A West Covina man who had lost both legs while trying to rescue a fellow serviceman during the Vietnam War has continued to live his life to inspire others.
Bob Wieland is many things, but lowkey is not one of them -- and he doesn't let anything slow him down.
"I'm motivated just to be alive," he said.
That spirit and love of life is why Bob was honored Friday as the Veteran of the Year at the service awards in the City of Industry.
"The reason why we are here is to honor individuals who have not only served our country, but who have come back and served in community," said Senator Ed Hernandez at
"I wasn't born this way," he said. "I was not in an auto accident. I had to lay my life on the line."
Bob served in the Vietnam War, as part of the 25th Infantry Division.
"My partners were getting shot up and killed, and I ran to help, and I detonated an 82-millimeter mortar round powerful explosive," Bob recalled.
He was so badly injured that he was pronounced dead on arrival and placed in a body bag.
Still, he survived.
"That's why I am so excited to be here today," he said. "Alive on arrival!"
His joy for life has lead him to be a motivational speaker, a bench press record holder, to compete in Hawaii's Iron Man triathlon and to walk across america on his arms.
"No wheelchair, I wasn't upside down. I just sat on the ground and propelled myself," he said.
He says he knows his life has been a miracle, but he wants everyone to live this way.
"It's too soon to quit," he said. "God's got a great plan for all our lives so here we go -- on your mark, get set, go!"
Wieland's motto is "The joy is in the journey" and that's definitely the way he has lived his life.