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Donut Dollies: The Role Of Women In The Vietnam War

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Women were not subject to the Vietnam-era draft, but thousands volunteered. For some women, the war offered an opportunity to travel and postpone marriage and motherhood, still the expected roles for young women in the 1960s. Some military women offered to go to Vietnam because they wanted to support the war effort or to see for themselves what was really happening on the ground. Others enlisted in the military for college and employment benefits after recruiters promised they would not be sent to Vietnam.

The Red Cross had sent teams of women overseas to work with troops since World War II. They served coffee and donuts, which earned them the nickname “Donut Dollies.” In 1965, fearing the impact on troop morale of what was already looking
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