Green-Hartley’s 2010 book, Lillie’s Jasper: The 1930 Pilgrimage of a Gold Star Mother, tells the story of the author’s great grandmother, Lillie Green, who participated in the little known, Army-sponsored 1930-1933 pilgrimages of over 6,000 American “Gold Star Mothers” to their son’s World War I grave sites in France and Belgium. Through family curated letters from Lillie Green’s son Jasper, the book details his life as an Idaho shepherd who was drafted into the Army in 1917. Private Green underwent boot camp at Camp Lewis, Washington, and was deployed into combat in France. He succumbed to battlefield wounds in a hospital in France on Aug. 22, 1918.
In the late 1920s, mothers of deceased World War I soldiers organized the federally recognized non-profit “Gold Star Mothers, Inc.” Through their lobbying, in 1929, Congress authorized the War Department to pay for pilgrimages of Gold Star Mothers to visit their son’s grave sites in Europe, starting in 1930. Lillie Green was one of the first of these mothers to make the pilgrimage. Green-Hartley’s work pulls together the family letters of Private Green and Lillie Green’s diary into a fascinating dialogue of one family’s loss during and after World War I.
Green-Hartley will deliver a presentation on her research and sign copies of her book, which will be available for sale in the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center Bookstore at 1501 E Evergreen Blvd. in Vancouver.