Last Sunday marked a very dark day for the Red Cross Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO) program. Aug. 16, 2020 was the 50th anniversary of the murder of Donut Dollie Virginia (Ginny) Kirsch in her room of the Red Cross billet on the Cu Chi base in Vietnam. 21-year old Ginny was in her first week of service in Vietnam and while her one year tour was cut short, her decision to become a Donut Dollie spoke to her dedication and caring for the men who served and for our country.
Please read the story by Marly Kosinski of the Tribune Chronicle (Ginny’s hometown paper) that provides further insight into this tragic story and the memorial ceremony that took place in 2017 at www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2020/08/remembering-ginny-kirsch
Below you’ll see what is known as the last photo of Ginny on a layover at the Honolulu Airport on her way to Saigon. This photo was taken by her Donut Dollie sister Susan Bradshaw McLean who explained that Ginny met a lady with a baby in the waiting area and asked to hold the infant, as she said the thing that she would miss most during her year in Vietnam was not being able to hold her brothers and sisters.
Also below you’ll find a poem titled Ginny & Susan by Donut Dollie Emily Strange (provided by her sister Peggy Michel). The poem is based on the moment captured in Susan’s photo. (Click to enlarge image)
Lastly is the plaque located on the grounds of the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, DC honoring the five Red Cross worker lives lost during the Vietnam War.
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