BROWNSBURG — Walking down a hall at Brownsburg High School, Josh Bleill is greeted by student after student complimenting him on his recent speech and assuring him that he had inspired them.
A former U.S. Marine, Bleill now works as a community spokesman for the Indianapolis Colts.
It’s been almost seven years since he lost both of his legs while serving in Iraq, but Bleill’s upbeat personality and perseverance has served as inspiration to many.
This is the second year in a row that he’s visited BHS to share his story. This time he came to support senior Kellie Dippel and her efforts to help build a house for a wounded veteran and his family.
Dippel organized a walk last year to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. This year, she’s hoping her fellow students and community will amp up the fundraising. She’s looking to raise $10,000 to help build that much needed home. She’s also collecting money, food, and toys for the children of wounder veterans.
This year’s fundraising walk starts at 9:30 a.m. April 13 at the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon. To sign up or donate, visit the website at hwwp5k.com.
“Just having him come out and motivate students to see why I’m doing this and who I’m doing this for was great,” Dippel said.
Bleill said he enjoys speaking to students and believes he relates to them.
“Certainly in the military, it’s a younger generation,” he said. “I was around people these high school kids’ ages, and it’s just talking about life. Everybody goes through difficult times. They’re facing a lot of new things and trying to fit in, and high school is a difficult period.
“I think I can relate to pushing through bad days and negative things and trying to change your attitude to have a positive response. They’re seeing a lot of pressure, so I think I can relate to their lives in general.”