Dublin Villager

Real-life experiences form foundation of Wieland's messages

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Bob Wieland, who lost both legs in the Vietnam War, has walked across the country on his hands and completed an IronMan competition without a wheelchair. Wieland will speak at Jerome High School next week.
By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Bob Wieland has faced more challenges than most in his 67 years.

Wieland, also known as "Mr. Inspiration," lost his legs in the Vietnam War in 1969, but hasn't let that stop him from taking bench press titles, completing an Iron Man triathlon and cycling across the country.

Monday, March 18, Wieland will talk about challenges and life with students at Dublin Jerome High School, with an evening session open to the community.

"We are so honored to have Bob Wieland visit Jerome," said Cathy Sankey, Jerome principal.

"Bob's accomplishments in life, especially after becoming a double amputee in the service of our country, are truly amazing," she said.

"More importantly, his attitude and philosophy about what real adversity in life is and his perspective on defining and facing challenges are truly inspirational. "Bob's visit will change all of our lives for the better, and we look forward to have him in the Jerome family."

The March 18 visit won't be Wieland's first visit to Jerome.

About six months ago he addressed student athletes who went on to win the state golf championship title for the second year for both the girls and boys teams.

"The essence of my message is no matter your situation, it's never good to quit," Wieland told the Dublin Villager last week from his home in California.

And Wieland has faced some challenges that would have caused others to quit.

He spent more than three years walking across the country on his hands.

"I believe it before I can see it," he said of his inspiration.

Preparation is also credited for Wieland's accomplishments.

"I do an awful lot of preparation.," he said.

"You don't become the best in the world by twiddling your thumbs," he said. "I'm still training today."

Training to do another cycling trip across the country nets Wieland about 165 miles per day.

And pedaling is tough, he said, because it's done with his arms instead of his legs.

"It's not a big secret," he said of preparation. "You do the same thing over and over and over and over again."

Wieland's Dublin speaking engagement, sponsored by the Jerome High School PTO and local corporations, will include the story of his life from planning to go into professional baseball before Vietnam to completion.

"This is a real life story about a real life guy," Wieland said.

"I don't have to make anything up," he said. "I'm not saying anything special. God has blessed me big time."

Wieland will have a full day in Dublin as he addresses students at 9:30 a.m., has lunch with the student council and visits classrooms in the afternoon.

An evening program, free and open to the community at Jerome High School, 8300 Hyland Croy Road, is slated for 7:30 p.m.

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