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Books in Brief | Donut Dollies in Vietnam

10/5/2017 • Vietnam Magazine

Donut Dollies in Vietnam: Baby-blue Dresses & OD Green, Nancy Smoyer, Chopper Books, 2017

Since World War II the Red Cross had sent teams of Donut Dollies to work with troops, where they would often hand out donuts and coffee, providing a touch of home, and earning the moniker “Donut Dollies.” In a poignant memoir, Nancy Smoyer, a volunteer for the Red Cross Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO) program in Vietnam during 1967-68, shares her experiences during and after the war. Though not subject to the draft, thousands of American women volunteered to go overseas. Being a Donut Dollie was one of several ways to support the war effort, but more specifically to support the American GIs.

Smoyer, drawing from her own time in Vietnam using photographs, letters, and tapes, provides an account from an aspect of the war largely ignored. Donut Dollies in Vietnam offers a reminder that despite being few in number, the Donut Dollies’ exposure to combat and the stresses of war often manifested, with no real outlet for release. 

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