Friday, August 26, 2011

Vietnam - Donut Dollies Provided Touch of Home

The Newnan Times-Herald is running a series on the Vietnam War and how it affected Coweta County as we prepare for the visit of the Traveling Wall this October. This is another story in this series.

Gretchen Deichelbor, right, and another Donut Dollie
a game created by the women.
Today, women serve in almost every job in every branch of the U.S. military -- but during the Vietnam War, far fewer females were members of the military, and most of those who served in Vietnam were nurses.

The work that female members of the military did was vital. Not long after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was dedicated in Washington, D.C., in 1982, an effort began to honor the more than 260,000 women who served in the military during the Vietnam era.

In November 1993, the Vietnam Women's Memorial was dedicated. The memorial depicts three nurses tending to a fallen soldier. It is the first memorial in the nation's capital honoring the military service of American women.

But while military nurses played a crucial role in the war and saved the lives of thousands of soldiers, Vietnam veterans will never forget another group of females who didn't wear military uniforms, but dresses that marked them as workers with the American Red Cross.

They served at bases across the country, lifting spirits, helping with day-to-day needs of the troops and providing what the women called "A touch of home in the combat zone."

These young women -- all recent college graduates -- were called Donut Dollies. Newnan's Gretchen Deichelbor was one of them.

Read the rest of the story at