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Don Steinbrunner

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Last Updated: 18 January 2022

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Don Steinbrunner

Born( 1932-04-05 ) April 5, 1932 Bellingham, Washington , U.S.
DiedJuly 20, 1967 (1967-07-20) (aged 35) near Quang Ngai City , Kon Tum Province , South Vietnam
AllegianceUnited States
Service/ branchU.S. Air Force
Years of service1954-1967
RankMajor
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsDistinguished Flying Cross Purple Heart
No. 56
Position:Tackle
Personal information
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Mount Baker (WA)
College:Washington State
NFL Draft:1953 / Round: 6 / Pick: 71
Career history
Cleveland Browns ( 1953 )
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.comPlayer stats at NFL.com
Player stats atPFR

Stories from Hall of Fame Archive: They would be only professional football players to lose their lives in battle during Vietnam War. This past Monday, observed Memorial Day. Decoration Day, as it was originally know, was established to honor those lost while fighting in Civil War. During World War I, however, United States found itself involved in another major conflict, and holiday evolve, later commemorating American military personnel who in all wars, including World War II, Vietnam War, Korean War and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since founding of National Football League in 1920, league and its players have answered nations ' calls during times of crisis and military conflicts. There are many stories of triumph, and personal sacrifice made by more than 1 200 players, coaches and administrators who interrupt or delay their Pro Football careers to serve their country during these times of struggle. Pro Football was coming of age during 1960s. There was significant growth and unprecedented rise in popularity, for both NFL and then-rival American Football League, because of increased television exposure. During that same period, however, United States saw itself immersed in Vietnam War. NFL players past and once again answered call, some as active-duty participants, segment of military reservists and others as goodwill ambassadors through League-sponsored programs. Twenty-nine NFL personnel served in military during Vietnam War, including three Hall of Famers: Charlie Joiner, Ray Nitschke and Roger Staubach. Two professional football players, Buffalo Bills guard Bob Kalsu and Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Don Steinbrunner, would enlist and ultimately give what President Abraham Lincoln called last full measure of devotion in his Gettysburg Address. They would be only professional football players to lose their lives in battle during Vietnam War. Kalsu, who entered Army after his promising 1968 rookie season with Bills, was killed on July 21 1970, following eight months of heavy combat. Lt. Kalsus unit fell under heavy fire while defending Firebase Ripcord on isolated jungle mountaintop. Steinbrunner, who played offensive tackle in 1953 for Browns, joined ROTC while in college and was called to active duty following his rookie season with Browns. Upon completion of two-year tour of duty as Air Force navigator, Bellingham, Wash., Native considered returning to Browns, but instead opted to pursue military career. In 1966, was called to serve in Vietnam. Not long after his arrival, he was shot in knee during aerial mission and was offered opportunity to accept less dangerous assignment. He decline. According to his family, 35-year-old Steinbrunner reason that he was better suited to serve his country than many of younger, less-seasoned soldiers he had observe. It was decision that would cost him his life. On July 20 1967, Steinbrunner's was shot down over Kontum, South Vietnam. There were no survivors.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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