The Norman Transcript

December 3, 2013

Volunteers to return to Veterans Corner following holiday


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The volunteer of the week has been making the trip to Goldsby each Thursday for the last six years.

We are recognizing Larry Miller for his dedication to veterans and their families. We appreciate the time and money that he has spent to support the men and women who have served in the military. Larry’s wife, Kathy, supports him in his efforts to improve the lives of the nation’s veterans.

I hope all of you were able to spend time with your families during the Thanksgiving holiday. Several volunteers have family members serving in the military who were not able to spend time with them. I encourage everyone who knows someone in the military serving in faraway places to send them cards or emails thanking them for their service.

I have had many people over the years ask how we could have so many volunteers that continue to be at Veterans Corner every Thursday year after year. The answer to that is that many of us have found that when we are helping veterans and their families, we also are helping ourselves.

When I returned from Vietnam in 1967 after serving in the Marines, there was no welcome home and no place for us to go for any type of readjustment counseling. In 1992, several other veterans and I enrolled in a program at the Oklahoma City Veterans Center to better understand what had happened to us during that war.

The programs and counseling service that they provided was a turning point for me and the thousands of other veterans who have used their services. The staff at Veterans Corner encourages all of the combat veterans we assist to use the counselors at the Veterans Center. It could change your life.

I received a letter recently from a veteran who lives in Florida who made the trip to Goldsby last year for help with his VA claims. He wrote:

“Dear Mr. Graham and volunteers,

Just wanted to pass along my thanks to all of you and Mr. Harold Reed for your assistance in helping me to obtain VA benefits for myself and my family. Mr. Reed went the extra mile in assisting me through the process.

I always read your newsletter and fully appreciate what you do. Please keep up the good work assisting Oklahoma deserving veterans and their families.

Thank You,

A Vietnam Veteran”

I receive letters similar to that one every day from the veterans and the surviving spouses who we have assisted on Thursdays at the Goldsby Community Center.

Even though we were closed over Thanksgiving, we are still staying busy transporting veterans to and from the Oklahoma City VA Hospital.

Drivers Clayton Lee and Howard Martin are keeping the Veterans Corner vans on the road most days.

We have three vans that are used to transport veterans to their VA appointments. Clayton can be reached at 684-8860. Martin, of Norman, drives the wheelchair-accessible van and can be reached at 227-3239.

Benevolence fund treasurer Jerry Baxter has kept busy assisting veterans and their families with fuel and other needs, even though we have been closed the last week. Jerry is available each Thursday morning, or he can be reached at 833-0773 for assistance.

Building chairman John Carter is working on grants that may be available to help fund the veterans center we hope to build on State Highway 9 west of Interstate 35.

A drawing of the proposed facility is available each Thursday morning in the Goldsby Community Center. If you would like to become a donor for this project, call 202-1999. All donations are tax deductible for our building fund.

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.

You may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK, 73093. You can call me at 550-8806 or email kd-graham@windstream.net.

Semper Fi.

Dale K. Graham is a Veterans Corner service officer.

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