Not long ago, Don Milne of Bountiful launched a nonprofit initiative titled “Stories Behind the Stars” with the goal of collecting the stories in one location of each United States World War II (WWII) soldier that has fallen.
This initiative is conducted under the auspices of The Greatest Generations Foundation, which is the organization that arranged WWII vets to visit the Washington DC World War II War Memorial with the President in May.
In the short time that the program has been in existence, Milne expressed that he already has individuals from 30 states, as well as two foreign countries, that are interested in joining him to write the stories. Ancestry.com is also working with Milne to give all that assist free access to their site, among others. This is in order for the volunteers to be able to locate the source material needed at no cost.
All that is needed for the volunteers is time available to write the stories. Milne stated that this is a fortuitous time as many have more free time than usual.
Eventually, Milne aims to create a short story about each of the 400,000 plus U.S. WWII fallen that anyone will be able to read at no cost. Milne also stated that there will be a smartphone app to give all the opportunity to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the name of the fallen and read the story from there.
“Visiting memorials will never be the same,” Milne stated.
With many Utah WWII fallen, Milne is looking to have a great number of Utah volunteers, including Carbon County. Milne is working with Gary Harter of Utah Veterans and Military Affairs as well as Utah State Historian Kevin Fayles.
Milne now has a working database of the Utah fallen that is broken down by county in order for those helping from the state to easily find names. He found nearly 100 names that came from Carbon County. The stories Milne already completed from the Utah fallen may be found here. Those that wish to learn more about volunteering may click here.