In December of 2005, Professor Bill Estill read an article that identified Vermont as the state with the highest per capita loss of soldiers from the Iraq war.
Professor Estill suggested that his students tell the stories of the "Vermont Fallen." The film would celebrate the lives of these Vermonters, through interviews with the friends and family members they left behind.
The project is the latest installment in the "Our American Journey" series of student—produced historical documentaries. Similar Norwich projects have aired on cable and public television in the past. In 1999, a documentary on Vietnam War veterans won the College Television Award for best documentary. Another project, The Road Back to the Frozen Four recently captured a first-place award in The Society of Professional Journalists' national competition.