"I discovered Don’s WWII Fallen 100 blog sometime in early 2018 and it quickly became one of my favorite sites to visit on a daily basis. I’ve enjoyed reading about World War 2 history for as long as I can remember, in fact I recall writing a book report when I was in elementary school on General Claire Chennault and the Flying Tigers. My father was drafted after graduating high school in 1945 and was at the Army’s Cavalry Replacement Training Center at Ft. Riley, KS training as a tank crewman when the war ended. He very likely would have been involved in the invasion of Japan if it had happened, and so I feel that I owe a debt to every one of the American soldiers, sailors, and airmen who lost their lives so that this didn’t have to come to pass.
When Don put out a call for help writing profiles of the fallen for his blog, I jumped at the chance to contribute in any way. I’m an amateur genealogist, so was already familiar with the main sources of data that are available for use in researching the profiles. And I thought it was a sign when I discovered while researching the very first fallen that Don assigned me was buried in the same cemetery as some of my not-too-distant relatives. I’ve gained a deep sense of appreciation from learning about these men and the circumstances in which they gave their all for their country, from the Medal of Honor winners who displayed unimaginable courage in combat, to the tragic lives lost in training or non-combat related accidents before they even had a chance to get into the fight.
I’ve typically written only 5 or 6 profiles each month, Don somehow manages to find the time to complete the rest of the month on his own. As you can probably imagine, there are usually plenty of fallen to write about for a given birthdate, the hard part is settling on only one. I’ve mostly tried to select fallen for which I’m able to find a photo of the individual to accompany the blog post, because I believe seeing what this person looked like helps immensely to connect the reader to his story. But that regrettably means that in making my selections I’ve had to pass over hundreds of the fallen who are just as equally deserving of being memorialized only because no photo could be found.
I truly hope that Don’s Stories Behind the Stars project is able to fill in the blanks of the multitudes of the fallen who deserve to have their stories known and to be remembered as more than a grass covered grave marker in a cemetery. I will certainly continue to do my small part to make Don’s hope a reality." - Bob Fuerst -Alabama