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“Stories Behind The Stars” writing legacy of WW2 casualties, heroes

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:03 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - They are the heroes that paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today. For one Huntsville man, these World War 2 service members are more than a name on the wall. They’re part of the greatest generation - a legacy that is still being written today.

“Luther Luke Isom. He was born in Huntsville. He was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was Madison County’s first casualty of WW2. JD Luna. He was born in Tennessee but his family moved to Huntsville prior to 1940. He volunteered for the parachute infantry and served in the 101st airborne division. He made his first combat jump into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day on June 6, 1944, and he was killed in action that day,” said researcher and history buff Bob Fuerst.

These 2 soldiers are among the 211 World War 2 casualties from Madison County. Their names are etched into this memorial at Huntsville Madison County Veterans Park. Behind every name - is a story of a life lost. That’s where Bob Fuerst comes in. He’s doing his part to tell each local service member’s story. He’s a volunteer with a non-profit called “Stories Behind the Stars” - an initiative created to collect the stories of the more than 400-thousand Americans who were killed during World War 2.

“This is something I’m interested in and I think this would be a good thing to do so I volunteered,” said Fuerst.

Fuerst, a history buff and NASA engineer, has written the stories of 195 of our fallen service members. He says these WW2 military members are being forgotten and their stories need to be told. That’s why Fuerst is putting out all calls for volunteer writers - so all of Alabama’s fallen World War two soldiers can be remembered.

“We’re collectively working on the state of Alabama. There are about 64-hundred American fallen service members. We’ve written profiles of about 860 so far.”

“Stories Behind the Stars” started as a one-man blog - posting a story a day about a fallen soldier. Today, it’s a national initiative to write stories of all the 400,000 plus U.S. World War 2 soldiers that answered the call to serve their country. Fuerst says more volunteers are needed to write and share the stories of the fallen.

“Unfortunately so many of the names I’ve researched are kind of a dead end. They don’t seem to have any family. There is nobody around to remember them or maybe there is a grave marker in a cemetery overgrown with grass because nobody ever visits them. those folks deserve to be remembered.”

The goal is to document every soldier lost in World War 2 *before the 80th anniversary of the end of the war. That’s in 2025. A legacy for future generations to know about the *greatest generation.

If you would like to sign up to become a volunteer writer visit the “Stories Behind The Stars” website.

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