“To award a Congressional Gold Medal to members of the Red Cross Supplemental Recreational Activities Overseas (SRAO) program, also known as the ‘Donut Dollies,’ who served honorably during the Vietnam conflict.”
Thus reads the introduction to a “discussion draft” of a bill* from the office of Rep Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, a veteran Navy helicopter pilot. You can read my original background article on the topic of the Donut Dollies in Vietnam here. From my contact at Sherrill's office:
“The next step will be to build a coalition of cosponsors before we introduce the bill. In this regard you and your network of supporters can be helpful as we move forward toward introduction.”
So then begins public outreach to other congressional member offices about this particular issue. After the establishment of an initial list of co-sponsors, Sherrill's office will draft and distribute a letter to members in the House for additional support before introduction of the legislation.
All those reading this article can assist by contacting their respective representatives in the House (click here) and ask that they support Congresswoman Sherrill's bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Donut Dollies. Remind these legislators that, in the words of the draft bill:
"These Red Cross volunteers shared with military personnel the hardship and privation of life in a war zone and were subject to the dangers of war. Many staff were injured. Five American Red Cross workers died in-country. Three of those were women, Hanna E. Crews, Virginia E. Kirsch, and Lucinda J. Richter, all of whom were members of the SRAO program.
The Donut Dollies volunteered to be sent to the frontlines to support service members directly engaged with the enemy during the Vietnam conflict. The extraordinary efforts of these volunteers throughout the extent of America’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict is deserving of official recognition."
As references, you can send your legislators a link to this article on the topic, which contains other necessary links and a copy of the draft bill.