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Twelve seconds later, Mr. Bucchianeri was in shock, white as a ghost. His kick missed right by 18 inches.

Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, he spent five years as a naval officer stationed in the Middle East, Central America and Asia. He worked two years with contractor Lockheed Martin in South America and Europe, handled Middle East policy for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Now, with the Army game still no distant memory, Mr. Bucchianeri has just entered Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary - his aim this time to unseat a retired Marine who went from drill instructor at Parris Island to being awarded two Purple Hearts. He is the only Democrat facing the outspoken and embattled veteran Rep. John P. Murtha, and if he were to win it would be the longest field goal of his life.

• John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes .com.

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