LATROBE (KDKA) — It’s been 50 years since former Steeler Rocky Bleier was injured in the Vietnam War and on Thursday, an ESPN-produced documentary following his return to the country premiered in Latrobe.
The impactful 30-minute film took Bleier back to the files of Hep Duc Valley in Vietnam, the site where he was critically injured from bullets and grenade shrapnel on August 20, 1069. The injury occurred when Bleier was on a mission attempting to recover the bodies of nine American soldiers.
This was the first time Bleier returned to Vietnam since returning home from the war and ESPN documented the visit.
“I think that it gives some closure, at least for me, in that whole series of time, the last 50 years of Vietnam and what took place,” Bleier said. “Ultimately the emotional part of coming together.”
Director Jon Fish reached out to Bleier in 2017 and this time one year ago, ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi was also there to help tell Bleier’s story.
“It’s a special story because he’s a special man,” Rinaldi said. “I think at a time when it’s so easy to find division, this is a story which unifies and which people can appreciate regardless of age, regardless of fandom.”
The film airs Tuesday, August 20 on ESPN 2 at 8:00 p.m.