“The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes” by Gregory S. Valloch
Like his grandfather, Colonel Gregory S. Valloch served in the military and is a U.S. Army veteran who honorably served during the Gulf War. Local resident Col. Gregory S. Valloch was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and as an armor officer upon graduating from Norwich University as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He served in the Tiger Brigade (1st Brigade, Second Armored Division) during Desert Shield Desert Storm. He left active duty and joined the U.S. Army Reserve where he served as an operations officer and plans officer, and then spent a year deployed to Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar as the plans division chief in the 2nd Battlefield Coordination Detachment.
He was selected for Battalion Command and commanded the 1st Battalion 411th Regiment Logistics Support Battalion (LSB). He was selected for colonel and served until his retirement in 2013 as the deputy commander of the USAR Consequence Management Unit located in Abingdon, Maryland.
In 2016, he opened a Ben & Jerry’s shop in Miramar Beach, which has been named the “Best Dessert” by the readers of VIP Destin Magazine in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022. Originally from Vermont, the birthplace of the original Ben & Jerry’s, Gregory persevered in becoming a Ben & Jerry’s franchise owner, it taking 14 years due to non-expansion of their franchises.
He feels the most important thing you can do as a local business owner is give back to the community, and he does just that. He’s an avid supporter of the Boys & Girls Club, Path of Grace and PAWS, an organization that helps train and place service dogs with veterans.
Now, Gregory has added “author” to his title. His new book, “The Great War Through a Doughboy’s Eyes,” was released this past March and chronicles the service of Corporal Howard P. Claypoole, told through Gregory’s eyes, his grandson.
Corporal Howard P. Claypoole served in the U.S. Army during WWI and was awarded The Purple Heart posthumously. Gregory credits his grandfather’s bravery and conviction as the source of his motivation to earn a commission in the Army. When Gregory 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,” Gregory 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, Gregory 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,” Gregory 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 at Amazon.com.
When Gregory’s not scooping ice cream, his hobbies include golf, coin collecting and spending time with his golden retrievers Jeb and Shelby. He is married with two grown children.