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  • Writer's pictureDon Milne

Survey Results - Who are the Stories Behind the Stars Volunteers?

I recently asked volunteers who participated in the Utah Fallen Pilot Project and the D-Day Fallen Project to complete a survey with some background questions. Here are the results.

  • 70% had family who served in World War II

  • 18% had a family member who died in World War II

  • 26% of volunteers or partner are serving or have served in the Armed Forces

  • 67% have an above average interest in World War II

Here is what people said about being prepared to write stories about the WWII fallen before joining this project

  • 34% very prepared

  • 36% moderately prepared

  • 30% not very prepared

A surprising number of volunteers have 10-40 years experience in family history research.

How many stories did our volunteers write?

  • 12% do at least one story per day

  • 23% do at least two stories per week

  • 45% do one to four stories per month

  • 20% do less than one story per month

How long does it take to research and write a story on average?

  • 12% 8+ hours

  • 34% 4-8 hours

  • 30% 2-4 hours

  • 23% 0-1 hours

Stories Behind the Stars volunteers will soon have the option of saving stories on Together We Served (they will be automatically copied over to Fold3). They can also continue to only use Fold3. TWS has many more options, but it takes extra time to learn how to use it. We asked what people are planning to do.

  • 9% strong prefer Fold3

  • 33% somewhat prefer Fold3

  • 50% somewhat prefer TWS, even if it means learning a new system

  • 8% strongly prefer TWS, even if it means learning a new system


  • 55% female

  • 45% male


  • 3% are under 18

  • 4% are 18-24

  • 1% are 25-34

  • 5% are 35-44

  • 14% are 45-54

  • 29% are 55-65

  • 45% are 65+

How did people hear about Stories Behind the Stars?

  • 43% News articles

  • 20% Facebook

  • 10% Other social media

  • 14% Other websites

  • 6% Word of mouth

  • 32% Other (radio, podcast, genealogy newsletter, email)


  • "Loved every minute I learned so much information about lots of topics and did not realize the amount of different battalions and different types of units there were involved in the war from all countries. Looking forward to the next project."

  • "I have learned so much in doing this. It has been more touching to my heart than I would have guessed. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in remembering these men and women."

  • "Thank you for letting me participate. I'm honored to write their stories. I believe everyone has a story to tell. Many of the young men I wrote about were an only child. I believe their parents would have been proud that someone remembers their child and what he did for our country."

  • "I had been looking for something that would help me keep up with my research and writing skills upon retirement, and this project does that. It is an opportunity to work on such a worthwhile project."

  • "Thank you for allowing me to participate in this important project, and please include me in future projects. Now, more than ever it is so important to preserve our history. I will continue to refine my research on my research subject, and have shared it with his hometown historic commission."

  • "Thank You For This Beautiful Program - They gave it all for us and need to be remembered always!"

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