NORMAN — The volunteer of the week, Ramiro Rocha, is an Army veteran who we are all proud to call a friend. Ramiro is married to Carolyn and they make their home in Norman, where he is active in the community. Ramiro has been a volunteer for several years, always ready to take on any project that needs to be done.
Last week, he took on the biggest one of his life when he underwent a heart transplant at Baptist Hospital. I’m glad to say that it was very successful and he continues to grow stronger each day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.
Each week, we receive many cards, letters or emails from veterans and surviving spouses who we have assisted to obtain VA benefits. One of the surviving spouses who Patti recently helped called to say she was approved for DIC benefits. She went from not having enough money to live on each month to having $15,000 back pay deposited to her bank account. She will receive $1,200 each month for the rest of her life.
We see this type of story many times each week. If you are a surviving spouse of a veteran, consider visiting us at the Goldsby Community Center on a Thursday morning. Shirley can be reached at 361-9322 for questions about possible VA benefits.
One hundred and nineteen veterans and surviving spouses made the trip for assistance last week. Of that number, seven veterans received a 100 percent rating for their disabilities that were caused by or aggravated by military service.
Those who receive the 100 percent rating should return for a follow-up visit for assistance in applying for their other Oklahoma state tax benefits and medical insurance for their spouses if they are not retired military.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is in the process of improving the way we submit claims and the way they process them.