Honoring the Doughboys

Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary

Jeffrey A. Lowdermilk

Date Published :
August 2014
Publisher :
George F Thompson Publishing
Contributor(s) :
Helen Patton
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781938086182

In stock


Jeff Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and of military history began as a lad when he listened to his grandfather, George A. Carlson, tell his life's stories about serving as a 'doughboy' in Europe during the Great War. When his grandfather passed away in 1982, his mother gave to Jeff her father's amazing diary, which included not only lengthy descriptions of the landscapes, towns, and battles he experienced, but also heartfelt observations and insights about what life as a soldier on the road and in battle and in the trenches meant to all of Mr. Carlson's buddies. Thus began Jeff Lowdermilk's life-long quest to tell his grandfather's story. As one can imagine, the young Lowdermilk became fascinated with the diary and how long and detailed it was. He transcribed it and then plotted his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, and Germany as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. And he immersed himself in the history of the Great War and in the geography of the places where his grandfather and other doughboys walked and fought. He also dedicated himself to becoming a first-rate photographer, and thus his career path as a writer and photographer and lecturer of World War I and II was securely in place. Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a unforgettable tribute to all the doughboys, the foot soldiers, who served during World War I. Integrating passages from his grandfather's diary with his own anecdotes and photographic survey of the places his grandfather traveled and fought over, Lowdermilk has composed an enduring compilation of how the reality of battle and of war can be reconciled through commemoration and memorialization and even a pilgrimage such as his, in which he walked and drove thousands of kilometers during many decades retracing his grandfather's journey. This book provides a rich visual and historic tour of Europe's landscapes, towns, battlefields, memorials, cemeteries, and monuments of World War I. And it offers the reader that rare chance to share in the experience of thousands of America's doughboys who, like Mr. Carlson, gave it their all in the fight to keep Europe free of tyranny and oppression. Jeff Lowdermilk has done the nation a real favor with his moving expression of gratitude to American veterans of World War I. And Helen Patton, granddaughter of General George S. Patton, Jr., adds her voice of appreciation for Jeff Lowdermilk's effort in her heartfelt foreword. ** Nominated for a 2015 IPPY Award" from the Independent Publishers Association ** Upcoming Author Events

  • Tattered Cover Colfax Ave. - Main Store February 17, 2015 at 7 PM
  • Missouri History Museum St. Louis, MO April 26 & 25, 2015 at 1 PM

  • About The Author

    Jeffrey A. Lowdermilk is a Santa Fe-based writer, photographer, and lecturer of America's involvement in World War I and II who has traveled extensively in Europe during the past decades chronicling the two wars in words and pictures and, in turn, meeting with thousands of veterans who became friends and shared their own experiences and insights into what it was like to be there. His photographs have been exhibited widely at such institutions as the Colorado History Museum, National World War I Museum, and New Mexico History Museum, and he is the author of Saluting America's World I Heroes, a historical narrative and photographic presentation that honored the ninetieth anniversary of the Armistice.

    HELEN PATTON is the granddaughter of General George S. Patton, Jr., Chairwoman of the Patton Foundation, and the author of Portraits of Service: Looking into the Faces of Veterans.


    Jeff Lowdermilk has made a significant contribution to the public memory of World War I. By combining the straightforward narrative of his grandfather, George A. Carlson, with his stunning photographs of memorials and landscapes associated with the war, Lowdermilk captures the sense of courage and sacrifice of that epochal moment in world history. In his introduction, he reminds us that, because the American role was relatively brief, this war is often overlooked in our history books. Because of his passionate dedication to this subject, the valorous service of his grandfather and all the grandfathers—including my own—who fought to defend freedom will not be forgotten.

    - Dr. Brent D. Glass, Director Emeritus, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

    Jeff Lowdermilk has done more than provide a civic service—remembering the thousands of American doughboys who fought and died for freedom on the fields of France, Belgium, and Germany during World War I. He has done more than give us a personal testament to his grandfather's bravery, memory, and the heartfelt relationship between a young man and his wise elder. He has given us a work of art. Lowdermilk's achingly beautiful photographs of the graves, monuments, and fields of valor of the American Expeditionary Forces cannot fail to impress the reader with the heroism of a generation of Americans long and wrongfully forgotten. May his grandfather's words and his spectacular photographic vision move you as much as they have moved me.

    - Bruce C. McKenna, creator, writer, and producer of HBO's Emmy Award-winning miniseries, The Pacific, and writer of the television series, Band of Brothers

    Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a lasting and loving tribute to the honor and memory of all Americans who served their country during World War I, especially the 'doughboys,' the common foot soldiers who fought in Europe for liberty and a better world. The words of Jeff Lowdermilk's grandfather, taken from his war-time diary, speak viscerally to us about his experiences. As illustrations accompanying these words, none could be more appropriate than Lowdermilk's photographs, as they provide a visual record of the legacy of service and sacrifice of many thousands who did their patriotic duty.

    - Jonathan R. Casey, Museum Archivist, National World War I Museum

    Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a must read for all generations. Lowdermilk's eloquent way of weaving his own photographic journey with history along with his grandfather's personal war experience is an awe-inspiring gift of history with a heart. This book brings to life the very sacrifices that so many men and women have endured throughout history in the pursuit of freedom and America's dedication to world peace. This book enlightens, educates, and entertains all at the same time. Wonderfully done, beautifully illustrated, and comprehensively told, it is highly recommended!

    - Deborah York, great-granddaughter of Sergeant Alvin C. York and Executive Director of the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation

    I am sure that no grandfather could be more proud of the way Jeff Lowdermilk has honored his service and followed in his footsteps. His photographs capture with awe the memory of those courageous Americans who served in the Great War. Each photograph is perfectly lit, and the composition always captures some important detail of the landscape or monument.

    - Frances Levine, Ph.D., Director of the New Mexico History Museum

    From our first meeting, Jeff Lowdermilk has always impressed me with his dedication toward honoring America's military men and women, both past and present. His photographs and narrative nobly connect us with his grandfather's service as well as all of our World War I veterans. I wholeheartedly endorse this important work.

    - Brigadier General Jack Fox (Retired), New Mexico National Guard and Bataan Memorial Museum

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