NORMAN — Each week, we honor a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses. I’m very proud to have Patti Hanks as a member of our team.
She has traveled thousands of miles to meet with the men and women of our state who are unable to make the trip to Goldsby on a Thursday morning. We appreciate what she has done to assist the many veterans and surviving spouses who are in nursing homes and assisted living centers along with her weekly trips here on Thursday. Patti is married to Jim who also is a veteran and supports her mission to improve the lives veterans and their families.
On Thursday morning, when I arrived at the community center, 130 veterans and surviving spouses were waiting for the doors to be opened.
Some people in other organizations still are telling veterans not to go to Goldsby because they charge for services. What we really do is assist veterans and surviving spouses with the money needed to pay for medical testing, transportation, utilities, food and many other needs.
As always we never charge anyone for anything that we do. If someone tells you that we charge, please ask for their name and the organization they represent.
Shirley and her ladies assisted 12 surviving spouses apply for or follow up on their claims for VA DIC or pension benefits.
I’m helping them with a surviving spouse whose husband committed suicide in the ’70s after serving in Vietnam. She did not know about possible VA benefits until last year when she came to us. We have applied for DIC for her using PTSD as the reason for the suicide. VA has denied her claim for benefits the first time; now we are working to provide evidence to reconsider their denial.