece of bamboo to dry, heroine and Ya Ba (Amphetamine) and Ya Ice (Meth amphetamine) to be sold throughout Thailand, or shipped to America.
Any one of these governments would shoot an American not in uniform, on site. Not to mention the river Pirates, who constantly attacked the smugglers. That was the reason for mercenaries on every boat. Many of these MIA's became MIA's long after the Vietnam war was over.
I guess life is only valuable when you are LIVING IT.