It’s easy to think of John Rambo as a brute who does the dirty work for America, someone whom the types of George Bush would send to fight in Uncle Sam’s crazy little wars. I used to think that way. But hey, that’s actually not an accurate description of the character.
In fact, Rambo—at least the one I knew in First Blood, the first Rambo movie—was more of a victim. In First Blood, he was an ex-Green Beret guy with post-traumatic stress disorder in search of peace and quite in small town America, until a power tripping Sheriff treated him badly. In Part 2, he was stupid enough to agree to go inside Vietnam to take photos of supposed POWs only to be abandoned by the US Armed Forces when politicians realized the mission would have political repercussions. He was captured, tortured, survived and ended up saving some of the POWs. Since then he never returned to America.
He stayed in Thailand among the simple folks to live a humble and quiet life, only to be deceived once more into going inside Afghanistan (in Part 3), not for America, but for his friend and mentor who was captured by the Russians. In Part 4 entitled John Rambo: To Hell and Back, he went to Burma from Thailand to help his friends who were captured by the Burmese military (although I’m simply too busy to watch this one).
He hates politicians. He hates the military top brass. His actions were always about his friends. He had to do it because others wont.