Volunteer Dixie Ferguson joined the American Red Cross in 1966 after she graduated from college with a degree in social work when she heard the Red Cross was hiring to work with the military members overseas.
“I learned about the Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas (SRAO), a special Red Cross program for women college graduates during wartime. I was excited about the job description, a unique opportunity to serve my country, do humanitarian work and seek new adventures.”
Dixie worked as a recreation worker, nicknamed “Donut Dolly” by the service members. From 1966 to 1967, Dixie was in Vietnam helping military members in both An Khe and Bien Hoa. Dixie holds a special memory of the USO show from her time in Vietnam.
“The Bob Hope Christmas show came to An Khe, the army base in Central Highlands of Viet Nam. The Red Cross girls sat with hundreds of fighting men and the wounded in their blue pajamas. All of us enjoyed the wonderful singing, dancing and humor. It was a taste from home”
Later she went on to work as a recreational worker in several military hospitals state-side.
Almost fifty years later, Dixie is still very active with the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces program in Walla Walla, Washington. Her main responsibilities are as an outreach coordinator and emergency communications caseworker.
“The Red Cross is still serving the military and veterans every hour of the day and I am extremely proud to be a volunteer supporting the Armed Forces.”
Seeing the need in her area for more help with Disaster Services she also volunteers her time as a Disaster Action Team Lead and Emergency Response Vehicle member for national deployments.