In 1968, Bob Kalsu was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, earned a spot as a starting guard, and was chosen as the team’s rookie of the year. In 1969, Kalsu was sent to Vietnam, where in 1970 he died at age 25.
The Bills’ web site has a story on this Memorial Day remembering Kalsu, the only active NFL player to be killed in Vietnam.
“If you’re serious about Memorial Day and what it stands for, you think about those family members and friends and people in your community that made a life sacrifice and Bob is part of that thought process this time of year,” said fellow Bills guard Billy Shaw. “Bob is the only person that I played with during that period of time that made that kind of sacrifice, so his name comes through my memory at this time.”
Ten years ago Kalsu was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and profiled by William Nack in a great portrait of a promising life cut short. Reading Nack’s story is a great way to spend some time this Memorial Day.