PITTSBURGH - Sailors from Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pittsburgh, met with four-time Super Bowl champion and Pittsburgh Steeler, Rocky Bleier prior to the Steelers Salute to Service game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals November 20.
Bleier, a Vietnam War veteran, Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, spoke with the Sailors at Stage AE. Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Ricky Sheldon, a recruiter stationed at Navy Recruiting Station Washington, attended the game as a member of the Pittsburgh Joint Service Color Guard and was honored to speak with the legendary player.
“What I took away from meeting Rocky Bleier is how you can come back from anything,” Sheldon said. “He was telling us about his days in the military, when he was drafted into the Army after his rookie season.
While serving in Vietnam, Bleier was wounded in the left thigh by a rifle bullet when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. While down, an enemy grenade landed nearby after bouncing off a fellow soldier, sending shrapnel into his lower right leg.
“When he got out of the Army people didn’t think he would play football again,” said Sheldon. “The Steelers ended up calling him and saying, ‘Hey we need Rocky. We need you.’ He overcame that fear of never playing football again and he won four Super Bowls with Terry Bradshaw. That’s this history of Rocky Bleier.”
Sheldon along with other Sailors assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pittsburgh, attended the Salute to Service game to present the colors during the national anthem and to compete in a punt, pass and kick competition during halftime.
The Pittsburgh Joint Service Color Guard performs ceremonial color guard duties throughout the community. NTAG Pittsburgh, part of Navy Recruiting Command, recruits the next generation of Navy Sailors throughout areas in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland.