NORMAN — We are recognizing Neil Vickers, of Norman, as the volunteer of the week. His wife, Paulette, supports him in his efforts to help his fellow veterans. He served in the United States Army for six years.
One hundred and fifty veterans and surviving spouses made the trip to Goldsby for assistance with their VA claims and questions. Of that number, eight were approved for the 100 percent disability rating by the Muskogee VA Regional office.
As many of you know, those with the 100 percent rating will be eligible for other federal and state benefits. These benefits must be applied for by the veteran to be eligible to receive them. Bring your rating decision and marriage license to file for the Champ — VA Medical insurance for your spouse and children and the state benefits.
Eighteen surviving spouses were seen by Shirley and her crew of ladies. Those ladies whose husbands died from a service-connected disability or one that was presumptive to military service might be eligible to receive DIC payments of $1,200 per month.
They also may be eligible to receive some of the state benefits such as reduced car tags, sales tax exemptions and other benefits such as Champ VA medical insurance. Some ladies who meet the VA income and other requirements could be eligible for the pension benefits.
For information on these benefits, call Shirley at 361-9322 or me at 550-8806.
Eighteen veterans filed their first claims for VA benefits. Several of these had just returned from military service while others served in WWII.
Last week, four surviving spouses filed for the $75,000 available from the Justice Department. These ladies husbands were part of the Atomic testing that was done in the ’40s through the ’70s. If a veteran participated in the atomic testing and was diagnosed with cancer, he may receive benefits or his surviving spouse or their families, if both are deceased.
The benevolence fund was used to help veterans and surviving spouses with medical expenses, food items, fuel and other needed household items.
Sid Smith has boxes of food and other household items that are provided to veterans and surviving spouses who are in need of assistance. Sid is available at the Goldsby Community Center on Thursday mornings or he can be reached at 573-1990.
Treasurer Jerry Baxter is the go-to guy for assistance from the Veterans Corner benevolence fund. If you need this type of assistance, call him at 833-0773. He also is in charge of our building fund for the new facility that we are planning. For those of you who would like to help us with a building of our own at Veterans Corner, we are a 501-(c)(3) nonprofit. We need approximately $1 million to accomplish these plans.
Clayton Lee, 684-8860, and the other transportation drivers provide rides to veterans to the Oklahoma City VA Hospital for their appointments. If you need a ride or know a veteran who does, call Clayton to set up a driver. For Norman-area veterans, call Harold Martin at 227-3239 or Robert Root at 919-3008. For Moore-area needs, call Howard Robertson at 205-4895.
For all of your questions and assistance about veterans’ benefits, we are located at the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. Our 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. We do our best to process each one in a timely manner, but be prepared to stay a while and please be patient.
Take time to visit our web address at www.veteranscorner.org.
You may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington OK 73093.
You can email me at kdgraham@windstream.
Dale K. Graham is service officer for VFW Post 4890.