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VVA Urges Congress to Pass the Donut Dollies Congressional Gold Medal Act

(Washington, D.C) – “Vietnam Veterans of America strongly supports the Donut Dollies Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R. 3592),” said Jack McManus, VVA National President. “We believe it is vital to recognize these largely unacknowledged heroes of the Vietnam War, three of whom did not make it home from Vietnam—Hannah Crews, Lucinda Richter, and Virginia Kirsh.”

“These women were selfless, brave, and resilient. Every Vietnam veteran I know respects and admires them for the guts they showed as they braved incoming mortars, snipers, and ground-to-air fire to visit the firebases,” McManus continued. “They were a lifeline. They brought a touch of home to the frontlines, and offered compassion and comfort when servicemembers needed it most.”

1,120 women volunteered to serve with the Red Cross during the Vietnam War, and 627 of those women worked as Donut Dollies. They were members of the Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO) program. Providing critical morale boosts to soldiers, Dollies traveled by jeep, truck, and helicopter to forward operating positions, logging over 2,000,000 miles visiting combat troops at remote fire bases. Their job was to bring smiles, songs, games, and a touch of back home to the men who were in the bush and the wounded in evacuation hospitals. This all-volunteer cohort of women embraced the perilous and demanding work. As one Donut Dolly put it, “Our job was to smile and be bubbly for an entire year— no matter what the situation.”

The bill was introduced in May 2023 by Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and it is co-sponsored by Representatives Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Deborah Ross (D-NC), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Jack Bergman (R-MI), and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO).

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