NOTABLE NFL ATHLETES WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY: BOB KALSU - An All-American left tackle out of the University of Oklahoma, Bob Kalsu was the drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 8th-round of the 1968 draft. Kalsu went on to start that year at guard and was named the Bills rookie of the year.
Following the 1968 season, to complete his Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) obligation, he entered the Army as a Second Lieutenant and arrived in Vietnam in November 1969 as part of the 101st Airborne Division.
Kalsu, at age 25, was killed on July 21, 1970 when his unit came under enemy mortar fire at FSB Ripcord near the A Shau Valley. His family, out of respect, refused to talk in detail about the circumstances surrounding his death.
Lieutenant Kalsu had one child, a daughter named Jill. At home in Oklahoma City, his wife, Jan Kalsu, gave birth to his son, James Robert Kalsu Jr., on July 23. Mrs. Kalsu was informed of her husband’s death only hours later. He was the only pro athlete that was killed during the Vietnam War.
It’s stories like this that make you realize the sacrifice men and woman have made to protect our freedom. His tragic death, like so many others, will never be in vain. We will always give thanks to the men and woman who devote part of their life so that others may live theirs the way they want. (Photo via SportsIllustrated.com)
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