BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – State Route 7 in Brookfield was named after a local Donut Dollie on Sunday who never made it home from the Vietnam War.
During the war, the American Red Cross sent groups of women overseas called Donut Dollies. They would serve coffee and doughnuts, as well as participate in other programs, to boost the morale of the soldiers.
Brookfield High School graduate Ginny Kirsch was a Dollie in 1970 — and she was honored Sunday.
“It means the world to the Kirsch family to have all of you here today,” Ginny’s sister Ann Kirsch-Keag said.
The Kirsch family and dozens of people recited what they call Ginny’s Prayer on Brookfield’s center green.
Four of Ginny sisters shared stories of the Vietnam veteran.
The Brookfield and Miami of Ohio graduate was so moved by what was happening overseas, she told her family she had to help out the soldiers.
“Jenny’s compassion for others,” Mary Kirsch-Garvey said. “That’s how she felt about our American soldiers — these are our boys.”
Ann remembers a letter Ginny sent the family after the May 4, 1970 tragedy at Kent State.
“This is another reason I feel needed in Vietnam,” Ann said Ginny wrote. “Pray for America. Pray for our world. God knows we need it. She signed her letter, ‘I love you all dearly.'”
After graduating college, Ginny signed with the Red Cross to serve as a volunteer. On August 16, 1970 — shortly after she arrived in Vietnam — her quarters in Cu Chi were attacked and she was killed.
Ginny was one of just five Red Cross volunteers to die in Vietnam. Even more, Robert Marino — who works for State Senator Sean O’Brien — says Ginny is one of just two Ohio women to die in the war.
Now, her name will forever live in her hometown.