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July 10, 2013

After a week off, volunteers are ready to assist veterans

NORMAN — The volunteer of the week, Shirley Fisher, has been with us for more than a year helping veterans receive their VA benefits. Shirley is the surviving spouse of a Vietnam veteran. She knows firsthand the consequences of what Agent Orange exposure has done to veterans who were exposed to the chemical.

Volunteers will be ready to continue helping veterans and their families Thursday after having a week off for the Independence Day celebrations. If the number of phone calls and emails I have are any indication of the number of people we will have Thursday, it will be a full house at the Goldsby Community Center.

When we first started Veterans Corner, I thought we would be busy for a few years and then the number of veterans and surviving spouses would dramatically decline. I was wrong in that aspect, as we continue to have more than 120 or so veterans each week who are requesting assistance with their VA claims and questions. Our claim writers’ expertise enables them to help most veterans receive VA benefits.

For those of you who have never filed for VA benefits or were turned down, consider stopping by to visit with one of the volunteers or myself. The services are free to every veteran and surviving spouse.

If your husband served in the military and has passed or is ill, visit Shirley or one of her helpers concerning DIC or pension benefits from the VA. Many of the ladies we see are not aware of the benefits that they may be eligible for from the VA. Shirley can be reached at 361-9322.

The benevolence program is in place to help those veterans or surviving spouses who need assistance with rent, food, medical expense or transportation to their VA appointments. This part of Veterans Corner is overseen by treasurer Jerry Baxter. He can be reached at 833-0773. 

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