In 1968, Bob Kalsu was the Buffalo Bills’ rookie of the year. The next year he was an artillery officer in Vietnam. As this Sports Illustrated profile recounts:
Word had gotten around the firebase that he had played for the Bills, but he would shrug off any mention of it. “Yeah, I play football,” he would say. What he talked about – incessantly – was his young family back home.
Grantland‘s “The Death of Bob Kalsu” describes the toll of his loss on that family:
For almost 30 years, Bob Jr. felt partially responsible for his father’s death. As the story went, Bob Kalsu was killed while running out to meet a helicopter that might be bringing the news of his son’s impending birth.
It took this NFL documentary to relieve Kalsu’s son of that burden.