Rocky Bleier’s story - a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam - has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century.
With the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rocky Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way….lessons that we all can benefit from.
Not falling within the ideal of what a running back should look like, Bleier had to run harder and play smarter to be able to stand out. Despite his drive and ability to make the big play, the Pittsburgh Steelers only considered him a late round pick. But before the season ended that first year, he was drafted again…this time by the United States Army. At the height of the Vietnam War, Bleier was thrust into combat early and was seriously wounded when his platoon ran into an ambush.
Receiving wounds from both rifle fire and grenade fragments in his legs, he was barely able to walk and his professional football career seemed to have ended before it began...
For more than two years, he drove himself. Little by little he overcame obstacles and fought his way back. He not only made the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also eventually became a starting running back on a team that won four Super Bowls and became the greatest football team of the 20th century.
The hard lessons Rocky Bleier learned early in his life that helped him overcome adversity and reach his goals, have paid off after football. These lessons are seen between the lines in the popular book on his life, Fighting Back.
About Veterans Matter
Veterans Matter works directly with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and local VA homeless programs to provide deposits and first month’s rent for chronically unhoused Veterans.
Veterans Matter takes requests from VA social workers whose Veteran clients are are sitting with a newly signed lease, but lack the funds for a security deposit and first month’s rent. Once the request is approved the Veteran gets the keys. Rather than be sent back to the streets, shelter, or car, they cross the threshold into a home of their own.