The Norman Transcript

September 4, 2013

Norman man named Veteran of The Week


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — This week we are recognizing one of our drivers, Harold Martin of Norman, as the Veteran of the Week. Harold drives the wheelchair accessible van transporting those veterans who need assistance going to their VA doctor appointments.

Last Thursday there were 120 veterans and surviving spouses who made the trip to Goldsby for assistance with their VA claims and questions.

There were 22 veterans who filed their first claim for benefits. With the new fully developed claims process program we were able to use on some of the claims, it should improve the process time by the VA.

The old system was taking a year or more for the veteran to receive a rating decision. There were eight veterans who received a 100 percent rating for their service connected disabilities. Some of these veterans were injured while in the military while others disabilities were caused by diseases that are presumptive to military service.

There were 23 ladies who were assisted in filing for DIC or pension benefits last week. We all know about the changes that many of us go through while serving in the military from battle to boredom and it does take a lot out of all of us. If you have questions about benefits for surviving spouses or dependents, Shirley can be reached at 361-9322.

The benevolence fund was used to assist several veterans with medical expenses, gas cards, utility expenses, rents and other needs last week.

Each week there will be more people requesting assistance than we are able to accommodate. Jerry Baxter, treasurer, is the go-to-guy for assistance from this fund and he can be reached at 833-0773 or at Goldsby on Thursday mornings.

We have the preliminary drawings of the proposed Veterans Center available for viewing in the lobby of the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. We hope to have this built in the next few years.

As we progress in acquiring the property, I will keep everyone posted on the progress. If you have any questions about the project, call John Carter at 292-1999. We also have a building fund that we have started for the project. Donations are tax deductible for this project. When a donation is made to Veterans Corner, specify if it goes to the benevolence fund or the building fund.

For those who need food items, Sid Smith has food boxes prepared each Thursday.

We have three transportation vans that are used to transport veterans to their VA appointments. One of these is equipped with a wheelchair lift.

Our driver who has been with us the longest is Clayton Lee of Dibble. He can be reached at 684-8860. Other drivers are Howard Martin of Norman and he drives the wheelchair accessible van and can be reached at 227-3239, Robert Root of Norman can be reached at 919-3008. Howard Robertson lives in Moore and can be reached at 205-4895.

For all of your questions and assistance about veteran’s benefits, we are located 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 also may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093.

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

Semper Fi.

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