IN-PERSON EVENT SOLD OUT!
If you haven’t made a reservation for the in-person breakfast, please view the event online on Zoom at 8:30am on May 2.
Join us for a special Veterans Breakfast Club event featuring Pittsburgh Steeler and Vietnam Veteran Rocky Bleier at Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park 15102) on Tuesday, May 2.
This will be like our usual in-person events with breakfast served and stories shared, but–courtesy of UPMC for Life–Rocky Bleier will join us and speak about his service in Vietnam and awe-inspiring tale and fighting back to pro football glory.
You all know the outlines of Rocky’s story: son of a Wisconsin tavern owner, all-state athlete in high school, National Champion at Notre Dame, and VERY late round draft pick (417th overall) for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968.
Rocky makes the team, plays sparingly, then receives his draft notice.
Five months later, he’s in Vietnam, Company C, 4th Battalion (Light), 196th Light Infantry Brigade. On August 20, while on patrol about 60km southwest of Danang, his platoon gets ambushed. A enemy bullet rips into his left thigh. Then, an exploding grenade shreds his lower right leg and foot. Rocky’s war in Vietnam is over.
But his fight had just begun. Doctors reassured Rocky he’s be able to lead a normal life—except for football. Playing again was out of the question.
Out of the blue, he receives a postcard from legendary Steelers owner.
“Rock – the team’s not doing well. We need you. Art Rooney.”
That short note kickstarted a grueling rehabilitation that, in truth, took years. He couldn’t walk without pain and returned to the Steelers woefully underweight.
But he never gave up and ever so slowly climbed the ladder of football success.
1970: works out with the Steelers.
1971: makes the roster.
1972: plays every game.
1974: earns a starting position in the backfield, over five years after being wounded in a Vietnamese rice paddy.
Even without the four Super Bowls that followed, the Rocky Bleier story would be the most inspiring tale of grit in the history of sports.
But those championships made Rocky a household name and introduced millions of Americans to the qualities shaping a hero: commitment, determination, optimism, and humility.
Rocky Bleier has them all and shares what he’s learned from a hard life at war and in football with us on May 2.
Our breakfast location in Bethel Park, PA, is our largest, where the group can reach over 250 people. Our veteran attendees range from WWII and Korean War through the Post-9/11 era. The program is fast-moving and wide-ranging with lots of participation. Everyone is welcome to join us.
We meet at Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park 15102) in a large hall that also serves as a gym. We show photos of veterans on the three screens at the front and interact with as many veterans as we can. You’ll walk in, pick up your name badge, pay $15 if you plan to eat (no cost for those who don’t), and meet others who are there to hear and share the stories. Breakfast is served at 8:30am. At 9:00am, we start the program. For the next 90 minutes, veterans share slices of their service experience. You never know what you’re going to hear, and there’s always new people with new memories to offer.
RSVP by calling 412-623-9029 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to RSVP for events at least two days in advance. We understand that your schedule can change quickly, but advance notice of attendance always helps us and our venues prepare the program. Thank you!