Rosie the Riveter Phyllis Gould got a real hug from Vice President Joe Biden on Monday.
“Oh my gosh, it was wonderful,” Gould said after the embrace at the White House, according to NBC Bay Area. “He came bursting out of a room and grabbed me. He’s such a nice person. And fun.”
Gould and four other Rosie the Riveters from the Bay Area also met President Barack Obama during a weeklong trip to Washington D.C.
During WWII, the group’s members worked industrial jobs at the Kaiser Shipyard in Richmond, replacing men who had been sent to battle. Gould spent years trying to get elected officials to recognize the Rosie the Riveters’ wartime efforts. Finally Biden invited the Rosies to visit the White House and promised Gould a “real hug,” which she happily received.
The story of how the Rosies got to Washington D.C. is even more heartwarming. The group couldn’t afford the trip on their own, but once the story became public more than 125 people and companies donated about $34,000 to make the trip possible.
The women departed for Washington D.C. on Saturday on a Virgin America flight. The Burlingame-based airline gave the Rosies a red-carpet sendoff along with premium seats on the plane. The whole story will be featured Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.
To learn more about these women, visit the Rosie the Riveter Trust website here.
The Rosies on the White House trip include:
• Priscilla Elder (93 years old) – Electrician 1943-1945
• Phyllis Gould (92 years old) – Journeyman Welder 1942-1945
• Kay Morrison (90 years old) – Journeyman Welder 1943-1945
• Marian Sousa (88 years old) – Draftsman 1943-1944
• Marian Wynn (87 years old) – Pipe Welder 1944-1945