Recently, we sent out almost 22,000 annual newsletters to the veterans and surviving spouses we serve. I want to say thank you to all of you who responded to our funding request. Your dollars make our organization one of the best in the nation when it comes to helping all of those who have worn the uniform of our military.

Last year, with your help, we provided more than $200,000 in assistance to veterans and their families. Expenditures for medical testing is the largest category of our expenses.

One of the ways we raise funds is through our auto donation program. As a 501(c)(3) donations to our organization are tax deductible. We accept cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, handicapped equipment and other types of items that can be given to veterans or sold to raise funds to help them.

Our veteran of the week, Mr. Muriel Bratcher, from Lookeba, served in the Korean War as a member of the United States Army. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Mr. Bratcher. We appreciate you.

During 2018, of the people we helped, more than 2,900 veterans and surviving spouses were approved for the VA benefits for which they were eligible. The veterans and surviving spouses we helped were awarded more than was $67 million in 2018. I believe the financial impact our volunteers are making on those we serve and on the Oklahoman economy has made a huge difference for our entire state.

As we begin in 2019, we are looking forward to increasing our presence in Oklahoma and other states. We are now providing our services in Lawton one Friday each month. Visit our website for location and scheduling information.

Last week, I received the following VA rating decisions. Twenty-one veterans received a 100 percent disability rating for their service-connected disabilities. They will receive a combined total annual amount of $836,010 per year. Twenty-eight veterans, both male and female, were awarded disability rating from 10 to 90 percent for their service-connected disabilities.

These veterans will receive an annual combined amount of $494,081 per year. We send notification letters to each person in these groups, explaining some of the other benefits for which they may be eligible and suggest they return for a follow-up visit.

If you would like to donate, you can do so at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org or mail a check to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, P.O. Box 592, Washington, OK 73093. As a nonprofit, your gift may be tax deductible. We appreciate your support of our nation's veterans and their families.

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has food sacks available to those in need. An application for this assistance will be available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. A DD-214 or military discharge will be necessary to apply. Call 550-8806, Ext. 103, to request a food sack.

We are available every Tuesday and Thursday at the 1268 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. We open the doors by 5:30 a.m., and we begin working as soon as volunteers have computers ready. We stop taking clients at 8 and urge you to arrive as early as possible. Contact us with any questions at dale@dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org.

For phone assistance, call 550-8806 to listen to our options. For general information, dial Ext. 101. To schedule transportation, dial Ext. 105 or 106.

For help with surviving spouse benefits, dial Ext. 104 or stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning. Visit dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org. Semper fi.

As always, thank you to all veterans and their families for their service to this United States of America.

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation is not affiliated with any other organization. Dale K. Graham is a VA accredited claims agent.