NORMAN — We are recognizing Gary Haskins as the volunteer of the week. Gary has been with us for several years. His can-do attitude has helped many veterans to navigate through the VA system. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Army. Gary and his wife Ramona make their home in Harrah.
The first Thursday of 2013 was another good day for veterans and surviving spouses who made the trip to the Goldsby Community Center. We were able to process 88 veterans and nine surviving spouses for VA benefits. Of this number, there were 22 veterans who filed their first claim. There were five who received the most coveted award of a 100 percent rating for their disabilities that occurred while in the military. We were able follow up on 15 veterans who recently received ratings from 10 percent to 80 percent. Those who received a rating of 30 percent or more will be eligible to receive an increase in their benefits for their dependents. Shirley and her ladies have made a huge difference in the lives of the veterans surviving spouses. Many of the ladies who they help will receive more than $1,200 per month if their veteran husband’s death was caused by a service connected disability or one that is presumptive. Several of the ladies that were seen will be eligible to receive pension benefits. These benefits are based on income and medical expenses. For those surviving spouses whose husbands were exposed to Agent Orange or other toxins, please contact us. If you have questions about DIC or Pension, please call Shirley at 361-9322 or Dale at 550-8806.
I’m still receiving calls from veterans and their families who were stationed at Marine Base Camp Lejeune that had water contamination problems. For information on this, stop by and see us or Google Water Contamination Camp Lejeune.