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Rocky Bleier    

Former NFL Football Player; Wounded Vietnam Veteran & Purple Heart Recipient

Rocky Bleier is an American former professional American football player. He was a National Football League (NFL) halfback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968 and from 1971 to 1980. He is also a Vietnam War veteran.

After his rookie season with the Steelers, Bleier was drafted into the U.S. Army in December 1968. He volunteered for duty in South Vietnam and shipped out for Vietnam in May 1969. On August 20, Bleier was wounded in the thigh by an enemy rifle bullet when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. While he was down, an enemy grenade landed nearby after bouncing off a fellow soldier, sending shrapnel into his lower right leg. He lost part of his right foot in the blast as well. He was later awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

He was told that he would never play football again, but when he was discharged from the military in 1970, he rejoined the Steelers. He had to play on special teams for seasons, but in 1974 he made the Steelers' starting lineup. Bleier played in the first four Steeler Super Bowl victories, and caught the touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw that gave Pittsburgh a lead it would never surrender in Super Bowl XIII. He also recovered Dallas's onside kick in the closing seconds, sealing the Steelers' victory.

Bleier retired after the 1980 season with 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions for 1,294 yards, and 25 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, he was the Steelers' fourth all-time leading rusher.

Bleier has become an author and speaker on retirement and financial management. He has authored the book Don't fumble your retirement and is the co-host of a weekly radio show The Rock on Retirement on Pittsburgh radio station 104.7 FM WPGB.

Videos


Speech Topics


Be the Best You Can Be

Rocky Bleier motivates audiences to keep on striving for greater accomplishments. His dynamic style is coupled with real-life stories that are told from a first person perspective. Those stories about his fabled comeback from Vietnam injuries to Super Bowl star are utterly inspiring for their courage and determination. He brings it together with a warm, self-reflective humor that audiences really relate to.

Fighting Back

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