Bob Kalsu

Bob Kalsu

James Robert Kalsu was born on April 13, 1945 in Oklahoma City. He was a star football player at Del City High School and was recruited to the Sooners in 1964. During his time at Oklahoma, Bob was a leader on both the football field and the ROTC drill field where he served as a brigade commander. He was an All American offensive tackle in 1967 and helped lead the Sooners to the Big Eight Conference Title during that season. After the Sooners’ Orange Bowl victory that season, Bob married his sweetheart Jan Darrow. More than just a great football player, Bob was also a friend and a loving husband. Kalsu is remembered as one of the most generous and likeable members of the team, someone you could always count on. An award is still given in his honor to the Sooner who displays the best character and leadership ability each year. After OU, Bob was drafted in the 8th round to the Buffalo Bills in 1968 where he was honored as rookie of the year during that season. During that same year, his wife Jan gave birth to his daughter, Jill. Following the 1968 season, Bob decided to fulfill his ROTC obligation by accepting his commission and deploying to Vietnam. As a First Lieutenant in Vietnam, Bob was posted at Firebase Ripcord in Ashau Valley as part of Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery, 101st Airborne Division. Bob was killed in action on July 21, 1970 during a mortar attack. His second child, Bob Jr. was born on the same day his wife Jan learned of his tragic death. Bob Kalsu is a true American hero; his generation’s Pat Tillman. He valued freedom and honor more than fame and fortune and never elevated himself above those he served with just because he was a great athlete. Bob Kalsu embodies all that an American soldier should strive to be and exemplified all of the Army values; especially selfless service.

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