The Norman Transcript

February 13, 2013

Several turn to Veterans Center volunteers for assistance


The Norman Transcript

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.

We have a hospital bed available that was donated by one of our veterans recently. If you need this item or one of the manual wheel chairs we have, call Jerry Baxter at 833-0773.

For those of you who are hungry and in need of food items, Sid Smith is available to help. He can be reached at 593-1990 or on Thursday morning at the Community Center.

Clayton Lee, 684-8860, and the other transportation drivers provide rides to 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, 205-4895.

For all of your questions and assistance about Veterans benefits, we are at the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. Our doors open at 7 a.m. Please be there early for us to help you with your claim. Take time to visit www.veteranscorner.org.

You also may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK 73093. You can email me at kdgraham@windstream.net.

Semper Fi.

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

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