At our last breakfast of 2018, Rose Gantner shared her story of serving in Vietnam. She was what the GIs called a “Donut Dolly,” because the Red Cross had a reputation for handing out donuts and coffee to GIs. But Rose never handled donuts. Rose was one of only four front-line Donut Dollies who served two tours in Vietnam. Rose deployed to Vietnam in June 1966-1967 and again in January 1969-1970. She was stationed on a forward-fire base, flying in helicopters and riding in tanks alongside active duty military troops. She spent one day a week in Saigon, and the remaining six days was in the field.
Recently, Rose and her sister, Mim, found her 50-year-old footlocker while cleaning her garage. She had forgotten about and hadn’t seen it since Vietnam. It is still in pristine condition, containing her fatigues, old photos, tapes, and traditional Vietnamese lacquerware.
We thank Rose for sharing her story, and her footlocker, with the VBC!