Vi Kochendoerfer served with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, the predecessor to Women's Army Corps, before joining the American Red Cross. She served as director of on-base service clubs for the 315th Troop Carrier Group in England during D-Day and its planning phase. Since the operation was postponed on 5 June due to poor weather, thousands of soldiers were restlessly waiting for orders when Vi caught a GI stealing donuts from her club's kitchen. When he explained that he was simply trying to placate the antsy soldiers, she let him keep the donuts. In exchange, he tore off his sergeant stripes saying, "Probably won't need this" and gave it to Vi along with a hand grenade, which they emptied of its powder so that she could keep it as a (nonlethal) souvenir.
I came to know that under every one of those fatigue hats was a separate human being with fears and joys and all.
Though directing a club may not sound like the toughest of jobs, it was certainly one of the most human and meaningful. Vi recalled, "after one [soldier] came in to pour out the fact that his wife was seeing another man, selling their house, etc. and there wasn't anything he could do about it — I came to know that under every one of those fatigue hats was a separate human being with fears and joys and all."