How many U.S. service men and women from Wisconsin died during World War II?
Nobody knows, but Jean Cookle, a volunteer for the nonprofit WWII remembrance initiative Stories Behind the Stars is undertaking a mission to identify every one of the Wisconsin service members who died during World War II and find volunteers to write a short story about each of them.
Cookle estimates that the total number of WWII fallen from the state will be at least 8,300. Having this list will allow Stories Behind the Stars volunteers to write a story about every one of these fallen heroes. The stories are being saved to a common database so they can be easily accessed through a free smartphone app to read at any gravesite or memorial.
Volunteers of all ages are participating in the initiative, and Stories Behind the Stars (storiesbehindthestars.org) provides training and free access to research sites such as Ancestry.com and Newspapers.com.So far, project volunteers have written nearly 16,000 stories. The current project is writing the stories of all the WWII fallen who are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.