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This Day in Buffalo Sports History; March 29, 1969 -- Kalsu off to army

Bob Kalsu was an All-America tackle from Oklahoma, and was an eighth-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 1968. He became a regular in the Bills' lineup in his rookie season, and was voted the team's top first-year player.

He was required to satisfy his ROTC obligation after college and thus left the Bills to become an officer in the U.S. Army on this date. Kalsu arrived in Vietnam in November 1969, and was killed in action at the age of 25 on July 21, 1970.

Kalsu's wife, Jan, gave birth to their son, James Robert Kalsu Jr., only two days later. She was told of the death of her husband only hours after that.

Bob Kalsu was the only NFL player to die in combat in Vietnam. He went on the Bills' Wall of Fame in 2000, and the team's booster club hands out a scholarship to a high school senior in his honor.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs

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