Senior volunteer mends clothes of CTX veterans

Posted at 2:26 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:55-04

A Central Texas woman who retired over 20 years ago has been putting her extra time to good use.

Seiko Fojtasek studied sewing in Japan for three years, and now she's come full circle using that very skill to serve those who served our country. 

"I like sewing, helping some people, so I'm still here," Seiko Fojtasek said.  

Fojtasek has been a volunteer at the Temple VA for over 20 years and has donated over 2,700 hours of her own time helping fix the clothes of veterans. 

"These people here are so appreciative of what we do for them. It gives me a good feeling," Fojtasek added. 

Fojtasek, originally from Japan, married a U.S. sailor at the age of 20. 

"You know, when you're young, in love and crazy and stupid... Mama said, "Don't go there," Fojtasek said.  

But, she ultimately followed her heart to go with her husband back to America... and his hometown of Temple, Texas where she volunteers week after week.

"I have a love for these people... glad to do it because a lot of people don't even know how to put the buttons on," Fojtasek added. 

"In a lot of cases, a lot of us have all kind of problems... not just living problems, how to live or how to manage and take care of ourselves... these ladies are helping us to look right, you know. You feel good when you look good," Clyde VanWright, a Marine veteran who gets his clothes mended by Fojtasek, said.  

Clyde VanWright said the sewing and mending services Seiko and her friend, Edie Davidson, offer helps get veterans spruced up like they were when they were serving, so they can be their best selves moving forward. 

"It's helping them more than just a little button. If he loses that button, he has to go get another one. So, I think helping them more, but they're helping me, too," Fojtasek said. 

Fojtasek said she will continue to drive herself to the Temple VA as long as she can continue to do so in order to volunteer.

The "Sewing Ladies" started out as a group of six when Fojtasek started, but now they are down to two. 

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