was born on July 6, 1947 in Bowie, Arizona to a Navajo father (R. Rambo
according to the last film) and a mother (Marie Dragoo) of
Italian descent. However, in Rambo:
First Blood Part II,
states that Rambo is of IndianGerman descent.
Rambo graduated from
Rangeford High School, and then was drafted into the United States Army
the age of 17 on June 8, 1964. He was deployed to South Vietnam in
1966. He returned to the U.S. in 1967 and began training in the Special
Forces (Green Berets) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At some point he
received training in flying helicopters. In late 1969, Rambo was
back to Vietnam. In November 1971, he was captured by North Vietnamese
forces near the Chinese-Vietnamese border and held at a Prisoner of war
camp, where he and other American POWs were repeatedly tortured. Rambo
escaped captivity in May 1972, but was then re-deployed.
Upon his return to the U.S., Rambo discovered that many American
hated the returning soldiers, and he himself was subject to humiliation
embarrassment at the hands of anti-war hippies who threw garbage at him
him "baby killer". His experiences in Vietnam and back home resulted in
extreme case of post-traumatic stress disorder. At the same time, inner
questions of self-identity and reflectiveness caused Rambo to lash out
society rather than handling difficult situations in a "civilized"
This is where First Blood
picks up his story.