The Norman Transcript

May 7, 2014

Volunteers assist 125 with Veterans Affairs claims


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Volunteer of the week Mike Flournoy served in the United States Air Force for 26 years. He has been with Veterans Corner for the past two years, where he is making a name for himself as an I.T. specialist.

He is part of the team that keeps the computers and printers operating. He drives from Moore each Thursday morning, arriving early to assist in setting up our Wi-Fi, routers and printers.

Last week, 125 men and women traveled to Goldsby for assistance with their VA claims and questions.

Last week, one volunteer was visiting with a veteran while shopping at the Crest store in Norman. When he asked him if he had been to Goldsby, the veteran told him no, that he could not afford to see us.

Someone from another veteran’s organization had told him we charged $1,000 to help people. We do not charge anyone for anything we do. Every service volunteers provide is free, including rides to and from their VA appointments in Veterans Corner vans.

Nine men and women received VA ratings of 100 percent for their service-connected disabilities that occurred or were caused by military service. Those who received that rating will be eligible for Oklahoma benefits that were approved several years ago.

Eighteen veterans stopped by to file their first claims for VA benefits. Many World War II and Korean veterans are just now filing for VA benefits, based on the injuries that occurred in those wars. The most common injury that occurred to them was hearing loss and tinnitus caused by gunfire, artillery, aircraft engines or many other types of acoustic trauma.

Shirley, along with her crew of ladies, assisted 15 surviving spouses in filing for DIC or pension benefits based on their spouses military service. One lady’s husband served in Vietnam and then died from a heart condition in the ’70s. No one had ever told her that his cause of death was presumptive to exposure to Agent Orange, which was used extensively in that country.

I received a call Saturday morning from the surviving spouse of a WWII veteran. She wanted to tell me what a wonderful experience she had with Betty Van Noy, who had helped her file for VA pension benefits that she needed.

After talking with her, she said that if she could just receive another $10 a month, it would make a difference in her life. This special lady is typical of the 125 men and women volunteers assist in Goldsby each Thursday.

Clayton Lee, of Dibble, drove 600 miles with eight passengers. Harold Martin, of Norman, who drives our van equipped with a wheelchair lift, drove 428 miles with eight passengers. Greg Kelsch drove 300 miles with four 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, Martin at 227-3239 and Kelsch at 255-2208.

For all of your questions and assistance about veterans’ benefits, doors open at 7 a.m. each Thursday. 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 contacted at 550-8806 or kdgraham@windstream.net.

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