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 Bob Kalsu

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Bob Kalsu

  • Original Name James Robert
  • Birth 13 Apr 1945 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Death 21 Jul 1970 Vietnam
  • Burial Oklahoma City, Cleveland County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Memorial ID 6140788

Professional Football Player. 1st Lt. in the Army Reserve (Unit: A BTRY, 2ND BN, 11TH ARTY RGT, 101 ABN DIV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). Bob was born James Robert Kalsu and attended Del City High School in Del City, Oklahoma. At 6'3" and 235 pounds, he was an All-American offensive tackle in 1967 as the University of Oklahoma won the Big Eight Conference title. The Buffalo Bills selected him in the eighth round of the 1968 college draft but he quickly proved himself by earning the team's Rookie of the Year award in his first AFL season as guard – it would also be his final season of football. Bob had made an ROTC commitment with the 101st Airborne Division in college and in late 1969 he was called to duty in Vietnam. He was told that as a pro football player arrangements could be made where he wouldn't have to serve but Bob would have none of it. He said, "I gave my word to my country. Just because I play pro football doesn't make me any better of a man or any different of a man than the men already serving our country. I'm going to live up to that commitment and the word I gave." Bob left behind his beloved wife, Jan, who was pregnant and a young daughter. On July 21, 1970, only eight months into his tour of duty, Bob fell while helping defend Ripcord Base on an isolated jungle mountaintop near the Ashau Valley, Thua Thien, South Vietnam - enemy fire ignited an ammunition depot. Bob's wife Jan received word of her husband's death as she lay in her hospital bed only hours after giving birth to her son, Bob Jr. Bob Kalsu was the only active professional football player killed in the Vietnam War.

Bio by: Brenda N

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Erik Lander
  • Added: 29 Jan 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6140788
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bob Kalsu (13 Apr 1945–21 Jul 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6140788, citing Resthaven Gardens Cemetery, Oklahoma City, Cleveland County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .