When Camp Crowder came to Neosho, the impact on the community was, as described by a local business owner of the period, night and day. The coming of the camp changed Neosho forever and the impact survives into the 21st century. The one time Army post now contains a National Guard base, the local community college, the Southwest Family Freeman YMCA, several industries, housing, a long-term care facility, the Newton County Fairgrounds and a few businesses. Crowder College carries the name of both the camp and General Enoch Crowder, the post's namesake. Most of the streets in the Crowder area still use the names designated by the Army decades ago.

Amick noted that in addition to those street names, a street located within the National Guard base will soon be renamed for Mort Walker.

Images of America: Camp Crowder is a 128-page volume with numerous photographs. Some may be familiar but others illustrate the camp's history during the war years. In addition, the book also features a number of photographs from Neosho and the surrounding area.

The author, Jeremy P. Amick, is a Missouri native, a military historian with other books and many articles, and served in the Missouri National Guard.

"I was in the Missouri National Guard for many years," Amick said in a recent interview with The Neosho Daily News.. "I trained at Camp Crowder. I know it has a very rich history. My experiences at Camp Crowder were part of why I wanted to preserve that history."

Mort Walker, the cartoonist best known for his long running strip, Beetle Bailey, was stationed at Camp Crowder during World War II, a post the soldiers often called 'Camp Swampy". The name became that of the fictional army camp in the comic strip.

"I developed a friendly relationship with Mort Walker," Amick said.

Walker, who died in January 2018, was honored last year with a tribute held at Crowder College in April last year.

Some of Amick's other Missouri military history titles include Central Missouri At War: 1861-1975, Missouri At War and Images of America: Missouri Veterans Monuments and Memorials. He has also written several biographies including Together As One: The Legacy of James Shipley, World War II Tuskegee Airman. Shipley was a Missouri native. He's penned over 600 articles and a total of ten books. His next publication, due out in 2020, is titled Show Me Veterans, focusing on veterans from Missouri.

Eight chapters divide the camp's story. Chapter titles are Carved from the Wilderness, Hustle and Bustle of Camp Life, Leadership, Entertainment, Celebrities and Recreation, Prisoners of War, Memorabilia, The Surrounding Communities, and Camp Crowder after World War II.

Photographs include Signal Corp Training, one of chapels located on the base and famous figures ranging from boxer Joe Louis to the King of Swing, Benny Goodman.

Amick spent 11 years in the U.S. Army and Missouri National Guard and received a medical discharge in 2004 due to service-connected injuries. He is the recipient the national Jefferson Award for volunteerism and was presented the Distinguished Author Award in 2018 by the United States Tiger Foundation.

Images of America: Camp Crowder is scheduled for release from Arcadia Publishing on July 15. The book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com. It will be available on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble, other online retailers, and in area book stores. It will sell for $21.99.

Also, Amick will host a book signing at the Joplin Public Library on August 10.

"I was able to show Camp Crowder's influence on the Neosho and Joplin communities," Amick said. "I'm always surprised with new aspects of military history."

Today, what remains of Camp Crowder as a National Guard base is about a tenth of the original camp size. When Camp Crowder opened, the camp had 51 miles of new roads, 2,328 buildings (which included 14 chapels and 4 service clubs) and 5 miles of new railroad track. The camp also had their own water distribution system using water from Shoal Creek to meet the camp's need.

The author is also a military historian/public affairs officer with the Silver Star Families of America. Photos used in the book came from the author's personal collection, the Missouri State Archives, the Museum of Missouri Military History and Burns and Mc Donnell.

Amick lives in Russellville, Missouri in Cole County, part of the Jefferson City Metropolitan Statistical Area. His ongoing efforts to preserve Missouri's military history is evident in his latest work, focused on Camp Crowder in Neosho, Missouri.