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February 13, 2013

Several turn to Veterans Center volunteers for assistance

NORMAN — We are recognizing Bobby Washington, of Oklahoma City, as the volunteer of the week. Bobby has made the trip to Goldsby every Thursday for two years. His knowledge and dedication to helping our military veterans is evident by what he accomplishes each week. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he received an honorable discharge. Bobby is married to Constance.

Last Thursday, there were more veterans here than we could accommodate. We were able to help 153 veterans and surviving spouses, but we were forced to ask 25 to return this Thursday.

I received information that could be useful to any of you who are a caregiver for veterans who were severely disabled in Iraq or Afghanistan, since Sept. 10, 2001. This landmark decision says the VA may pay you as a caregiver for your veteran. Information can be obtained at www.caregiver.va.gov or by calling 1-877-222-8387. If we can be of assistance, visit with us at Goldsby any Thursday morning.

Thirteen surviving spouses were assisted with their claims for DIC or pension benefits based on their husband’s military service.

If you have questions about VA DIC or pension, call Shirley at 361-9322 or me at 550-8806.

Nine veterans received a rating of 100 percent for their service connected disabilities. Besides the compensation, their spouse may be eligible for the Champ-VA medical insurance if the veteran is not retired military.

There also are several state benefits that are available to those who receive a 100 percent rating. Those veterans who are rated 50 percent by VA are eligible for two car tags at a reduced rate. They are also eligible to receive free hunting and fishing licenses in Oklahoma.

There were 28 veterans who filed their first claim for VA benefits. Several of those had just returned from Afghanistan and were being discharged. For these returning veterans, the VA has made it much easier to receive the benefits that they are entitled to.

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