Stockings and candy and presents, oh my!

Virginia Gilmore was married when she joined the WAVES in 1943. Her husband was a handsome Marine. But in their first Christmas as a married couple they were thousands of miles apart. He was just back from a two-and-a-half year stint in the Pacific, stationed at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington. Virginia was at the other end of the country at WAVE boot camp in Hunter College.

We were there on Christmas Eve.  And huge Navy trucks pulled up and they unloaded a filled stocking for every recruit and hung them — they came in and hung them on the corner of our bunks.

WAVES at Christmas
WAVE Wraps Presents, U.S. Navy Photograph

We had candy and gum and cookies and little presents.  Can you imagine all the thousands —  I don’t know what the Navy word is for Navy warehouse, but Navy stores where you could find all those things but we had them.