Sylvester Stallone changed the action movie industry by playing John James Rambo. The film focused not only on the soldier’s survival skills but on his unfortunate reception on his return from the war. Behind these experiences was the book First Blood, by David Morrell, which was based on the experiences of military officer Audie Murphy, decorated for his services during World War II, but plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder.
When the movie A Clash of the Hero was released in theaters in the United States of America, in 1982 something changed in the mentality of the country’s society. The anti-war stream of the Vietnam War had focused its eyes on conflict, the families of dead soldiers, and moral issues. But few had thought about the return of the military and the little-studied post-traumatic stress disorder.
This story is largely due to Audie Leon Murphy, a soldier marked by his convictions and his tormented life. He enlisted in the US Army. with a fake birth certificate to go to WWII because he wasn’t of the minimum age. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and a miserable life caused him to need to join the ranks of the Marines.
He fought in Turkey, Sicily, southern France, and Central Europe rose to the rank of the first lieutenant, and was recognized both by his country and by the authorities of France and Belgium to the point of being one of the most decorated soldiers in the history of American forces.
Upon his return to the United States, a gap in cinema opened up. His biggest success was being part of the cast of Smith the Silent, a story about the train heist in the wild west. However, behind that image was a dire situation. What would now be diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder has led to an addiction to sleeping pills. Also, as he confessed in his memoir To Hell and Back, Audie Murphy slept with a gun under his pillow.
The former soldier’s life was complicated when he began to have economic problems due to his bets on horse racing. However, he stuck to his convictions and refused to advertise cigarettes in television ads because he did not want to encourage tobacco use. His life was cut short at age 46 when he died in a plane crash.
According to David Morrell, part of the inspiration for his novel First Blood came from conversations he overheard with soldiers returning from Vietnam.