99-year-old "Grandma Jo" hammers a nail to help build wounded ve - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

99-year-old "Grandma Jo" hammers a nail to help build wounded veteran's home

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Each day of the build there are some pretty incredible people who are donating their time in order to build a house for wounded veteran Jason Smith.

Channel 3 had the chance to meet perhaps the most seasoned volunteer at the home build this week.

A 99-year-old woman had one of her daughters drive her to the build site because she wanted to hammer in one nail in this home for Sgt. Smith.

"I saw this in the paper I thought, I've got to go hit one nail, somewhere," said Grandma Jo.

Born in 1916, Josephine Wotasek, better known as "Grandma Jo" will turn 100 years old in February. 

She came from Fort Ogelthorpe to do her part in building this home for Sgt. Jason smith.

"I don't care where the nail goes," she said, "The only thing is... I need a left-handed hammer."

Grandma Jo says she's tried to live her life by always helping others. 

She says in the 1960's her heart was set on joining the peace corps. She wanted to help people all over the world.

"I was going to go anywhere, teach the kids how to crochet, knit, sew, cook, anything," she said.

But she and her husband had a teenage boy at the time...so she wasn't accepted into the program.

"Then I got a letter from them saying we're sorry we can't use you because your son is under 16," said Grandma Jo.

Grandma Jo didn't know who Jason Smith was, but thought 60 years later, this could finally be her chance to help. 

On her way up the driveway -- she got to meet Jason and even teased him for trying to sneak a peek at his new home.

"Yes, he was down there, I looked at him, I saw the legs and said, you're not supposed to be here today." she said, "Oh he said, I can't be up there but I can be down here. But I did meet him."

Everyone else on site stopped working to watch grandma jo hammer away with her left-handed hammer.

Grandma Jo says she spends a lot of time knitting and after she hammered in that nail she sat down by the food tent to make a baby blanket for Jason's five month old daughter.

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