The late Billy D. Prater, United States Air Force Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
Today we are celebrating the life of Mr. Billy Dean Prater, who passed away last week. We recognize him as our veteran of the week. Billy retired from the United States Air Force after serving honorably for more than twenty years of faithful service. He served as our Veterans Chaplain for many years, where he opened each day with a prayer and a pledge of allegiance for all the veterans and surviving spouses who were there for assistance with their VA claims and questions. He was the man who brought peace to many veterans who visited us. Billy will be missed by all of us who called him a friend. Thank you, Billy, for sharing your life with us.
The snow, along with the cold weather, reduced the number of veterans who were at our Veterans Foundation last Tuesday morning to only sixty. Luckily, we did have enough volunteers who were able to be there to serve them. On Thursday, we assisted our maximum number of 150 with their claims and questions about VA benefits. I don’t know how so many people from all around the United States have found out about our organization and what we can do for them. Veterans and surviving spouses have many choices on where to go for assistance with their VA Claims in their home states, yet each week we have more than thirty or forty of them who have traveled hundreds or even thousands of miles to be assisted by our volunteers. It makes me wonder if we are the only ones who genuinely understand how the VA processes an evidenced-based fully developed claim. The only thing different we do is to request the veteran who we are assisting to obtain medical evidence in the form of a VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire to support their application for benefits. We also enclose a VA form 21-4138 that describes what caused an injury or illness while serving in the military. We have found that when the VA receives a veteran’s application for benefits, there needs to be an explanation of what happened, where it happened, a list of witnesses, and if they were treated by medical personnel or hospitalized. Anytime a claim for VA benefits is filed, there should be a (NEXUS) established linking the veteran’s disability to the accident or injury or illness that occurred during military service.
Our mail was busy last week. We had rating decisions for the following: 27 veterans received ratings at 100%. This group of veterans will receive a combined annual $1,032,641. Forty veterans received ratings between 10% and 90% and will receive a combined yearly $676,676.
As we are assisting over three hundred veterans and surviving spouses each week, we are making a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. Join us in our mission by donating or volunteering your time. We are in need of copy paper to assist us with veteran claims. If you would like to donate some, please drop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning, or mail to P.O. Box 592 Washington, OK 73093.
If you would like to help us make a difference, we welcome your support. We spend over $30,000 each month in direct support of the veterans and family members we serve. We are transporting many homeless veterans to our Norman location each week to begin the process of making a difference in the lives of the men and women who have served in the military. As you know, we are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and are wholly dependent on donations from the people we serve and local grants. We accept donations of vehicles that can be given to veterans in need or sold to raise funds to continue our mission. 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 .5% of your eligible purchases. If you are interested in including us in a gift, please contact Lora at 405-550-8806, ext. 101. Monetary donations can be made online or mailed to PO 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 our Foundation, please contact 405-550-8806, Ext. 105 for Clayton or Ext. 106 for Louie.
We are available Tuesdays and Thursday mornings at 1268 North Interstate Dr. Norman, OK 73072. Visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org.
Dale K. Graham, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation