top of page

Our Story Writers 

We have writers from many different states and countries. These amazing heroes come from many different backgrounds but they all have one thing in common -- they want to see the stories told of those who did not make it home.

WWII author Rona

Rona Simmons





State: Georgia

"As an author of WWII era works, I am dedicated to understanding the sweep of the war’s history and uncovering little-known details. This project is a win-win situation: I learn something with each profile and help bring to life what otherwise would be just a name, rank, and serial number." 

 Fold3 Profile

Mary K.




State: Minnesota

"I am the niece of a WWII Fallen Hero and I started writing about other WWII Fallen Heroes to tell their stories, so they are not forgotten for their ultimate sacrifice.  My primary focus has been on Minnesota soldiers because that is where I was born and raised."

 Fold3 Profile  


John F.



State: Nevada  

"I’m working on this project because it’s important for successive generations to understand the sacrifice these American boys made to literally save the world from tyranny. If we don’t honor and remember, who will?"

 Fold3 Profile 

Schlatter John F.jpg

Susan E.



State: Tennessee

"I have researched my own family history for over 20 years, and have a deep respect and admiration for the military and veterans. Family members have served in WWII and all conflicts. My husband is retired Navy (Submarine Service) and I value the experience I had as a Navy wife. The stories of all who served need to be preserved."

 Fold3 Profile 

Susan Gould.jpg


Neel Ellison




State: Utah

"I am a business owner with my husband Josh and a work at home mom of 4 children. Our family lives in Park City, Utah but we are originally from Oregon. I have been an independent family history researcher for over 12 years now. I have had a passion for U.S. war history since I was a child. WWII is my most passionate research project aside from family history. I am so grateful to be able to contribute to the memorials of such courageous soldiers. “Land of the Free because of the Brave."

 Fold3 Profile  

Brianne Neel Ellison.jpeg


M. Floyd





State: Utah

"I am an avid amateur genealogist and have always been fascinated by the history of World War II, and I am grateful for the opportunity to commemorate the American heroes whose sacrifice allowed us to win the war."

 Fold3 Profile  

Jonathon M. Floyd.png




State: Alabama

I'm a NASA engineer, avid reader of WWII history, and an amateur genealogist so this effort dovetails nicely with my interests. We can never do enough to thank the members of the Greatest Generation for the sacrifices they made and I'm honored to be able to tell the stories of some of these heroes. I'm currently working on writing profiles of the fallen from Madison County, AL and coordinating other volunteers across the state of Alabama. 

Fold3 Profile

Favorite Story

Leroy C Sugg





State: Oklahoma

"Genealogist and historian working on my ancestry in Canada, the United States, Ireland, France, and Belgium for the past 40 years. 
Joining Don Milne's group of writers for 'The Stories Behind the Stars',  researching and putting together biographies of the WWII fallen

 has given me a way to not only do what I love, but to give back, just a little, to those who served and fell, with honor."


LuAnn H



State: Utah

"Writing for Stories Behind the Stars is my way of showing respect for the sacrifices

of the soldiers and their families. My research is primarily related to those from Sanpete County, Utah and shared on the Facebook page: "

Fold3 Profile

Favorite Story 

Clay L Rosenvall


Dennis Victor



State: Alaska

"I have lived in Alaska for 25 years, I am former Paratrooper of the 82nd Airborne Division and graduate of the Virginia Military Institute Class of 1990 I participate in this project to ensure that the sacrifice of the average soldier, marine, airman and sailor is not forgotten or lost to time. "


Emily Ritter


State: Indiana

"I am an Army wife, Gold Star Family member, and Avide Volunteer. I love history, so Stories Behind the Stars just seemed to fit my personality. I love working on family trees and consider any service member, fallen, current, or veteran, part of my family."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

John Stewart Ferguson



K. Shapiro


State: Utah

"Sophia is a student with a passion for WWII. In her spare time, she writes historical fiction and listens to Benny Goodman. Sophia started writing for Stories Behind the Stars to honor the sacrifices of the many brave men and women who gave their lives for and to their country."

 Fold3 Profile 


Mike Appleby


State: Colorado

"I served in the US Army from 1967 to 1969 in Korea after the USS Pueble was captured.  I was a SP5, as the NCOIC of the West Camp Casey Army Education Center.  I've been doing family genealogy since 1983 and pay particular attention to any Veterans in my tree, documenting their service from the French-Indian Wars through the present - especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  I joined Stories Behind the Stars because I believe it is important to save these stories for future generations."

 Fold3 Profile 

Appleby, Mike AL.jpg



State: South Carolina

"I am passionate about this project because it helps me give back to a generation that I spent caring for.  I am a caregiver, historian, civil rights advocate as well as a mother, wife and grandmother. "

 Fold3 Profile 

STAR project.png

J. Randall



State: Colorado

"I am a retired Professional Engineer. I joined Ancestry to write a manuscript on the family history for my granddaughter. The intent was to identify ancestors and develop her family trees, but to also provide stories about them to help people remember them. The first draft was completed in 2020. I learned of this project in October 2020. The goal for "Stories Behind the Stars" was similar to what I was doing for my granddaughter, except this is much more important. These veterans and their sacrifice should never be forgotten, and these stories will help"

 Fold3 Profile 


Peri Lane



State: Washington

" I'm working on this project because I want to honor the people who have fought to give us the freedoms for which so many generations to come will benefit . I don't want the soldier's individual stories to be lost to time."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story 

Captain Edwin Earl Swanson

Peri January 2020.jpg


R.E. Louie


State: Ohio

"I started writing stories about my high school’s fallen WWII servicemen. Over time, I went on to research many other Americans who have lost their lives in America’s military conflicts. Most of my stories are of Ohioans but I hope to expand into other states as well."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

Max Eugene Eaken

Me (2).jpg

Bryan Fusfield


State: Colorado

"I am a 27 year old Colorado resident looking to relate with and remember fallen servicemen/women & veterans. I aim to be a bridge for this history to reach people of my generation and younger. I am a video production specialist by trade and am passionate about military genealogy research."

 Fold3 Profile 


Steve Brannan


State: Alabama

"I have always been interested in US military history and the men and women who served. I am participating in this project to help preserve the memory of those who died to defend our freedom. I am a Vietnam War Navy Veteran and served on Swift Boats 1969-70."

 Fold3 Profile 


Julie Sohlberg


State: Colorado

"I have been doing family history and genealogy since the early 1980's. Using my research abilities to write the stories of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country is my honor."

 Fold3 Profile 

Julie Profile Photo.jpg

Pamela Schnagl



"My social research experience is a basis for my interest in putting together stories of the WW2 Fallen.  In addition, family members drafted into service, participated in WW1, WW2 and the Vietnam War. My Uncle died in WW2 Battle of the Bulge. So, I want to honor the sacrifices of all those in service and their families. Focusing then on those who gave their lives to protect us from harm helps to do that.  Peace"

 Fold3 Profile 



Diane Smith


State: Utah

"I am so very grateful and honored to write the stories for these wonderful WWII Heroes  who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for our freedom.  I call them “My Little Squadron”!  I am proud to be the daughter of a WWII Army Air Forces ATC  Pilot and the wife of a Vietnam Aircraft Electrician/Mechanic."

 Fold3 Profile 


Rhonda Steele


State: Colorado

"I am a veteran and a genealogist. I love the stories and the research and these are stories that need to be told."

 Fold3 Profile 


Jenna Rabtzow


State: Colorado

"I am the wife of an Army veteran and mom to three awesome kids. I am happy to be able use my love of history, writing and research to honor those who lost their lives during World War II by rediscovering their stories so that their sacrifice is not forgotten."

 Fold3 Profile 


Aarica K. Rice


State: Colorado

"I am working with Stories Behind the Stars in order to honor those who have fallen in service of our country. It is my belief that those brave men and women should not be forgotten. Sharing their stories with others will help their legacies live on in the memories of the next generation."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story 

Andrew Jackson



James Robert



State: Texas

"Thirty years ago I inherited my grandmother’s collection of WW2 letters, photos, diaries and artifacts from her son, Harold, who was killed in action. Researching my uncle’s wartime experience, I was drawn to learn more about the people he wrote about. That’s how my writing started. In doing so, I hope to leave a record for those who survived and didn’t talk of the war and those who died and could not speak for themselves."

 Fold3 Profile 






"I got interested in the Stories Behind the Stars project after reading an article about it on the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.  I have two uncles who died in the war and am currently writing stories of the fallen from Chambers County, Alabama, where both of my parents were born."

 Fold3 Profile 

Wooodall photo.jpg




State: Tennessee

"My admiration for the sacrifices of my parents and grandparents, which afforded me the freedoms I now have, are a driving force to honor that generation. With a career as a writer, volunteering for this project is a way to use my experience to honor them."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

Katherine M Applegate

Lea Schneider 2.jpg

Lisa Brocadello



State: Colorado

"I am a 23-year-old Italian Citizen and a Legal Permanent Resident of the USA. I decided to volunteer for this project because I honor and value the liberty we enjoy every day in this country, and keeping alive the memories of those who paid the ultimate price for this freedom is my way of appreciating this and saying THANK YOU. I want to ensure that future generations will be able to learn about the lives of each American hero so that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. "

 Fold3 Profile 


Tina Yeagley



My full name is Tina Yeagley. The reason I am participating in this project is to honor those who died serving our country. I love this country, and I am so grateful to those who have sacrificed so much for us. I want to help make sure those brave men and women won't be forgotten.  "

 Fold3 Profile 

my picture.jpg

Donna French 


State: Utah

"As the Air Force veteran I feel a camaraderie to all service personnel. I love genealogy and the search for answers. This project is important to demonstrate what service personnel go through and their sacrifice they gave. "




State: Utah

"I am the wife of an Air Force Veteran and mother of five grown children. I love my country and the military. I have been involved in genealogy for many years and especially enjoy researching. Volunteering for this project allowed me to pay back a little to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for my liberty."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

William L Brandon

Valerie RS.JPG



State: New York

"I am a writer and amateur genealogist. The young men and women who served in WWII – and the families they left behind – sacrificed so much for our country. I joined this project to help ensure that they are not forgotten."

 Fold3 Profile 


Heidi Hubbell


State: Illinois 

"My dad was a WWII Veteran and  I am pleased to have this opportunity to honor our courageous Veterans.  My love for healthcare began when I started volunteering @ our local hospital in 1966.  I became an RN and then an Adult Nurse Practitioner.  I have practiced in urban and rural settings on both coasts, CO and the Midwest in multiple specialties. I became a firefighter and also volunteered @ the American Red Cross on both coasts.  I was honored to provide healthcare & work with Veterans @ the VA prior to retiring.  You may see me around town in my ’67 red Mustang convertible!"

Heidi Bolling.png

Robert “Red”


State: California

"I am a retired 33-year Navy man who has always had a keen interest in military history and genealogy. My father served in the Army during WWII. Working on the Stories Behind the Stars project is my way of giving back to those brave souls who were part of our "Greatest Generation"

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

Mark Tomlinson

Mark Tomlinson.jpg



Normandy, France

"I am 33 Years old. The D-Day landing and the Battle of Normandy are my hobby. I belong to the French association Les Fleurs de la Mémoire, caring for graves of Fallen Soldiers buried in the Normandy American Cemetery. I leave some flowers in the cemetery to honor the boys. I volunteered to write stories on each Hampden County WW2 Fallen soldiers buried in Normandy. I am also a collector. I join the program because it is easy to share my stories and I would like to give Fallen soldiers a second life. Sharing who they were and what they did far from their home."

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

John H Wheeler

BURRILL Arthur croix - 2-min.jpeg
John H Wheeler.jpg

Malcolm M.


State: Nevada

“I’m happy to participate in this effort to tell the stories of true W.W.II heroes who sacrificed all. I’m a retired USAF Colonel and physician. My father and his brothers served in WWII. One uncle served as an Army surgeon in the 9th Air Disarmament Group, 53d Air Disarmament Squadron and 1515th Quartermaster Battalion. He died in an ambulance roll-over accident in 1945. My second uncle served in the Dental Corps. My father was the engineer/top turret gunner on a B-17F that was shot down over France (which I’ve written a book about titled: MISSION VII BC 26 The Downing of “Terry and the Pirates”). I’ve published 2 genealogy books; a history book, poems and short stories. I’m pleased to be part of this effort."


Lowell Silverman

State: Delaware

"It's humbling to remember that, once this project is complete, if you were to spend just one minute reading each story, it would take about nine months to finish without taking a break.  Even these American fallen represent only a small fraction of those consumed by the war. The British lost roughly the same number of people from a far smaller population; the Soviets, in the Battle of Stalingrad alone.  This research is important to preserve the individual names and faces of those lost in a period of such mind-numbing suffering." 

 Fold3 Profile 

Favorite Story

Philip A. Beaman

bottom of page