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February 19, 2014

House bill could give more veterans state benefits

NORMAN — We are recognizing Brenda Berry as the volunteer of the week. She is always ready to take on any task that needs to be done on Thursday mornings.

With her quick smile, she is a hit with all of our veterans and their spouses. Brenda is married to Robert, who is a veteran of the U.S. Army. She has been with Veterans Corner since 2012.

There is a House bill that could give Oklahoma state benefits to many more veterans in the state.

The bill is being introduced by Sen. Frank Simpson that would give peace-time veterans access to the seven long-term care centers that are operated by the state Veterans Affairs Department. Currently, only those veterans who served during a certain war-time periods are eligible.

Those war-time veterans who are rated at 70 percent and above disabled for a service-connected disability are eligible at no cost to reside at these state-operated Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.

Another service that may affect those veterans who have run afoul of the law is a service being introduced by Julia Curry of Oklahoma Court Services. They have programs that may benefit veterans who are required to do community service through the Cleveland County court system.

We have assisted some of their clients at Veterans Corner in filing for VA benefits. I know that many of the young men and women who are returning from the military have problems readjusting to civilian life. If Julia can help through their programs, I do support their efforts. Their office is at 302 S. Peters Ave. Their phone number is 919-0814.

Veterans Corner will present a PowerPoint presentation on VA benefits for county employees and retirees at the Cleveland County Court House soon. We are planning this through the office of County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan. We hope to have this scheduled for a Tuesday during March.

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