The Norman Transcript

Features

April 24, 2013

Rain, cold weather slow down traffic of veterans filing for claims

NORMAN — The volunteer of the week is an Army veteran who has been making the trip to Goldsby from Moore for two years. Terry Tumey has proven to be a good advocate for veterans. His wife, Susan, supports his efforts to make a difference in the lives of our veterans.

The rain and cold weather kept many of the veterans and surviving spouses at home last Thursday, with only 97 making it to the Goldsby Community Center. Fifteen veterans were assisted in filing their first claims for VA benefits. Several of these were recently released from their military assignments.

Shirley and the volunteer ladies assisted seven surviving spouses with their claims for DIC or pension benefits. I received information Friday from the office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs stating the following dated April 19:

“VA to expedite claims decisions for veterans who have waited a year or more. The Department of Veterans Affairs, starting today, will make provisional decisions on the oldest claims in their inventory, which will allow veterans to start collecting compensation benefits more quickly. This is one of the ways that our local VA Regional Office may be able to complete some of the claims that are at least a year old. …”

Several locations are important to our veterans and their families. One is the water contamination at Camp Lejuene, N.C. This occurred from the mid ’50s through the mid ’80s. Any service member who served 30 days is considered to have been exposed to the chemicals in the water. Also, any of their families who lived there were exposed. Information can be found on the Internet by typing in Camp Lejuene water contamination.

Plans are proceeding to obtain property for a Veterans Corner building. To help us with this project, please visit us.

Sid Smith continues to keep us supplied with food boxes that he prepares. Sid buys in bulk and then repackages items to be given to those who need this type of assistance.

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. Semper Fi.

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

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