MARINE CORPS: Jumping Devildogs

A thousand feet below the fat belly of the cargo plane, the Virginia countryside had a wicked look. Rocks, scrub trees, creeks, fences, power lines looked as if they lay in wait there, in the blue summer haze.

Legs akimbo, half lying on their parachute packs, nine Marines lounged on the bare metal floor. The tenth stood before an open hatch in the side of the plane. A little older than the others, he was the sergeant and jump-master; he would be the first through the hatch. Now, while the plane rushed toward...

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