The entire Rambo epic is the story of America's post-WW2 military epic, not only with our adversaries, but also within the soul of our nation, of all the Veterans who served during difficult times under questionable orders and a doubtful strategy that arguably created as many problems as it solved. It is the story of their return home, to a nation that was not always as grateful as it should have been, to men and women who were often almost as disappointed with the outcome of our wars as the Soldiers whom they sometimes laid the blame on. But is also the story of true American heroism, courage, honor, bravery, selflessness, humility, perseverance and morality among warriors, who in spite of it all, showed the world that there are not just good, but truly great men who wore the uniform and gave all for their country and for what they believed in, in order to protect those whom they served, even if it cost them their lives, their freedom, and their health. Rambo is far more profound than many give him credit for, in no small part because his is a true story which we all lived through and are still living through.
While often wrongly criticized as a war-monger, a baby killer, and many other worn-out derogatory terms that some Americans sometimes use to describe current and former members of the U.S. military, whom are the only reason those same people are not living in a concentration camp, or enslaved, or worshiping an emperor as a god, or kneeling before a foreign king, alongside all the rest of the human species (who also owe their freedom and security to our military), terms which are typically uttered toward Rambo and veterans in general by self-proclaimed pacifists who are often as quick to resort to violence (for considerably less just causes) as they are to cower and flee from danger whenever it arises, and who are often just as quick to buy into and repeat the propaganda of anti-American communist and jihadist propaganda, it is often forgotten that Rambo was drafted, that Rambo never kills non-combatants, and that Rambo takes up arms in response to what he sees as a moral imperative, against those wickedest of men, whom any soldier, or police officer, or any witness to a crime would also be morally obligated to use force against, in defense of those who cannot defend themselves, if that person, like Rambo, were able to do what Rambo does when it is just and appropriate to do so, and if that person had the courage and fortitude to do so. While those who have not seen war are often quick to turn away from violence and imagine that they could never do such a thing, or tnat such a thing would never be just or appropriate, much less necessary, those who have been know that we can almost all do what we must to survive and to protect that which we hold dear, and that doing so if often the only alternative to death, slavery, or the complete annihilation of entire civilization, although it should be admitted that few ever become exceptionally effective at fighting and winning wars, and fewer still do so for good causes with justice and righteousness in their hearts. It is those few whom we all owe our freedom and our security to. That is Rambo's legacy, and the legacy of all of the very real people who actually live the life and make the sacrifices that Rambo's story emulates and memorializes. It is they whom Rambo honors, and it is they whom we should all bear in our minds when we think of Rambo: those who gave their lives in the American Revolution, the Mexican-American War, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, because even if a war was not as just as it perhaps should have been, even if a strategy was flawed and the outcome was not what we would all have hoped for, this nation, what it stands for, what it believes in, and the principles it was founded on, are all still worth fighting for and still worth serving. Those who fight for us and serve our country, so long as they serve honorably, morally, and in a manner consistent with our values, are deserving of praise and the deepest respect, and should always be welcomed home, rewarded for their service, respected by their fellow Americans, and treated as Audie Murphy and Tom Cotton were, not as Rambo and so many nameless and forgotten Vietnam and War on Terror veterans he spoke for were treated. While that war was a dark chapter in our history, so was the decline in our domestic society, part of which was a lack of respect for our Veterans, and our nation in general, its history, and its impact on our world, which stands in such stark contrast to that of most other nations, which have paled in comparison to our own, whether many of our own citizens, cities and states will admit that today or not. Rambo is there to remind us all that Soldiers could choose either to serve our country or not to, and either to dodge the draft or to answer their nation's call for help, but they cannot decide how or if the war will be waged, nor who their commanders will be, nor whether they will be honorable, wise and just men or not, nor if the strategy will ultimately lead to victory, stalemate, or defeat, to eternal glory or to soon-forgotten tragedy.
Rambo is there to remind us all of the millions of great American servicemembers who either joined in peace time, or were drafted, or joined voluntarily after war broke out, because they loved their country, only to be misled, or to be let down by their commanders, or by their country, yet who nonetheless did their best and gave their all, but also to remind us of all the just and honorable wars that America had fought and did win, to the enormous benefit of our nation, its people, and all mankind. The fact that both those seemingly opposite concepts are true, are a part of the story of every American Veteran, and are bot equally applicable to and serve as inspiration for this anthology is a further testament to the complexity, nuance, and depth of the timeless legend of John Rambo.
As we are confronted today by increasingly hostile, merciless and malevolent powers from all sides, in a world teetering on the brink of madness, chaos, and evil, now more than ever, we should remember Rambo, what he stood for, and what he was willing to do, to do what he felt was right ,when he felt he had no other choice that he could have lived with, because of his overwhelming sense of honor, justice, and duty to what his country, to those he cared about, and to what his own inner principles and values.