|Birth name||James Robert Kalsu|
|Born||April 13, 1945|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
|Died||July 21, 1970 (aged 25)|
FSB Ripcord, Thua Thien, South Vietnam
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1968–1970|
|Unit||101st Airborne Division|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school:||Del City (Del City, Oklahoma)|
|NFL Draft:||1968 / Round: 8 / Pick: 199|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
James Robert Kalsu (April 13, 1945 – July 21, 1970) was an American football player who was an All-American tackle at the University of Oklahoma and an eighth-round selection in the 1968 NFL/AFL draft by the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. Kalsu joined the U.S. Army as an officer after the 1968 season and was killed in action in the Vietnam War in 1970.
Kalsu was one of two professional football players killed in the Vietnam War and the last to be killed serving as a soldier in a war until Pat Tillman in 2004.
James Robert Kalsu was born on 13 April 1945 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and attended Del City High School. Kalsu was a starting guard for the Buffalo Bills in the 1968 season, playing 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, Kalsu entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant and arrived in South Vietnam in November 1969 as part of the 101st Airborne Division. On July 21, 1970, Kalsu was killed in action at the Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord when his unit came under enemy 82-millimeter mortar fire while stationed near the A Shau Valley in Thua Thien Province. His family has declined to talk in detail about the circumstances surrounding his death.
When Kalsu had left for South Vietnam, Kalsu had to say goodbye to his wife, Jan, and his daughter Jill. On July 23, 1970, two days after his death, Jan gave birth to his son, James Robert Kalsu Jr, at the Kalsu home in Oklahoma City, and was informed that he had died only hours later. Kalsu was one of only two professional football players killed in action during the Vietnam War along with Don Steinbrunner, a former Cleveland Brown player who died on July 20, 1967. Kalsu and Steinbrunner were the first professional players to be killed in action since Al Blozis of the New York Football Giants died during World War II in 1945. Kalsu remained the last professional player to be killed in action until Pat Tillman died in the Afghanistan War in 2004.
|1st Row||Bronze Star Medal|
|2nd Row||Purple Heart Medal||Army Commendation Medal||National Defense Service Medal|
|3rd Row||Vietnam Service Medal
with 3 bronze Campaign stars
|South Vietnamese Gallantry Cross
|Vietnam Campaign Medal|