Massive undertakings are often supported by a multitude of little-known support staff, and the Vietnam War was no exception. In the past we’ve featured our beloved Donut Dollies, a Red Cross service that dates back to World War I and was called in again to Vietnam in the 1960s.
So when this opinion piece about Donut Dollies in The New York Times came across our desk, we were thrilled. We loved reading an article that shares our enthusiasm for this group of amazing women, and even got to learn a little more about the role of Army nurses in Vietnam.
One aspect of this honorable service we don’t often touch on is the mental and emotional toll on the women. Coping mechanisms for those serving the troops quickly emerge as a theme of the Times article:
It was Ms. Strange’s job to make lonely, frightened soldiers feel better, and she had to show up and do her job despite the fear and isolation she herself felt. She called it putting on her “Eleanor Rigby” face that she kept in a jar by the door.
Our gratitude and admiration for the Donut Dollies of the past carries right over to today, as the next generation of men and women deploy to support troops overseas. Just this month, a group of Red Crossers are headed to Kuwait and Djibouti to provide a variety of services to our men and women in uniform. See who they are and wish them luck on Facebook!