Robert Allen, World War II Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
We will be closed on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day.
Each year we send our annual Newsletter to the veterans and surviving spouses we represent before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Saturday, we mailed more than twenty-two thousand of the 2018 edition. If you do not receive your copy, please contact us by e-mail or call Lora at 405-550-8806 to update your address. Please remember veterans, surviving spouses and dependents we are here to make a positive difference in your lives.
One of the things we do each week is recognize men and women who served in WW II or the Korean War and present them with a new cap representing their time in the military. We select one of them as our veteran of the week where he or she will be highlighted in our newspaper story for the week. Today’s veteran of the week is Mr. Robert Allen of Norman, Oklahoma who served honorably during World War II as a member of the United States Navy. We appreciate his military service to our nation.
Last Tuesday and Thursday morning there were more than three hundred veterans and surviving spouses of veterans assisted with their VA claims and questions at our office in Norman at 1268 North Interstate Drive. As most of you know we start at 0530 and serve 150 plus each day. Those who arrive after we reach our maximum capacity will be asked to return another day. For those of you who have never thought about VA benefits we are a 501 (c) (3) non- profit organization whose mission is to help veterans and surviving spouses receive the VA benefits for which they are eligible. There is no charge for the services we provide to anyone who visits our Foundation. I believe most veterans are eligible for benefits if they use the VA Disability Benefits Questionnaires filled out by medical providers. These can be used as a diagnosis of a medical or mental condition and to show the severity of that disability. Most claims veterans make for service-connection of a disability are denied if evidence is not submitted to support their application for benefits. I believe the VA Disability Benefits Questionnaires we use as evidence when seeking a service-connection of a disability or for a reevaluation of one that is already service-connected is what sets our organization apart from others who are trying to assist veterans and surviving spouses. Our volunteers are changing the lives of veterans and their families every day. For those of you who would like to join a winning team, please consider visiting with our Executive Director Lora Malone any Tuesday or Thursday morning. Volunteer applications are available on our website; a background check by the OSBI is required for everyone who volunteers with our Veterans Foundation. In today’s world of identity thefts, we are not going to do anything to compromise yours.
As everyone who visits us knows we spend an average of thirty thousand dollars each month helping veterans with rents, utilities, food items, medical testing, and transportation along with many other unforeseen expenses. The money we spend on veterans and surviving spouses comes from donations from men and women we have already helped, and from any small grants we may receive. For those who would like to join our team of donors, please stop in or visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org for details how you can help us to make a difference in the lives of veterans and their families. We also have our auto donation program where we accept the donations of cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors or other types of items that can be given to veterans or sold to raise funds. I would like to take the time to say Thank You to the many people and organizations that have helped us financially. Your donations are helping us improve the lives of thousands of veterans and surviving spouses.
As you remember last year one of our goals for 2018 was to help one thousand veterans receive a 100% one hundred percent rating this year. As we currently have assisted over nine hundred men and women to reach that rating. I don’t believe we will have any trouble achieving our goal as we have four weeks in 2018 to accomplish it. Personally, I never dreamed we could realistically have made it as far as we have. I know it’s our volunteers who have made it happen. Thank you to each one of them for helping us make such a difference in so many lives.
As a VA Accredited Claims Agent, I receive a copy of all rating decisions and other correspondence that the veterans and surviving spouses receive who are represented. Of those, 18 veterans were awarded a 100% rating for their service-connected disabilities. Those men and women will receive a combined annual amount of $748.749 per year. They may also qualify for other state and federal benefits such as Champ VA medical insurance for their spouse and dependents, as well as Property Tax exemption on their primary residence, reduced auto tags and my favorite, the sales tax exemption for veterans rated permanent and total at the 100% rate. Twenty-nine veterans both male and female received disability ratings from ten to ninety percent for their service-connected disabilities. They will receive an annual combined amount of $511,267 per year. Three surviving spouses were approved for DIC, Pension or Aid and Attendance. They will receive a combined amount of $47,486 per year.
One of our Oklahoma State benefits for which veterans may be eligible when they are service-connected at the seventy percent or higher rate is the eligibility to live in any of our state Veterans Centers. They may also be eligible to stay in a VA approved nursing home at no charge. Many times the spouses and family members of veterans are not aware of this benefit. As we all know, it’s not cheap to stay in one of those types of facilities. I have met many surviving spouses who spent their entire savings on care for their veteran. Our suggestion is to learn all you can about what VA benefits you may be eligible to receive. I have found over the years that if a veteran is approved for benefits from VA, it will be easier to help the spouse after the veteran is gone. Did you know that if a veteran’s service-connected disability is listed on their Death Certificate as the primary or contributing cause of death that the spouse may be eligible to receive from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred dollars per month from VA?
Please remember if you need a ride to visit us, we have transportation available. Phone 405-882-8806 extension 105 and 106 to set up a ride. Last week our driver donated 64 hours transporting 26 passengers 1129 miles.
If you would like to donate to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, you can do so at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org or mail a check to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation at P.O. Box 592 Washington, Oklahoma 73093. As a 501-C-3 non-profit 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 type of assistance will be available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. A DD-214 or military discharge will be necessary to apply. Please contact 405-550-8806 Extension 103 to request a food sack.
Several organizations have services at our location each week. Legal Aid for veterans is available each Thursday morning. Counselors from the Vet Center will be available each Tuesday and Thursday morning to answer questions about their services.
If you need a ride to and from a VA Medical Appointment, please contact 405-550-8806 to reach Clayton at Extension 105 or Louie at Ext. 106.
We are available every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the 1268 North Interstate Drive Norman, OK 73072. We open the doors by 5:30 a.m. and we begin working as soon as volunteers have their computers ready. We stop taking clients at 8:00 a.m. and urge you to arrive as early as possible. Contact us with any questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For telephone assistance, please call 405-550-8806 to listen to our options. For general information dial extension 101, to schedule transportation dial extension 105 or 106.
For help with Surviving Spouse Benefits, dial extension 104, or stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning. Visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org. Semper Fi!
As always, I want to say Thank You to all veterans and their families for their service to this United States of America.
Dale K. Graham, USMC, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation