The Norman Transcript

April 23, 2014

Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Each week, we recognize a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses in the area. This week’s volunteer has been making the trip each week to Goldsby for the last five years.

I’m proud to say that Al Ingle is the IT person and was instrumental in setting up the computers and printers to use Wi-Fi for printing needs. Al and his wife make their home in Norman.

Last Friday night while at my grandson’s T-ball game, I had the privilege to meet twin brothers who enlisted together in the Marines in 1951. They were sent to Korea with the 4th Marine Division as 0300 Infantry, where one of them was wounded in action three times.

Neither of these men had ever filed a claim with VA for benefits. I invited both of them to my place on Saturday, along with several other combat Marines who served in Vietnam.

After visiting with us, they asked me to file a VA claim for benefits. I sent an informal claim in for both of them to set a start date. I also ordered their military records from the National Personnel Center in St. Louis.

We also will probably ask them to see their doctors to have a VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire filled out before submitting their Fully Developed Claim for VA benefits.

Last week, volunteers assisted 112 men and women. Of this number, Shirley and her crew of ladies helped 14 surviving spouses of veterans. Some of these ladies were applying for financial assistance for unexpected expenses, while others were inquiring into the possibility of receiving VA benefits. Shirley can be seen any Thursday morning, or call her at 361-9322.

Six veterans — both men and women — received VA ratings of 100 percent for their injuries that occurred in the military or were presumptive to military service.

I still run into veterans or surviving spouses who were approved for a total disability rating or DIC from VA who did not return for their other benefits. Those who do not return are missing some good benefits from VA and our Oklahoma State benefits.

Sixteen veterans filed their first claims for benefits. Most of these were younger veterans who had served from the first Gulf War to the present conflicts.

For those of you who would like to help us with future building plans, call John Carter at 202-1999. We are hoping to have enough funding in place that we can start by this fall.

Veterans Corner has another pair of volunteers who exchanged vows last week. Congratulations to Gerald Ashley and Peggy Catton on their marriage.

We have volunteer drivers who are here to assist veterans getting to and from medical appointments. Clayton Lee, of Dibble, traveled 700 miles while transporting 11 veterans to their appointments. Harold Martin, of Norman, who drives the van equipped with a wheelchair lift, drove 563 miles, transporting nine passengers.

For those of you who need this service, try to use the driver who lives nearest to you. Lee can be reached at 684-8860, Harold Martin at 227-3239 and Greg Kelsch at 255-2208.

For all of your questions and assistance about veterans’ benefits, visit the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. Doors open at 7 a.m. Take time to visit veteranscorner.org.

Donations for the benevolence fund may be sent to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093. Donations for the building fund may be sent to Veterans Corner, c/o Dale Graham, P.O. Box 722160, Norman, OK 73070.

Semper Fi.

Dale K. Graham can be reached at 550-8806 or

by at email kdgraham@

windstream.net.

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