NORMAN — We have several husband and wife volunteers who spend each Thursday at the Goldsby Community Center. Today we are recognizing Diana and Willie Thompson as the volunteers of the week. Each week they help their fellow veterans and surviving spouses to navigate the VA paperwork in applying for benefits. Willie is an Air Force veteran. They were married 42 years ago and make their home in Spencer.
The rain we had last week slowed down the number of men and women seeking help with their VA claims and questions. There were only 133 who made the trip for assistance. Of that number, there were seven surviving spouses that Shirley and her crew of ladies were able to help.
Jerry Baxter and the ladies who work those who qualify for the 100 percent VA disability rating, were very busy last Thursday with six veterans receiving a 100 percent rating from VA for their service connected disabilities. Many of the veterans who receive that rating will be eligible for the Oklahoma state benefits such as exemption of property tax on their home and sales tax. Their spouse and dependents also may qualify for the Champ-VA medical insurance program. If you did not return after receiving a 100 percent, please do so to apply for the other benefits. For those veterans who receive a VA rating of 50 percent or more, the state offers reduced car tag cost, a free hunting and fishing license.
There were 17 veterans who were assisted in filing their first claim for VA benefits.
Future plans to help more veterans will require a building that we can expand our services. We have asked the Town of Goldsby to lease or sell seven and one half acres of the airport property. A decision will be made on this option by the town board in the near future.
Last week, David Sudduth donated a 2002 Toyota Camry. He took it to the dealer to use as a trade in and when they told him what they would allow, he donated it to the Veterans Corner.
The benevolence fund was used for transportation, food, rents, medical expense and other items that were necessary in helping our veterans and their families in need. Sid Smith has a friend in Norman, Gary Blaugh, who donates canned goods to him each month to use in our food boxes.
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 the Norman area, call Harold Martin at 227-3239 or Robert Root at 919-3008. For the Moore area, call Howard Robertson, 205-4895.
For all of your questions and assistance about Veterans benefits, we are 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.
Take time to visit our web address at www.veteranscorner.org.
For questions on widow’s benefits, call Shirley at 361-9322.
You also may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093.
You can call me at 550-8806 or email email@example.com.
Dale K. Graham is service officer of VFW Post 4890.