Posts Tagged ‘American Red Cross’

This is a story that I came across just the other day that I found fascinating.

The story of the Donut Dollies, and their roles throughout wartime in United States history.

The history begins in World War II that the United States Armed Forces asked the American Red Cross to set up assistance to its troops. These were women who volunteered to make, prepare, and serve coffee and donuts to men on the frontlines of battle.

The name “Donut Dollies” stuck, but their roles in other wars changed.

They served later in Korea, and most notably in Vietnam.

The women who volunteered through the American Red Cross had to be at least 21 years of age, have graduated college, and unmarried. They were trained for several weeks and then taken over to where there troops were at that time.

During the Vietnam War, their jobs consisted of setting up recreational buildings. While wearing their powder blue dresses, they provided assistance for USO shows, played board and card games with the troops, and overall gave them moral support when other soldiers were killed or injured in the line of duty.  Some articles that I read, said that they were there when the troops would receive and read “Dear John” letters from back home, and they would be a soldier’s shoulder to cry upon.

Even though their job was to be there for the troops and always have a friendly smile on their faces, it didn’t come without its dangers. There are documented reports that some Donut Dollies were killed in Vietnam. There is a place in Washington D.C. that honor those who were lost. And the Donut Dollies are  considered by the United States Armed Forces as veterans of the Vietnam War. Even though they did not engage in any fighting, they still were there alongside the troops on the battlefield in camps and military bases all over the world. 

Many have said that they had not suffered any sexual misconduct from the troops. Sexual harassment and assault from the troops were virtually non-existent.

After the war, they had their own hardships that was very similar to what the troops had endured.

And now, several decades later, those who are still around actually get together and meet with one another at many Donut Dollies reunions each year.