Editor’s Point to: The gradual, gargantuan Lou Somogyi possessed an unmatched files of Notre Dame and it used to be his mission in existence to fragment it with others. Those of us at BlueandGold.com would need to proceed to fragment his wisdom and unfamiliar level of view with our readers.

Here is Segment 3 of his annual Memorial Day sequence.

Engraved deep into the stone on the facet door of the Basilica of Sacred Coronary heart Church at Notre Dame need to not merely phrases nevertheless a strategy of existence: “God, Country, Notre Dame.”

It weaves together the college’s religious and patriotic parts whereas enjoining its real little kids who are, as the Victory March states, “stable of heart and true to Her title.” The relationship between the militia and Notre Dame goes some distance previous soccer rivalries with Military, Navy and Air Force.

“Ever since 1858 when the pupil-organized Continental Cadets started marching all the plan thru campus of their blue and buff American Revolutionary-sort uniforms, Notre Dame has been educating college students easy methods to be appropriate troopers,” wrote John Monczunski within the Spring 2001 Notre Dame Magazine.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish football’s Rocky Bleier

Rocky Bleier started for Notre Dame’s 1966 nationwide champs and used to be the crew’s lone captain in 1967. (Battling Irish Media)

Handle A Rock

Fixed with Monczunski in his Spring 2001 Notre Dame Magazine article, ROTC’s peak at Notre Dame came within the gradual 1960s when some 1,600 Notre Dame college students had been in uniform.

Nonetheless, the Vietnam Battle heightened an anti-militia sentiment, and by 1974 the ROTC decide on campus had dropped to 442.

Mute, one more Notre Dame tale used to be established right thru these tumultuous instances, this by 1967 Irish soccer captain Rocky Bleier, who started for the 1966 nationwide champs nevertheless used to be fully a 16th-spherical draft take hang of by the NFL.

A handful of NFL gamers got draft notices for the Vietnam Battle, and Bleier used to be one of them right thru 1968 coaching camp.

“Having lived in Wisconsin, I knew that every Packer used to be within the Reserve or the National Guard, so my assumption used to be whenever you happen to collect a legitimate crew, they collect you into the National Guard,” Bleier acknowledged. “Invoice Austin used to be the Steelers’ head coach and he took me aside about a letter that came. It used to be my 1-A classification up in Wisconsin.

“He urged me, ‘We mediate you’re appropriate sufficient to collect the crew and we’ll consume care of this for you’ — without reference to that intended. I didn’t care. All I cared about used to be the comment ‘you’re appropriate sufficient to collect the crew.’ ”

Indirectly, all the pieces fell thru the cracks for Bleier, who used to be drafted into the U.S. Military in December of 1968 and shipped to Vietnam in 1969, serving with the 196th Gentle Infantry Brigade.

On Aug. 20, 1969, Bleier used to be wounded within the left thigh when his platoon used to be ambushed in a rice paddy field. Then, an enemy grenade landed interior attain, spreading shrapnel into his apt leg.

“I undergo in mind scrambling to quilt and attempting mentally to collect a pact with God,” he would capture years later. “I didn’t are looking out for to collect a rash promise be pleased changing into a priest or recluse of any form. I fair appropriate prayed and acknowledged if I got out of this and support dwelling, I’d dwell a existence that tries to lend a hand of us.”

A recipient of the Red Coronary heart and Bronze Megastar, Bleier used to be rated 40 p.c disabled when he used to be discharged. Within the course of his close in a Tokyo clinical institution, he used to be told that he would continuously stroll with a limp.

He weighed fair appropriate 165 pounds when he arrived support within the US, where he used to be presented at halftime by Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh C.S.C. within the 1969 dwelling sport with USC. On the same field where two years earlier he ran with aplomb as crew captain, Bleier now required a cane.

“My focal level used to be level-headed on making an are attempting to play soccer,” Bleier acknowledged. “I had household crimson meat up and one of many things I most cherished whereas I used to be within the clinical institution foreign places used to be I got a postcard from (Steelers proprietor) Art Rooney asserting, ‘We’re level-headed within the support of you. Crew’s not doing smartly, we would favor you.’ He took that time … all these miniature things grew to develop into positives.”

Bleier grew to develop into a starter for four Good Bowl champions whereas at Pittsburgh, and one of essentially the most costly motivational speakers within the country.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish football’s Rocky Bleier

Bleier used to be a starter on four Pittsburgh Steelers teams that acquired Good Bowl titles. (USA TODAY Sports actions)

On the 50th anniversary of when he nearly lost his existence, Bleier returned for the first time to the gap in Vietnam, as recorded on ESPN. His emotions engulfed him.

“Today I had an overwhelming feeling of loss and disappointment,” Bleier urged Associated Press reporter Joe Reedy. “Why did we fight this war? Why did we lose 58,000 troopers and, in all honesty, for what?

“Presumably for the first time I’m able to label on a shrimp foundation the impact that our troopers fight thru and possibly fair appropriate a bit what put up-disturbing stress is also and the plan the physique reacts to the total emotions.”

This January, Bleier got the 2020 NCAA Inspiration Award at the NCAA Honors Occasion in Anaheim, California.

It’s some distance presented to a coach or administrator who is actively associated with intercollegiate athletics, or to a up to date or veteran varsity letter-winner at an NCAA institution who primitive perseverance, dedication and spine to beat a existence-altering scenario and attend as a role model to present inspiration to others in connected scenarios.

For the rationale that discontinuance of the Vietnam Battle, the ROTC has thrived at Notre Dame, and every unit has been acknowledged among the many finest within the nation by its respective uniformed service.

The Military, Navy, Marine and Air Force ROTC Models finally established the US Notre Dame Bid. USNDCOM is the first unified declare in ROTC within the nation.

God, Country, Notre Dame, certainly.

Memorial Day Weekend: God, Country, Notre Dame, Segment 1

Memorial Day Weekend: God, Country, Notre Dame, Segment 2


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