Vietnam Donut Dollies

Photo credit: Rose Carlo Gantner

VBC member Richard Sand reports that on May 22, 2023, former Navy pilot Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) introduced House Resolution 8978: “To award a Congressional Gold Medal to members of the Red Cross Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO) program, also known as the ‘Donut Dollies,’ who served honorably during the Vietnam conflict.”

The legislation of the proposed Donut Dollies Congressional Gold Medal Act, reads in part:

“Women were not subject to the Vietnam-era draft, but thousands volunteered. The first American Red Cross Field Directors were sent to South Vietnam in February 1962. The last Red Cross staff members to serve in-country departed in March 1973. Official records indicate that a total of 1,120 women served with the Red Cross in Vietnam during that 11-year period. Of that number, 627 were young women who were part of the organization’s Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO) program.”

“Military commanders expressed high praise for the Red Cross volunteers, calling the services of the organization ‘indispensable’ and ‘prime factors’ in their efforts to maintain the high morale of their men and to look after their welfare.”

Richard asks fellow backers of the legislation to contact their members of Congress to register their support.