The Norman Transcript

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July 31, 2013

Nonprofit assists 133 veterans, spouses with VA claims

NORMAN — We are recognizing Joan Baxter as the volunteer of the week. She is a volunteer who helps those veterans who received 100 percent rating and surviving spouses who are approved to receive DIC benefits. We appreciate Joan’s knowledge and can-do attitude in helping each veteran and spouse obtain all VA benefits they are entitled to. Joan is the wife of treasurer, Jerry Baxter.

Last week, we assisted 133 veterans and spouses with their claims for VA benefits. Shirley and her crew of ladies continue to assist more than 20 surviving spouses each week for benefits based on their husband’s military service. They also have assisted veterans’ husbands in receiving DIC benefits based on their wives’ military service.

Last week, we filed our first DIC claim for a surviving spouse whose husband served at Camp Legeune, N.C. We have been trying to let military members and their families know about the ground water contamination that was on going for 30-plus years from the ’50s up into the ’80s.

For all of your questions on surviving spouse benefits, call Shirley at 361-9322. We are available most every Thursday morning at the Goldsby Community Center. Sign-in starts at 5:30 a.m. and continues until we reach a maximum of 150 people.

Eight veterans received a 100 percent rating for their service-connected disabilities. One of the most common problems facing veterans who served in Vietnam is the diseases that exposure to Agent Orange has caused. Many of the surviving spouses that we see each week are here to file for DIC based on their husband’s exposure to that chemical. If you received this rating and have not returned for a follow-up visit, please stop by to find out about the rest of the benefits you could be eligible to receive.

We helped 24 veterans file their first claims for VA benefits last week. Of these, most of them will be eligible to receive VA compensation or health care for their service in the military.

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