April 13, 1945|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
July 21, 1970 (aged 25)|
Thua Thien, South Vietnam†
James Robert "Bob" Kalsu (April 13, 1945 – July 21, 1970) was an All-American tackle at the University of Oklahoma and an eighth-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League in 1968.
Kalsu was a starting guard in 1968. He played the entire season and was the Bills' team rookie-of-the-year. Following the 1968 season, to satisfy 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. He was killed in action 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. Kalsu was the only recently active professional football player to lose his life in the Vietnam War.
Honors[edit | edit source]
- FOB Kalsu in Babil, Iraq, was named after him.
- In 1999, filmmaker Richard Haberkern did the original screenplay and treatment for an NFL Films-produced feature on Kalsu that was nominated for an Emmy Award.
- In 2000, the Buffalo Bills added Kalsu's name to the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.
- In 2002, the replacement company at Fort Campbell was named in honor of him – 1LT J. Robert Kalsu Replacement Company.
- Del City High School's football stadium bears his name.
- There is a CrossFit Work Out of the Day (WOD) named in his honor.
References[edit | edit source]
- Rockin’ the Rockpile: The Buffalo Bills of the American Football League, p.567, Jeffrey J. Miller, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-55022-797-0
- Rockin’ the Rockpile, p.513
- "World News - Television Crew". http://my.wn.com/search/television_crew?p=4700&t=details. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
[edit | edit source]
- Kalsu's memorial on The Virtual Wall website
- Benning soldiers adapt to new environment
- Fort Campbell 1LT J. Robert Kalsu Replacement Company
- Buffalo News story on Kalsu
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