Honoring the Doughboys

Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary

Jeffrey A. Lowdermilk

The author'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
Date Published :
August 2014
Publisher :
George F Thompson Publishing
Contributor(s) :
Helen Patton
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781938086182

Stock Status : In stock


Endorsed by The United States World War One Centennial Commission
Nominated for a 2015 IPPY Award" from the Independent Publishers Association

Honoring the Doughboys: Following My Grandfather's World War I Diary is a stunning presentation of contemporary photographs taken by the author that are paired with diary entries written by his grandfather, George A. Carlson, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army during World War I. Lowdermilk followed his grandfather's path through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany and returned with these meticulously crafted photographs and his own engaging stories that bring the diary to life for contemporary readers.

Lowdermilk's passion for World War I and military history began as a young boy when he listened to his grandfather tell his stories about serving as an infantryman— a "doughboy"—in Europe during the Great War. When his grandfather passed away in 1983, Lowdermilk's mother gave him her father's diary, which included not only lengthy descriptions of the landscapes, towns, and battles he had experienced, but also keen observations and insights about life as a doughboy for Mr. Carlson and his buddies.

Lowdermilk became fascinated with the diary, first transcribing it and then plotting his grandfather's course. He immersed himself in the history of World War I and its geography, eventually retracing, more than a dozen years, the path of his grandfather's journey.

This image-rich tour of European landscapes, battlefields, and monuments offers the reader an experience that is at once an intimate reliving of Carlson's time as a doughboy, a lively collection of Lowdermilk's travel anecdotes, and a moving expression of gratitude to American veterans of the Great War. The foreword by Helen Patton, granddaughter of General George S. Patton, Jr., adds an extra dimension to the narrative.

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