Against the Tide in 1970
The Showtime TV movie "Against the Tide" was about an Alabama football game that took place just after I returned from Vietnam and restarted law school at the University of Alabama in 1970.  I don't remember the game at all.  The Army allowed me to leave Vietnam a few weeks early in order to start law school in September so that I would not lose a year by returning in October.  However, I could only leave in time to start exactly on time; so, I had almost no time to arrange my affairs before law school started.  The game would have taken place just about the time I was arriving in Tuscaloosa, and apparently the game was played in Birmingham.  Integration would have been no big deal for me, since the Army I was returning from was thoroughly integrated. However, relatively few Southern white boys went to Vietnam.  When I went through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, most of the white boys were going into the National Guard or Army Reserves, not the regular Army that was fighting in Vietnam.  I had a black drill sergeant who ended up putting most of the black trainees in my squad; I was a squad leader because I had been to college, and probably because I was in the small group that was going to stay in the Army after training, while most of the other white boys were going home to the Guard or Reserves.  So, that relatively small group that went on into the Army was pretty thoroughly integrated (on both sides).  I'm sure it was hard on the blacks to be in a squad led by a guy with a strong Southern accent.  But I credit the black drill sergeant with trying to be fair to both sides and do his best to get us ready for the real Army.  After basic training we all went out separate ways.  I went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and I never knew what happened to the guys who had been in my squad.  When I got to Vietnam, my deputy section chief of our fire direction center was black, and we lived together for much of my tour, sometimes sharing a sleeping bag, since one of us slept while the other worked, twelve hours on and twelve off.

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