NORMAN — Each week, we recognize one of the volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses to obtain the VA benefits they are eligible to receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The men and women who make their way to Goldsby each week have earned these benefits when they served the United States.
This week, we are recognizing William (Pat) Pattillo, of Noble, as the volunteer of the week. Pat has been a part of Veterans Corner the past several years.
After the center was closed on July 4, 154 veterans and surviving spouses needed assistance with their VA claims and questions last week. Of this number, we assisted 16 surviving spouses (widows of veterans) who were applying for DIC or pension benefits. The DIC benefits may be paid to a surviving spouse if the veteran dies from a condition that is service-connected or one that is presumptive to military service. Pension may be payable based on income and other factors.
If you know of a surviving spouse of a veteran, stop by for a visit with Shirley or one of her helpers about possible benefits. Shirley has several ladies who specialize in assisting the wives of military veterans. She can be reached at 361-9322.
We assisted 18 veterans who filed their first claims for VA benefits. These men and women are looking at from four months to a year before their claims are finalized by the Department of Veterans Affairs office in Muskogee. I encourage all veterans to stop by for a visit with one of our councilors about possible benefits.
Many of the men and women we assist do not know about the benefits that they may be entitled to receive from the VA. If you served in the National Guard, Reserves, Merchant Marines or any of the other branches of service, you may qualify for VA benefits. We are a free service that is provided for all veterans and surviving spouses at the Goldsby Community Center most every Thursday morning.