Meet 'Donut Dolly' Judy Squire, one of Vietnam's forgotten veterans
By: Craig McKee
Sep 17, 2019
She didn't fight. She wasn't a nurse. But she was in the thick of it.
Judy Squire didn’t live to see herself recognized as an honorary Vietnam veteran. The certificate welcoming her to Vietnam Veterans of America arrived in August, two months after her death of congestive heart failure.
But getting it all was a victory, her family said. Women like Squire spent decades unsure if they even had the right to ask for their service with the Red Cross Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas program to be counted alongside that of soldiers, nurses and other members of the armed forces.
“She probably would never have told us she got it,” Squire’s sister, Mary Catherine Schneider, said.
They weren’t military. They were “Donut Dollies,” young women who volunteered to fly to combat zones as part of a morale-boosting effort during the war. There, in the heat and mud, they wore sky-blue dresses, served snacks and attempted to provide “a touch of home” that would distract soldiers from their daily losses. Smiling was required. So were perfect hair and makeup.
None of it protected them. In a 2017 interview with PBS, former Dolly Rachel Torrance recalled crouching behind barricades as artillery fired around her. Squire would later tell her family about a day she returned from serving lemonade in the field to discover her house had been bombed.
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