Friday, June 15, 2012

Glenna Goodacre: Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Glenna Goodacre Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"Well, I've come to this conclusion, all pilots need a rest,
But if you go to Saigon, your morals it will test.

Well, the moral of this story, don't be a sinner,

Stop going down to Saigon, try the Red Cross Recreation

Goodbye, Chu Yen, farewell nuoc mam

I'm trading in my aching head, I'll try a doughnut dolly.

Please pass the cookies, I want a glass of Kool-Aid,

Oh, you Red Cross girls,  I want to dance the polka.

Oh, you U. S. girls, can't you dance the polka?"
~ Ron Wahttaja - Oh, you Saigon Girls

We have a friend who lives in Pocomoke, Maryland, someone we knew before we moved from Georgia, and partly instrumental in herding us to Maryland, who was a Donut/Doughnut Dolly in Vietnam. Those who follow my blog know that my husband was a U.S.M.C helicopter door gunner in Vietnam. Though they never met each other in Vietnam, their timelines and stories indicate they could have crossed paths.

Who were Donut Dollies? Volunteers. Part of the Red Cross, they were young college-age women who put their lives on the line for a year to run recreation centers, visit hospitals, and jump helicopters to travel to the front-line landing zones and base camps to bring games and treats to the military.

I have always felt the women in Vietnam did not get the recognition they deserved. If you mention "Donut Dolly" to the average person, you will get a quizzical look.

Glenna Goodacre feels different, and it comes through in this massive bronze sculpture that takes up the better part of our friend's coffee table. The sculpture is a replica of the Vietnam Women's Memorial, located not far more the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

The sculpture was created by Glenna Goodacre, who had planned on casting 100 sculptures, but stopped at 84. Our Donut Dolly owns #6. Goodacre is the artist who sculpted the actual Vietnam Women's Memorial. 

I don't know why I have not photographed this until now. I guess I am always in awe of it, busy chatting or eating, and enjoying our many visits over the years. Or maybe it's because I know it's not going anywhere. Always time to photograph a thing of beauty that is stationary.

Thank you, Donut Dollies, for bringing a little laughter to our vets in a horrific war. And like my combat vet, I know you still live in the hearts of all those who crossed your paths in Vietnam.

FYI: Veteran's Day, 2013, will be the 20 year anniversary of the dedication of Goodacre's sculpture. We hope to be there with our Donut Dolly, naturally.

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