Vivian Hayes was part of the Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO) program. Starting in 1965, at the request of military authorities, the Red Cross sent teams of young, female college graduates to South Vietnam to run recreation programs for service members. Their typical tour of duty lasted for one year.
Red Cross activity peaked from 1968 to 1969 with 110 women operating 17 recreation units and reaching nearly 300,000 service members each month. While in Vietnam, Red Cross staff shared the hazards of conflict with the military personnel they were there to serve. And through it all, they were expected to remain positive and upbeat—even when faced with hardship, privation and frequent danger.