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A Sly Message

September 21, 1986

Sylvester Stallone's disingenuousness makes my skin crawl ("Coming to Grips With Sly Stallone," by Pat H. Broeske, Sept. 14).

Describing Rambo's superhuman invincibility in the face of oncoming Viet Cong, he says, in effect, "C'mon, it's just the movies--but it was a great scene, right?"

I'm a Vietnam veteran, who like many others has gone into the high schools to counteract this crap by telling the next crop of fodder for the Reagan War Machine what combat is really like. When I ask, "How many of you (juniors and seniors) believe that Rambo is really the way it is?" about half the students respond affirmatively.

If Stallone wants to ignore that very real effect and help set up these youngsters for the glories of the next Vietnam, then he'll just have to continue tolerating the criticism while he counts his money.

It's popular to say that drugs are the biggest menace facing our children right now. I believe a greater threat is inculcating them with the beliefs that in war the pain is transitory, the wounds superficial, the mayhem and death easily bearable, the ammunition never-ending, and the survivability of the good guys assured.

On his way to the location of Rambo III, perhaps Stallone should stop by the Vietnam Memorial for a few hours.

MICHAEL HIRSH

Calabasas

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