UMTV: Clothes Comfort Veterans
About 30,000 American troops have been injured in the Iraq war, and many are facing long recoveries. Some volunteers are trying to make the lives of these wounded warriors a little easier, by "sewing" they care. Reed Galin reports.
(Locator: Oviedo, FL)
Volunteer: "I say a prayer for the young man that's going to wear this."
These are special clothes, sewn with caring hands.
Volunteer: "This is not going to touch the skin."
A sewing club at First United Methodist Church in Oviedo, Florida makes adaptive clothing for wounded soldiers.
Joy Campbell, Sew Much Comfort: "The dignity is that they, first of all, they can dress themselves. Second of all, they can wear clothes that make them feel and look as normal as possible."
The custom clothes can be worn instead of hospital gowns over medical equipment or casts, or by those who have lost limbs in combat.
Shirley Peters, Sewing Club Member: "I have a real reason for feeling for these guys. One of my brothers was a Vietnam casualty."
Margaret Morris, Member, First United Methodist Church: "They need to know that we still see them as whole, entire people."
Garments made at the Florida church and other locations around the country are distributed by an organization called "Sew Much Comfort."
This group has made more than 600 shorts, shirts and other clothing with the "Sew Much Comfort" label.
Margaret Morris, Member, First United Methodist Church: "Everything that we can do to allow them and help them to be more self-sufficient is absolutely a step in the right direction."
Some of the patterns have changed based on feedback from medical personnel and those who wear the clothes.
Joy Campbell, Sew Much Comfort: "The men and women themselves tell us that it psychologically has helped them heal."
And in this room, there's no discussion about the politics of war. These are volunteers who just want to help.
Pat White, Project Coordinator, Sew Much Comfort: "I can't stop the war. I can't stop them being wounded. But I can at least make their recovery process a little smoother. And give them some indication that there are people out here who care."
Sew Much Comfort depends on volunteers who sew, and donations from businesses and manufacturers. Last year, Sew Much Comfort distributed 30,000 items of clothing to wounded soldiers-and the group says there's a demand for even more.
Find out more at SewMuchComfort.org.