Kirkwood High School student newspaper
Nick DePalma army crawls through a field in typical uniform.

Mitchell Fales

Nick DePalma army crawls through a field in typical uniform.

Nick DePalma

College: Flight School (undecided)

Major: Aviation

After restlessly camping out in a tent overnight, Nick DePalma, senior, gets ready for battle. He puts on his uniform, grabs his supplies and prepares to start his day. He and his unit crawl through tall grass and hedgerows, preparing to storm a town of German soldiers. The unit’s Jeep rolls onto the field. DePalma is immediately thrown into the crossfire of enemy machine guns. As his unit prepares to storm the field, he needs to think tactically.

DePalma does multiple reenactments per month. These combat demonstrations can span from multiple days to just a few short hours. DePalma’s group’s name is 17th Airborne Division.

[The impact of reenactments on my life] has definitely been positive. It’s extremely unique, and I get to teach people about something that is really worth knowing about.

— Nick DePalma

Although DePalma reenacts WWII battles, there are many kinds of reenactments he participates in from combat to dances. Last year, instead of spending time with all of his fellow classmates at prom, DePalma chose to attend a Military Ball

“It was a 1940’s [themed] dance I went to.” DePalma said. “I didn’t have anyone to go to prom with, but one of the [reenactment] nurses offered to go with me to the [event].”

Even though DePalma is going to school for aviation, he still loves and wants to continue reenacting. He hopes to continue doing combat demonstrations in college until they become too much to keep up with. He says his favorite part is the people he meets and the community that is found through these battles. Because DePalma started reenacting at a young age, he also loves to teach kids about what he does.

“[My favorite part of the reenactments is] the action of the battles.” DePalma says. “[I also enjoy] talking to young, curious kids, and [the] late nights with friends.”

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