“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes” was released on March 23, 2022, and chronicles the service of Corporal Howard P. Claypoole, told through the lens of his grandson and Miramar Beach local Gregory S. Valloch.
Corporal Howard P. Claypoole served in the US Army during WWI and was awarded The Purple Heart posthumously. Like his grandfather, Colonel Gregory S. Valloch also served in the military and is a US Army veteran who honorably served during the Gulf War. Since then, Valloch has become a Destin local and has owned the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, located in The Market Shops, since 2016 and has been named as the “Best Dessert” by the readers of VIP Destin Magazine in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022. He is a member of the Destin and Walton Area chambers of commerce, as well as the American Legion Post 96.
Valloch credits his grandfather’s bravery and conviction as the source of his motivation to earn a commission in the Army. When Valloch came across his grandfather’s wartime diaries, correspondence, and artifacts, he saw that it was only fitting he share his grandfather’s legacy with the world.
In “The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes”, Valloch offers a unique account of his grandfather’s service during WWI, illustrating the hardships of soldiers at war. Utilizing his grandfather’s diary entries, postcards, letters, wound order, newspaper clippings, military history, and discharge papers, Valloch tells the story of a man with an unwavering allegiance to his country and a will to survive. Corporal Claypoole’s journey is brought to life through photographs of wartime memorabilia, including playing cards, pictures, dice, dog tags, medals, bayonets, coins, his rifle sling covered with unit crests, his Purple Heart, and his WWI Victory Medal and campaign clasps.
“This is the story of one man who fought in the Great War, came home, got married, and had a successful life,” Valloch said. “But he also found friendship and life lessons forged in battle that stayed with him until the very end. And that is what I want to relate.”
“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes” is available for purchase online on Amazon.
Photos courtesy of Gregory Valloch can be found here.