By Amy SunseriOctober 7, 2010
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- "What you need is a dream and then you must find out what to do with it," explained Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger, Saturday morning, as he spoke to about 60 Soldiers from the 18th Military Police detachment, during a professional development session at Murr Community Center on Fort Huachuca.
Sixty-two year-old Ruettiger, a former Notre Dame Football player, is best known as the inspiration for the motion picture "Rudy." The movie is a true story, based on Rudy's dream, struggle and victory. In 1974, he achieved his first dream when he transferred to the University of Notre Dame.
While there, he developed another dream: to play football for the "Fighting Irish." Rudy practiced day in and day out, eventually winning the respect of his teammates.
During his last college game he finally got to dress and run through the tunnel with his team. In the last 27 seconds of the only play of the only game of his college career Rudy was put in the game. As the fans cheered "RU-DY, RU-DY," he made a tackle.
The movie, which came out in 1993, was designed to tell a story that would inspire others, and let people know no matter what the odds are, they can overcome them and win.
"Rudy is the ultimate example of somebody who believes in hard work, determination and discipline. I think that's a lesson that we all can use, especially Soldiers," said Capt. Shawn Fitzgerald, 18th MP detachment commander. "I think he's the perfect person for this kind of venue and training."
Fitzgerald said it was very easy to get Rudy to come to Fort Huachuca to speak with the Soldiers, especially since he is ex-military. He spent two years in the Navy, which he said helped pay for his college education at Notre Dame.
"The Navy actually changed my thinking around, my attitude around and who I was," Ruettiger noted.
"They're [Soldier's] great Americans; this is an honor for me to come here, [and] to be asked to come here. I'm real humbled and real privileged," he said.
While speaking with the Soldiers, Ruettiger explained he wasn't looking to get a movie deal. During his motivational speech he talked about how everyone has potential to be whatever they want to be.
"It's not your age, it's your attitude," he said, adding that people who work hard deserve a shot too.
Ruettiger also told the Soldiers all is takes is "the four Cs: character, courage, commitment and contribute." "The little things make a big difference."
After the professional development session, Ruettiger joined the MPs on Brock Field for a military working dog demonstration.
Later that night he was the guest speaker at the MPs 69th Anniversary Ball at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre, on Fort Huachuca.