NORMAN — Volunteer of the week is Jim Flowers who has been with Veterans Corner for two years. Jim served in the United States Army. His wife Rhonda supports his efforts to help veterans. Jim is always at the front door greeting veterans as they come in and works hard loading and unloading the trailer each Thursday morning.
We were able to provide assistance to 148 veterans and surviving spouses last Thursday. There were 29 veterans who filed their first claim for VA benefits. Several of these served in World War II and the Korean War with the rest having served between then and the Afghanistan War.
There were six veterans’ widows who stopped by to see Shirley and her crew of ladies who specialize in assisting these very important people. I was visiting with one of our surviving spouses whose husband served in Vietnam and then died from alchemic heart disease in the early 80s. This lady should be able to receive DIC benefits since his heart condition is one of the presumptive diseases caused by exposure to Agent Orange. There are many of our veterans who are ill or have died from some of the 15 diseases that were caused by that chemical. If you know of a veteran or a surviving spouse who could use our assistance please send them down to see one of our specialists.
Last Thursday, we were able assist eight veterans to receive a 100 percent rating from VA for their service connected disabilities. There also were 23 veterans who received ratings from 10 percent to a high of 90 percent for their injuries that occurred or were aggravated by military service.
With so many people needing assistance, the benevolence fund continues to run in the red. This past week the cost to provide assistance to those in need reached $3,000. I want to thank those of you who send a tax deductible donation each month to support veterans corner. Without your help our volunteers could not provide assistance to the many veterans and surviving spouses in our community. Please remember that all of us are volunteers and that there is no paid staff.