Thanks to Tammy Grubb for the well-written April 26 article “Raleigh ‘Donut Dolly’ recalls Vietnam and her life in its aftermath.” Mary “Larry” Young Hines and her fellow “Donut Dollies” deserve special recognition. Hines captures the conditions in which they lived and the spirit that they evoked so accurately.
I was stationed at Bien Hoa, 30 minutes northeast of Saigon. We had the only air-conditioned officer’s club, which meant “guests” of all descriptions, including the “Donut Dollies.” And what welcome guests they were. They were a reminder of who we left behind and “why” (we liked to think) we were flying missions. They were a “hint” of America – feminine, neatly dressed, elegant in every way. It was like waving the flag.
The next morning at 5 to 6 a.m. we would fly into some Godforsaken landing zone. As Hines said, the “Donut Dollies” were soon landing there as well, once established.
I’m going to another reunion in June and have been to several in the past. Always remembered and spoken of respectively and lovingly are the “Donut Dollies.”
John D. Sennett