The Football Feed

Steelers legend Rocky Bleier to earn major honor!

A well-deserved honor!

The Football Feed

The Football Feed

One of the great players in Pittsburgh Steelers history, former running back Rocky Bleier is also known for having served in the armed forces during the Vietnam War. For his service, he was awarded both the the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

It was announced earlier this week that he'll be honored later this September by becoming the ninth recipient of the Semper Fidelis Award at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Steel City Awards Dinner at the Fairmont Hotel Downtown Pittsburgh. All proceeds will go towards the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

“It’s a great honor to receive the Semper Fi award from the military because I know what [Semper Fidelis, latin for ‘always faithful’] means to the Marine Corps,” Bleier told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

For Bleier, who was drafted in the 16th round of the 1968 NFL Draft after playing collegiately at Notre Dame, his rookie season would be interrupted by his being sent overseas. He was injured when he was shot by enemy fire as well as having a grenade explode near him. 

He then received a letter from Steelers owner Art Rooney while recovering in a Tokyo hospital saying that the team needed him back.

“My goal was to come back and play with the Steelers, and the primary reason is I didn't want to give up,” Bleier said. “Part of that dream was, ‘OK, I've been injured. I've been damaged. But I've been injured before.’”

By the time his NFL career was all said and done, he'd racked up 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions for 1,294 yards, and 25 touchdowns. He was also Pittsburgh's 4th leading rusher in franchise history at the time.