Greenfield Marine who lost legs in Iraq to talk at WTHR Health Expo
He lost both his legs fighting for his country and would not return to Indiana until he could walk on his own. Greenfield Marine Josh Bleill made good on that promise and found a new mission nearly seven years after a roadside bomb changed his life. On Saturday, April 27 he will share his amazing story at the WTHR Health and Fitness Expo.
"Some days it seems like yesterday. The memories are still fresh," said Bleill. "I was in the Marine Corps in 2006, deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, hit by a roadside bomb, while driving down the road in a Humvee. Lost two guys."
Seven years ago, I was in the hospital with Bleill and his parents. He was just beginning to think about life without legs. Even back then, the young Greenfield Marine remained upbeat with a new mission that required hard work.
WTHR documented his remarkable recovery. Day after day, Bleill strengthened his core and learned, first how to balance and then how to walk again. After all, Bleill had said he wasn't coming back to Indiana until he could walk off the plane by himself.
Bleill kept his promise and was ready to begin a much different life. He bought a home, learned how to drive a car with prosthetics and married his longtime girlfriend in a beautiful ceremony. The couple now has two young children. Now 36, Bleill works for the Indianapolis Colts. He has written a book, does public speaking and puts people at ease about his prosthetic legs.
"For elementary school kids, I'll take the legs and spin them all the way around," laughed Bleill. "We take the leg and I can go all the way around with it. I've sat drinks on it before."
Laughter is part of who he is. Inspiring others is what he does.
"My mission is to talk about life and the obstacles people face on a daily basis. Everybody can relate to that and the positive attitude that anybody can overcome it," said Bleill. "If you can keep going forward, you keep taking those steps, health is a big part of it. A lot of people are fighting health issues. As I've gotten older and gone through the Marine Corps, fitness has been a huge thing. Now I'm getting older, the diet comes into play. My diet has changed over the years from frozen pizzas to definitely a lot of chicken," laughed Bleill.
Bleill is excited about the opportunity to speak at the WTHR Health and Fitness Expo.
"It's about getting better. It's about being educated. That's what this fair is going to do for people. It's going to give them the information of how to help out, about where to go and where the next steps are . "When I was injured, it was the biggest thing. When I learned to walk again, I had to get strong. I had those doubts. You have to fight thru the emotional wall before you start something. But, if you just start. That's the first step. Where I've gone in seven years has been an amazing dream. From working with the Colts, getting married, two kids, it's been a lifetime it seems. Things have continued to be blessed."
Mission Possible - Read more about Josh's story