The Norman Transcript

July 10, 2013

After a week off, volunteers are ready to assist veterans


The Norman Transcript

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. 

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with all of your donations being tax deductible. We accept handicapped items, cars, trucks and other types of items that can be given to those veterans in need or sold to raise funds for the benevolence.

Most of you know that we are actively looking for a location to build a facility that we can call home for Veterans Corner. I envision a place where we can do more for our men and women who have served our nation as military members. If you have any ideas that would help us make it happen, please contact John Carter at 202-1999.

If you need food or other household items, Sid Smith brings food boxes each week to the Goldsby Community Center on Thursday mornings. He also can be reached at 573-1990.

Veterans Corner has two vans, one of which has a wheelchair lift, to transport veterans to their VA medical appointments. We also have two drivers who use their personal cars to transport veterans to VA appointments.

If you need a ride or know a veteran who does, call Clayton Lee, 684-8860, to set up a driver. For the Norman area, call Harold Martin at 227-3239 or Robert Root at 919-3008. For the Moore area, call Howard Robertson at 205-4895.

For all of your questions and assistance about veterans’ benefits, we are at the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. The doors open at 7 a.m. and sign-in sheets are available at 5:30 a.m. You may also send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093.

You can call me at 550-8806 or email kdgraham@

windstream.net.

Semper Fi.

Dale K. Graham is service officer for VFW Post 4890.