Thank you to the Oklahoma City Metro Auto Dealers Association for designating our organization as the beneficiary of their recent automobile show, hosted at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. The donation will help us make a difference in the lives of the military veterans and their families that we serve each week.
Our veteran of the week, Calvin Watson, served in World War II in the U.S. Navy as a crew member flying on a dive bomber in the Pacific theater. We recognized him for his service and presented him with a military cap representing his service to our country. He is a proud military veteran who had never filed a claim for benefits until visiting us Thursday morning. I feel confident that he will receive the benefits he is filing for that will help him to stay in his home as long as possible. Once we can help him to get approved and service-connected for the disabilities he is eligible for, we will work to help him to reach 70%, to open the door for him to stay in one of our Oklahoma Veterans Centers at no cost.
Many benefits are available for our veterans and their families. When a veteran or surviving spouse visits us, we are going to do everything possible to help them receive all of the VA benefits for which they are eligible.
Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, we are reaching our maximum capacity of 150 veterans and surviving spouses by 3 a.m. or earlier. We are at 1268 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Last week, while we were unloading supplies at noon Monday, there were already several people lining up for our 4 a.m. opening Tuesday. Arriving two hours early should be about right most of the time. We could serve more people if we had more volunteers and a larger workspace. Come see us if you would like to help.
The number of veterans approved for the 100% rating continues to increase to the point we are averaging 40 or so each week. If we continue at this pace, there may be over 2,000 we can assist in receiving a 100% rating this year. Last week, 38 veterans were approved for the 100% rate and will receive a combined annual $1,591,886. Seventy-eight veterans were rated between 10% and 90% and will receive a combined yearly $1,456,184. One surviving spouse was awarded benefits and will receive $16,082 a year.
We welcome your support. We spend over $30,000 each month in support of the veterans and family members we serve. We transport many homeless veterans to our location each week. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and are dependent on donations from the people we serve and local grants. We are not funded by a government entity. For those of you who would like to be a donor to our program, your donations are always appreciated and may be tax-exempt.
We accept donations of vehicles that can be given to veterans in need or sold to raise funds. You can shop items from our Amazon charity list to stock our food pantry and shop AmazonSmile with us as the charity; we will receive 0.5% of eligible purchases. If you are interested in including us in a gift, call Lora at 550-8806, Ext. 101. Monetary donations can be made online or mailed to P.O. Box 592, Washington, OK, 73093.
Food sacks are available for those who need them. If you need a ride to and from a VA medical appointment or to our foundation, call 550-8806, Ext. 105, for Clayton or Ext. 106 for Louie.
Visit dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org. Semper fi.
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation is not affiliated with any other organization. Dale K. Graham is a VA accredited claims agent.