Who are only two NFL players to die in Vietnam Conflict?
Widely referred to as the Vietnam War, the military action that killed 58,220 American soldiers from 1955 to 1975 was never officially declared by Congress as an act of war. Whether you call it a War or Conflict, the battles in Vietnam was controversial, costly, and included two former NFL players who should be proudly honored by football everywhere.
1st Lt. James Robert “Bob” Kalsu
April 13, 1945 – July 21, 1970
- 1968 8th Round pick (199th overall) from University of Oklahoma
- Buffalo Bills, G
- 1968 Rookie of the Year
- 1968 First-team All-Pro
- 1969 Army enlistment
- 101st Airborne Division
- July 21, 1970 – Kalsu died defending Ripcord Base, a secluded jungle mountaintop. His wife, Jan, was informed about her husband’s death just a few hours after she had given birth to their son, James.
- Purple Heart recipeient
- Bronze Star recipient
Maj. Don Steinbrunner
April 5, 1932 – July 20, 1967
- 1953 6th Round Pick (72nd overall) from Washington State University
- Cleveland Browns, OT
- 1954 – After playing in eight games his rookie season, Steinbrunner began his two-year service obligation to the military for his ROTC enlistment in college. After its completion, he decided to stay in the Air Force.
- July 20, 1967 – Steinbrunner died when his plane was shot down over Kontum, South Vietnam. There were no survivors.
- Purple Heart recipient
- Distinguished Flying Cross recipient
- Air Medal recipient
#NFL #football #Vietnam