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John E. Nevola is a feature writer for Guns and Patriots. He is the author of The Last Jump, and his website is: www.thelastjump.
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  • The Last Jump: Chapter 81

    Finally, he bent over and uttered a barely audible choking whisper. “I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.” Then he slowly raised his head, wiped his eyes, forced a weak but sincere smile and gently touched the flag.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 80

    The endless procession of companies continued. Neither the crowd nor the soldiers seemed to lose any enthusiasm. Each company seemed to march better than the last. The crowd got bigger and louder as more ticker tape and confetti filled the canyon between the tall buildings.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 79

    Chapter Seventy-Nine Charleston, South Carolina – June 20, 2007 “Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim, earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.” Dwight David Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) | Read More »

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 78

    He smiled at her. “I understand. Look, we don’t have to look that far down the road. That doesn’t have to be part of the plan. We’re two adults. We can work things out without getting too far ahead of ourselves.”

  • The Last jump: Chapter 77

    The Last jump: Chapter 77

    “No children,” she answered. “He considered you his son. We thought we were too old to start a family. Besides, we never officially married. He didn’t marry Rose either.” Macie pondered for a few seconds. “Despite his high standards for loyalty, Jake was a bit of a scoundrel.” She chuckled. “Are you married, John?”

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 76

    The deck began to vibrate as the engines started up. Longshoremen released the lines and the tugs began to edge the ship from its berth. The long awaited journey home was finally at hand.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 75

    “Let me explain. Jake and I were engaged when I sent him a Dear John letter. I was a confused kid,” she smiled again. “When he got the letter he went a little crazy and wound up punching an officer. A few months later, when they each missed rotation back to the States by a few points, they went to appeal. The appeals officer was the one Jake hit. Of course, the officer denied them on the spot.”

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 74

    Jake was crying. He reached down and cradled Johnny’s head and shoulders in his arms. He hugged Johnny tightly to provide warmth, rocking him ever so slightly. Jake looked at West. All three men had tear-streaked faces. Jake held his friend tightly and gently rocked him until he expelled his last breath.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 73

    Chapter Seventy-Three Charleston, South Carolina – June 20, 2007 “Women who stepped up were measured as citizens of the nation, not as women…this was a people’s war and everyone was in it.” Colonel Oveta Culp Hobby (1905 – 1995) J.P. | Read More »

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 72

    J.P. kept looking at the picture as he spoke. “Every time I feel like I got this behind me, something happens to stir it up again. More than once I was determined to let it go but Frank kept hinting I still didn’t get it. Of all the guys, he seemed like the only one who really wanted me to know the truth. Even from beyond the grave he won’t give it up but keeps sending me clues.” J.P. shook his head in curious disbelief as he propped the picture up against the sugar bowl and continued to study it. “I’m getting too old to worry about this shit!”

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 71

    Chapter Seventy-One Joigny, France – August 15, 1945 “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato (c. 428 BC – c. 347 BC) Finally, there was something to celebrate. July had been a depressing and frustrating month for | Read More »

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 70

    Chapter Seventy Washington, D.C.  – June 1, 2004 Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.  Know the line has held, your job is done. Rest easy, sleep well.  Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held. Peace, peace, | Read More »

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 69

    Occupation duty was fine with Johnny. But high-strung paratroopers used to a steady adrenaline rush became bored and susceptible to mischief. There were accidents, brawls and all sorts of troublesome behavior. Captain Frank West worked equally hard to get both the civilian population and his own men under control. He relied heavily on both of the boys, especially Johnny and his language skills.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 68

    Looking up from the beach toward the heights, one could see three more Rangers in bronze laboring mightily to gain the summit. Taut ropes, dangling feet and joined hands testified to the strain and struggle to breach the cliff.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 67

    As the orders for carriers dried up, workers were furloughed. The frenetic pace of construction in 1942 and 1943 had slowed to a more methodical tempo. It was clear America would eventually win the War. There was no longer a desperate need to build any more of these majestic behemoths.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 66

    The Last Jump: Chapter 66

    At dawn on 19 December, General der Panzertruppen Hasso Eccard von Manteuffel’s XLVII Panzer Corps, having clawed its way out of the deep ravines and steep river valleys, was finally in open tank country. Three German divisions were now bearing down on Bastogne.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 65

    Cynthia Powers walked into the condo after a long day of work to find J.P. sitting at the kitchen table staring blankly at his flowchart. He normally got home before she did and usually started dinner by the time she walked in. The two customary glasses of wine on the table were also missing. He was drinking Chivas Regal on the rocks. Something was wrong.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 64

    Dawn broke nearly invisible on the morning of 19 December. Only the shift of color to a paler gray gave a hint the sun had risen beyond the impenetrable blanket of fog enveloping the eastern sky. The overnight trip from Mourmelon took place under a misty rain with the temperature hovering at forty degrees. The Screaming Eagles were transported packed tightly together in open trailers. If they slept at all, it was standing upright.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 63

    Derek, this is the best job I ever had. I even got to fly a Jap Zero and an early-version Bf-109 Messerschmitt. Who else could ever get a chance to do that? Right now we fly three-quarters of the planes ferried in the States with a lower accident rate than the men. We also do other jobs the guys won’t do.

  • The Last Jump: Chapter 62

    More than any other ground campaign in the War, the Battle of the Bulge was a battle for roads. It was about securing and moving rapidly along the few usable roads and denying them to the enemy. Whoever controlled the roads controlled the fight. In this fluid struggle for force mobility, the crossroad villages and road hub cities became the most important real estate in the Ardennes Forest.