Wednesday, October 13, 2021

‘Donut Dollies’ Served U.S. Troops in Vietnam

Now in their 70s, these Red Cross women went to war to help morale

Fresh out of college during the late 1960s, these women chose an unlikely path far from the anti-war marches and protests across the U.S.

They went to Vietnam.

They were American Red Cross recreation workers nicknamed the “Donut Dollies.” Nobody remembers them handing out doughnuts in Vietnam since, as a mess sergeant grumbled, “It was too damn hot.” But the nickname stuck since Red Cross workers had, in fact, distributed doughnuts in prior military campaigns, including World War II.

Applicants for Vietnam had to be single, ages 21 to 24 and graduates of a four-year college. The Donut Dollies who are alive now are in their 70s, and though more than 50 years have gone by from their life-altering, perilous time in Vietnam, their memories are vibrant.

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