This Four-Time NFL Superbowl Legend Was A Vietnam War Hero First

Most athletes are known for their accomplishments on the field, but one Super Bowl champion also served in the Vietnam War. Toward the end of 1960, Rocky Bleier found himself drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, there was another draft that trumped football. The draft into the U.S. Army. He had to press pause on his football career and went over to Vietnam.

Sent To Vietnam

He finished basic training in 1969. Then, he and over 500,000 troops were stationed in southeast Asia.

He told Fox Sports, "Next thing I knew, I was in basic training, and my world had kind of been turned upside down. Then, eventually, I found myself in Vietnam, like all replacement soldiers at the time –shipped over because they needed bodies."

He stepped foot in Vietnam in May 1969 as a mortarman with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade stationed in LZ Siberia by Hiep Duc. Their sister unit was attacked by a group of North Vietnamese Army regulars.

Bleier's Charlie Company went to assist. However, it turned into a recovery mission. Charlie Company worked to recover the dead and wounded. But, they were also ambushed and had to withdraw from the area.

Ambushed, Again

Two days later, they returned to retrieve the bodies and were hit again. This time, Bleier was hit in the thigh with a bullet.

He was not sure how he was going to get out of there, but he put gauze on it and got himself back to his commanding officer. But, they were not safe from the NVA.

A grenade thrown by the NVA almost hit Bleier and his commanding officer. Nevertheless, they continued to fight the NVA until they vanished. Bleier's unit decided it was a good moment to leave.

Bleier's wounds were extensive. Doctors removed 100 pieces of shrapnel from his legs and right foot, all injuries that could have ended his career in the NFL.

Football Career

In 1970, the Steelers put Bleier in the Injured Reserve, and in 1971, he was on waivers. But in 1972, he was good to play again.

In 1974, he helped them get to the first of 4 Superbowls. A man who was told he would never have the strength and flexibility to play in the NFL ran 3,826 yards on 922 carries.

He also scored 23 rushing touchdowns caught 133 passes for 1,226 yards with two touchdowns.

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8 comments on “This Four-Time NFL Superbowl Legend Was A Vietnam War Hero First”

  1. Thank you , Rockyi was at Pittsburgh when you came in 1968 snd roomed with Ernie Rupel from Arkansas! And in ‘71 after Nam!
    Thank you again foryour service

  2. I thank you for your service and I am sorry for you broken heart all these years. May the LORD bless you …… HE is close to the broken hearted

  3. Thanks Rocky for your service to our country. While I did not serve in Vietnam, during the war, I have traveled there many times. The war was a horrible time and loss for both sides. I have had the pleasure to talk with many of the Vietnamese people that went thru the horror of the war, they do not have negative feelings against American people, in fact they were very open and willing to talk with me. God Bless Rocky and may watch over him.

  4. Here is an example of selflessness that younger people need to learn! I too served during that time and received the scorn of my countrymen who couldn’t seem to take putting the needs of the nation before their own. It’s that same bunch of selfish assholes who became college professors that are putting out the current crop of snowflakes/ ANTIFA /BLM progressive pukes that some parents, and leftist politicians are proud of. They would rather ride booted and spurred on the backs of the masses of society, than to better society by returning it to moral order. How long until God decides this nation needs a massively harsh rebuke for its sins? We are on the edge of the destruction of our beloved Republic and people need to get off their butts and say in a loud and clear voice “ENOUGH - THIS FAR AND NO FURTHER, your free ride stops here!”

    1. Having just watched the video I can understand where he’s coming from when he asked “ what was it all for?” When Carter cut and ran from Vietnam he made everything my brothers in arms did futile, just like blithering Biden did with Afghanistan! But if we don’t fix our society nobody will want to fight for this nation. Believe me when I say it’s still worth fighting for!

    2. Better red than dead, came from ID senator Frank Church.
      My dad, a WWII Navy veteran, was furious. He yelled that he and his friends had been shot at. He had friends who did not come home. This was the only time he mentioned losing friends and being shot at.

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