The Norman Transcript

November 19, 2013

More than 100 assisted by Goldsby volunteers


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — This week, we are recognizing a couple from Asher as the volunteers of the week. Bill and Gracy Taylor are familiar faces to those veterans and surviving spouses who they assisted in filing for the Oklahoma State benefits package and Champ VA Insurance.

Last Thursday,more than 100 men and women were assisted with their VA claims and questions at the Goldsby Community Center. Of that number, 15 surviving spouses filed claims for DIC or pension benefits based on their spouse’s military service.

Each week, some of these ladies will tell me that they had no idea there was a place where free help was available to them. I encourage many of them to tell their friends and family about the VA benefits that might be available to them.

Six veterans received VA ratings of 100 percent for their service-connected disabilities. Several of these men and women were not receiving anything from VA prior to making their first trips to Goldsby.

Sixteen veterans filed their first claims for VA benefits.

The benevolence fund was used to assist veterans and surviving spouses with food boxes, rent, propane expenses and medical testing. Treasurer Jerry Baxter can be reached at 833-0773, or see him any Thursday morning at Goldsby.

Building chairman John Carter is staying busy with building plans, along with the fundraising for the project. If you have not visited with Carter, call him at 202-1999 or stop by any Thursday morning to speak to him with your funding ideas.

We cleaned out the fenceline on the property and erected a 4x8-foot sign at the building site. The property is two miles west of Interstate 35 on State Highway 9, just past Western Avenue on the north side of the highway.

Veterans who are on oxygen, in wheelchairs or have doctor appointments are able to be seen first if they make the request to do so. This has been our policy since we started Veterans Corner.

If you are unable to see us on a Thursday morning, call me at 550-8806 or email me at kdgraham@windstream.net for assistance. Many times, I can help a veteran over the phone or via email.

On Veterans Day, EJ Branch, Bob Staples, Harold Harvell, John Carter and I visited the veterans who call Rambling Oaks Assisted Living Center in Norman home. We presented each of them a cap representing their branch of service, as Harold played a recording of each one’s military theme song.

We gave a copy of our book “100 Stories From Veterans Corner” to their library to be shared by all. To be in the same room with these men and women was a very humbling experience.

These men had jobs that ranged from a crewmember on a WWII bomber flying combat missions to Army infantry to Navy and Marines. We also met a woman who served in the military during WWII. I thanked each one of them for their service and also invited them out to Veterans Corner for assistance with their VA claims.

For those who need food items, Sid Smith has food boxes prepared each Thursday for anyone who needs this assistance.

We have three vans that are used to transport veterans to their VA appointments. One of these is equipped with a wheelchair lift. Clayton Lee, of Dibble, can be reached at 684-8860. Howard Martin, of Norman, drives the wheelchair-accessible van. He can be reached at 227-3239.

For all of your questions and assistance about veterans’ benefits, we are at the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. The doors open at 7 a.m., and sign-in sheets are available at 5:30 a.m. Please be there early for us to help you with your claim.

If you would like to be a Veterans Corner sponsor, we are a 501(C )(3), where your donations should be tax deductible. Donations can be made to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093.

Semper Fi.

Dale K. Graham serves as Veterans Corner service officer.

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