Jeri Holmes, Board of Directors

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation

 Today we would like to honor Jeri Holmes, a member of our Board of Directors since the inception of our Foundation.  Jeri Holmes has been practicing law in Oklahoma for over 20 years and started Nonprofit Solutions in 2004.  Jeri has extensive experience in the non-profit sector. As a lawyer for tax-exempt organizations and government entities, Jeri helps organizations create a foundation for future growth by ensuring legal compliance and strong governance. Her services extend beyond simply providing legal counsel to organizations. Her goal is to ensure their ongoing success by strengthening governing documents, policies and operational efficiencies. She guides organizations in writing or rewriting bylaws and policies to ensure compliance, helps navigate the world of contracts and complex relationships, and helps them obtain or change tax-exempt status. In some situations, Jeri has served as interim CEO to provide more in-depth support for organizations facing a significant change or challenge.

Each day that we are going through this Pandemic is another day that we are not able to serve our brother and sister veterans with their VA claims and questions at our location in Norman at 1268 North Interstate Drive.  Everyone that I know is being affected by the virus that was brought to the shores of this United States of America.  Never before have we been touched by this type of war that is being fought by our Doctors, Nurses and the first responders who are placing their wellness on the line to serve others.  To me, it is almost like serving in the military during a battle where no one knows who will be injured or killed next. Maybe during this war, more of us will recognize those who are protecting our health, and our military who is protecting our freedoms.  Many of the men and women who are serving as first responders are making a difference in each of our lives every single day they are on the front lines.  I, for one, will always appreciate their service to those who cannot fend for themselves.  Thank You to all who serve others in our communities, and to the men and women who are serving in our military.

We are still receiving rating decisions in the mail. Last week 34 veterans received a disability rating of 100% for their service-connected disabilities.  This group will receive a combined annual $1,383,183. They will also be eligible for the state benefits of sales tax exemptions, property tax exemptions, and other benefits that our state provides for disabled veterans.  Sixty-four veterans were awarded disability ratings from 10% to 90% and will receive a combined annual $1,053,429.  This group of men and women will be eligible for VA Health Care, and some of them may also be eligible for other state benefits.  One surviving spouse was awarded benefits totaling $16,082.28 a year.

One of the things that we encourage veterans to do is to make sure their families know what disabilities they are service-connected for.  We talk about that because if a veteran’s disability is on their death certificate as a primary cause of death or is listed as a contributing condition, their spouse and dependents may be eligible for VA benefits.

Things have sure changed, a few months ago we were talking about wanting to take a week off for fishing or sightseeing and now look at all of us most of us are spending our days around our homes.  Those of us who volunteer at our Veterans Foundation do so because it is a way to give back to the men and women who served in the military.  Before this Pandemic we were assisting an average of one hundred and fifty veterans and surviving spouses each Tuesday and Thursday morning.  As we continue to wait for an all clear from our government officials to go back to work, there are many veterans and their families who are suffering.  When the all clear is given we will add more volunteers to help alleviate the backlog of veterans that have not been able to complete their applications for VA benefits.  We hope you will join us on our mission to serve others.

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 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.  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 are not funded by a government entity, all the funds it takes to operate our facility and to assist veterans with medical testing, and other expenses come in the form of grants from local companies or other veterans.  For those of you who would like to support the program, your gifts are always 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 .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.

For the latest updates about our reopening, please visit our Facebook page and website 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, VA Accredited Claims Agent

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation