BEVERLY HILLS — Put a gun in his hand then ask him to fire away and suddenly Todd Palin is transformed from that quiet man standing beside his wife into a regular Rambo.
The husband of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin feels right at home doing the new warfare game "Stars Earn Stripes" (8 p.m. Monday on WBIR, Channel 10). And he's unapologetic about it.
He's earned the nickname "Rambo" among his cast mates (celebrities such as Dean Cain and Terry Crew) because of his ferociousness.
Even his wife sees him as a hard-nosed competitor. "To see him out there, getting to hang around these (military experts) for weeks, I can get a little (envious)," Sarah Palin says with a laugh.
Doing the show is "very, very, very tough. People don't always see that," she says.
The Palins' oldest son, Track, 24, enlisted in the United States Army and was deployed to Iraq on September 2008.
"The motivation (to do this) is the show's cause, (the) military," says Todd Palin, 47.
"Stripes" has celebrities paired with military experts in which they compete in warfare games.
Money won goes to charities.
The show has been fraught with controversy as criticizing groups say it glorifies violence as entertainment. Even Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu has asked for it to be cancelled.
"I was invited to participate in this competition to raise money for military-based charities," Todd says.
He doesn't see himself doing something like "Dancing with the Stars."
Given a choice, "If I was asked to either do 'Dancing with the Stars' or hang out with (military experts), I'd choose (military experts)," he says. "They are my kind of people."
Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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