Every Army Man Is with You
The Cadets Who Won the 1964 Army-Navy Game, Fought in Vietnam, and Came Home Forever Changed
By (author) Nicolaus Mills
Publication date:13 November 2014
Length of book:258 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
For Army’s players, their 1964 football game against a Navy team led by its Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Roger Staubach, was a do-or-die battle. Army had lost to Navy five years in a row. This time a stunning victory by Army changed the Cadets’ fortunes and made headlines across the country. With five of its starters playing offense and defense, Army rallied to an 11-8 triumph. The win was the beginning of an even greater challenge for West Point’s players. Soon they were in Vietnam, fighting a war that did not end as they or America expected. In Every Army Man Is with You Nicolaus Mills tells the story of that unforgettable Army team by focusing on the lives of seven of its players as they go from the football field, to the Vietnam battlefield, and back again to the States. Mills sheds light not just on what that the players’ experiences meant to them personally but on what their experiences say about the ways the Vietnam era shaped our nation.
Historian Mills, a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, traces the heroics of the Army players who triumphed in the 1964 game against Navy (piloted by future Hall of Fame MFL quarterback Roger Staubach) to the jungles of Vietnam with exceptional insight. The title of the book comes from a gung-ho telegram sent by former president Dwight Eisenhower to the Army football stars before their classic showdown with Navy, but their upset victory, their first in five years, pales in contrast to their exploits in their battles with the Vietcong. Although Mills writes with much respect and authority of the importance of the Army brass to the young athletes, he reserves some of his highest praise for the Army head coach Paul Dietzel and his fearless squad, including quarterback Rollie Stichweh, linebacker Sonny Stowers, tailback John Seymore, and tackle Bill Zadel, all of whom faced foreign conflict and postwar life with grit and determination. Mills includes insightful interviews of these Army athletes on the battlefield and on the gridion, honoring honor, courage and determination.