This week, we would like to honor Executive Director Lora Malone. She has served in this role since June 2017. She is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the foundation; she works with volunteers and the board of directors to accomplish the foundation's goals.

Before coming to the foundation, she served as vice president of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association, president of the UT Arlington Alumni Association and served Oklahoma City University as the principal gift officer. Lora and her husband, Gallen, have one daughter, Reagan, and currently live in Edmond.

I am more than ready to get back to helping veterans and their families with Veterans Affairs claims and questions. We do not have a reopening date set yet. We are awaiting approval from the City of Norman. Depending on COVID-19 numbers, the mayor should make a decision between now and June 1.

Consider filling out the necessary paperwork needed prior to coming. You can visit va.gov and click on forms. Type in 21-22A (POA form). There are two places for your signature. These forms enable us to access your VA records and file your claim.

Filling out Form 21-0966 establishes a start date of the following month for any benefits that are approved. This also gives the veteran or surviving spouse one year to file the claim. Sign the forms and email dale@dalekgraham-veteransfoundation.org or mail to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, P.O. Box 592, Washington, OK 73093. We are continuing to look for ways that will make it easier and more convenient.

Last week, 39 veterans received a disability rating of 100% for their service-connected disabilities. This group will receive a combined annual $1,665,986. Forty-five veterans were awarded disability ratings from 10% to 90% and will receive a combined annual $981,344. This group of men and women will be eligible for VA Health Care, and some of them may be eligible for other state benefits. Three surviving spouses were awarded benefits totaling $48,245 a year.

We spend over $30,000 each month in direct support of the veterans and family members we serve. We transport many homeless veterans to our Norman location each week to help make a difference in the lives of the men and women who have served in the military. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and are wholly dependent on donations from the people we serve and local grants.

All the funds it takes to operate our facility and assist veterans with medical testing and other expenses come in the form of grants from local companies or other veterans. Your gifts are appreciated and may be tax-exempt. 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 your eligible purchases. To include us in a gift, call Malone at 550-8806, Ext. 101. Monetary donations can be made online or mailed to P.O. Box 592, Washington, OK 73093.

For the latest updates about our reopening, visit our Facebook page and dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org.

Stay healthy. Our prayers are with all of you and your families during this time of trial in our country. Semper fi.

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

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