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.
The benevolence fund continues to be used to provide emergency assistance to many of the veterans and surviving spouses in the community. Last week, some of the uses were rents, transportation, medical expenses. For more information, call Jerry Baxter, Veterans Corner treasurer, at 833-0773. Sid Smith was able to provide food boxes to several families. If you could use this type of help, call Sid at 573-1990 or stop by any Thursday morning.
We are continuing the plan to expand services if we are able to purchase land and build our own facility. We are accepting donations that are tax deductible for the building fund and the benevolence fund. If you would like to set up a monthly allotment for this, call Jerry Baxter. We are continuing to accept donations of automobiles and other items. These are tax deductible for you as we are a 501-(C)(3) non-profit.
Have you noticed the difference in the Veterans Corner van that Clayton Lee uses to transport veterans to and from their VA appointments? Recently the Smokin Guns Decal shop in Blanchard dressed it up with the same decals as the Veterans Corner Chevrolet pickup.
Clayton Lee, 684-8860, and the other transportation drivers provided rides to seven veterans to the Oklahoma City VA hospital for their appointments. If you need a ride or know a veteran who does, call Clayton to set up a driver. For the Norman area, call Harold Martin at 227-3239 or Robert Root at 919-3008. For the Moore area, call Howard Robertson at 205-4895.
For all of your questions and assistance about Veterans benefits we are located at the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. Our doors open at 8 a.m. Please be there early for us to help you with your claim.
You also may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale K. Graham is service officer for VFW Post 4890.