By Vanessa Garcia | Amarillo Globe-News
The Salvation Army Donut Lassies served up sweet treats for veterans on Friday morning on National Donut Day to keep alive the World War I donut-serving tradition.
“America is built on you, and so we thank you very much for what you’ve done for us,” said Capt. Sarah Gottlich of the Salvation Army. “This is the least that we can do on this day.”
Gottlich and five of the organization’s Corps Cadets (ages 13 to 17) shared glazed to coffee donuts with veterans at Amarillo VA Healthcare Center and Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home.
A married couple at the home, Carey and Jim Glover, have generations of family members who served in the military. Carey Glover’s father, her husband, brothers, four of their sons, three of their grandchildren and great grandchildren served in the military. Carey Glover said they had all served overseas.
“My father was in India for years and my brothers were in the military,” Carey Glover said. “(Jim Glover) and I went to high school together and we married four days after he got home over from overseas.”
The two have been together ever since, married for 70 years now.
During World War I about 250 Salvation Army volunteers traveled overseas to set up service huts located in abandoned buildings near the front lines. The Lassies, also known as Donut Girls, served donuts, provided writing supplies and stamps, spiritual support and offered a clothes-mending service to battling soldiers.
Because of this, the Salvation Army became synonymous with donuts.
Rumaldo Vareas, who was drafted in the U.S. Army in 1957, agreed with Morrow that it’s great for the Salvation Army to carry on the tradition.
“We’re serving our vets again,” Gottlich said. “We served them during World War I and we’ve served them through every war that America has been in since then. It’s important because we’re letting our vets know that we support you, we’re encouraging you whether you are on the battlefield or you are fighting your own battles here back at home.”
Paul Morrow, a veteran who served for 14 years, said having the Salvation Army visit him means a lot because he enjoys their company.
Gottlich said she hopes the men and women at the nursing homes are encouraged and will remember that people are thankful for their time spent fighting in war.
Carey Glover, however, said she was thankful for the visit and the sweet dessert.
“We appreciate you all,” she said. “Thank you for all that you do.”