Part 1

September 1941

Chapter 1

New school year. New beginning. Ron Miller kept repeating those thoughts to himself while he walked across the campus of the University of Maryland. He looked forward to the fall semester of 1941. It had to be a whole lot better than 1940 had been.

Last year, he had hopes of starting a new life with a new bride. For better or for worse, the marriage never happened, and it painted his whole attitude in dark hues. But this year things would change. He wouldn’t spend another day pining over lost love. To heck with women. All they did was complicate life. Getting his Master’s degree in history was his main goal for the coming year.

Moving past the crowd of boys and girls lined up for new student orientation, he couldn’t help noticing that the young freshmen all had the same expression on their faces. He saw the same mixture of excitement and anxiety he’d experienced ten years earlier on his first day of college.

Ten years? Had it been that long since his first day as a freshman at Georgetown University? He’d gone to school with plans for becoming a history teacher, but life did have a way of taking unusual turns. It was during sophomore year that he’d become interested in the school’s R.O.T.C. program. At the height of the Depression when he’d worried about finding a good-paying job after college, the Army seemed like the way to go.

Still, he couldn’t get the dream of being a history teacher out of his head, so he’d gone on reserve duty to attend graduate school. He was lucky to be in school for a second year when many reservists were being pressed back into service. He had a gut feeling that America’s involvement in the war in Europe was inevitable. It was a thought he kept pushing to the back of his mind.

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