Some people go to the French Foreign Legion to live down a criminal past, but Italian aristocrat “Charles DeRudio” went to the US Cavalry to fight in the Civil War.
This was after he fought for Italian independence in 1848 as a teenager, fled to the UK, tried to blow up Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, got caught and convicted, and escaped Devil’s Island.
He stayed in the Army after the Civil War and ended up serving in Custer’s 7th Cavalry. He survived Little Big Horn because Custer didn’t like “Count No-Account,” thought he had too big of an ego, and didn’t want him around. But he didn’t miss all the excitement; he fought under Reno, got unhorsed, and had to sneak back to the US forces with another unhorsed man. He didn’t retire from the army until 1896.
Seriously, go read the details. It’s quite a life story.