A Buena Vista woman who worked to boost the morale of soldiers during the Vietnam War was recognized Wednesday for her service.
The American Red Cross recognized Buena Vista resident Penni Evans Oct. 3 as part of the “Our Legacy Continues” project for her work with American troops during the Vietnam War.
Evans was part of the Donut Dollies, a group of women just out of college who traveled to overseas to boost the morale of the soldiers. The women played games, came up with activities and ran recreation centers to entertain the soldiers. Sometimes the Donut Dollies would travel to eight different bases in one day, Evans said.
“It was our job to bring a touch of home and take their minds off the war,” Evans said.
Evans served with the Donut Dollies from 1970-1971, working mostly at the Cam Ranh Air Base, II Field Force at Long Bihn, Chu Chi and Quang Tri in Vietnam.
“I am proud to be part of that group,” Evans said. “It’s still, at times, emotionally difficult but it’s outweighed by our great reunions. I am very proud of what we’ve done.”
Thomas Gonzalez, CEO of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross, presented Evans with the award, which included a pen and letter of recognition, at Buena Vista Town Hall. Also in attendance were Mayor Joel Benson, town administrator Sue Boyd and members of American Legion Post 55.
The “Our Legacy Continues” project honors Red Cross staff who have served alongside the military in the major conflicts since the Civil War.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Red Cross can contact local Red Cross representative Doug Constance at 719-966-9732.