The Norman Transcript

October 9, 2013

Goldsby volunteers assist 109 veterans with claims


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — We are recognizing Larry Hall as the volunteer of the week.

He is a Marine veteran who served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Hall works at the checkout table, helping keep all veterans and surviving spouses’ claims organized and sent to the right places.

Volunteers assisted 109 veterans and surviving spouses last Thursday morning. Many times, we are asked how we can possibly help so many people in just five hours. The answer is the volunteers. We have more than 40 men and women here to assist those with their VA claims or questions.

Everyone who is associated with Veterans Corner is a volunteer, meaning that everything that we do is free to all who come through the doors on any given Thursday morning.

Shirley and her crew assisted 16 surviving spouses with VA paperwork for DIC or pension benefits. We also have assisted men who are surviving spouses of women veterans.

The Veterans Administration will not come to you with benefits; it’s up to the veteran or surviving spouse to apply. Shirley can be reached at 361-9322 with any questions you have.

Six veterans received a rating of 100 percent from the VA for their service-connected disabilities. All of these men and women will receive Oklahoma State Tax benefits after receiving that rating. If they are not retired military, their spouse and dependents will be eligible to receive the Champ-VA medical insurance at no cost.

Anyone who receives a VA disability rating of 50 percent or more receives an Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing license at no charge, along with two discounted auto tags each year.

Thirteen veterans filed their first claim for benefits with us last Thursday morning. With the new VA forms we are using, some of these veterans may have their claims approved by Christmas or shortly after.

Friday and Saturday, we had a fundraising event at the Norman Sam’s Club using the 1953 fire truck. These are hosted to raise funds that can be used to support our Veterans Corner benevolence fund.

I would like to thank the Sam’s management team for allowing us to have the opportunity to promote what we do for veterans and surviving spouses in the community.

The Goldsby Veterans Memorial is filled with bricks with veterans names along the Walk of Honor. If you would like to purchase a brick for the veteran in your life, stop by on Thursday to get one in the works.

Harold Harvell, JD Kinard and Riley Phillips are available each Thursday to assist you with the purchase of a brick, military hat or one of the “One Hundred Stories from Veterans Corner” books written by Dr. Kami Day. Harvell can be reached at 596-8755 any time or at Goldsby on Thursday mornings.

We have three transportation vans that are used to transport veterans to their VA appointments. One of these is equipped with a wheelchair lift. Clayton Lee can be reached at 684-8860.

The other drivers are Howard Martin, of Norman, who drives the wheelchair-accessible van. He can be reached at 227-3239. Robert Root, of Norman, can be reached at 919-3008.

For all of your questions and assistance about veterans’ benefits, we are located 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.

Take time to visit veteranscorner.org. You also may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093.

You can call me at 550-8806 or email kdgraham@windstream.net.

Semper Fi.

Dale K. Graham is service officer of VFW Post 4890.