At Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation our Mission is to serve military veterans and their families. Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundations’ primary focus is to share its collective knowledge and experience to help with the Veterans Administration claims process.  As a 501-C-3 Non-Profit corporation, we are continuing our request for donations of cars, trucks, motorcycles and other types of items that can be given to veterans or that we can sell to raise Funds to support our mission. With your continued support, we can continue to support the men and women who have served in the military of this United States of America!

Our Veteran of the Week this week is Mr. James Daly for his military service during World War II.  Mr. Daly served in the United States Army during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and he resides in Midwest City. We appreciate the sacrifices that veterans have made serving this great nation.   We presented World War II hat to Mr. Daly representing his service. Thank you for your service, sir.

We are very proud to have been able to assist more than ten thousand veterans and surviving spouses of veterans during 2017.    When we moved to Faith Pointe Baptist Church in Norman a few years back, none of our volunteers would have ever thought that we would have outgrown that facility so quickly.  Since moving to our building this past September located at 1268 North Interstate Drive in Norman, we are continuing to see more veterans than ever before.  I believe as we continue to improve our processes and efficiency along with more training for our volunteers we will break our record of assisting more three hundred veterans and surviving spouses a week.  Maybe it’s time for other organizations who are trying to help veterans to visit us to see how we are making a difference in the lives of the men and women who have served this great country.  Personally, I think everyone should work together to ensure all veterans and their families receive the VA benefits for which they are eligible.

I would like to start 2018 out with a Thank You to all who have supported our Veterans Foundation during the last several years.  Without your contributions, our volunteers would not have been able to provide the services that make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of veterans.  As we continue to grow this organization, our mission will not change. We will continue to help all veterans and their families to receive the VA benefits they are eligible for.   As many of you know, the Department of Veterans Affairs is not going to knock on your door to tell you that you qualify for anything.  Most veterans who visit the VA hospital for the first time are told they make too much money to qualify for VA benefits.  What they are not told is that if they have a service-connected disability, the door to VA Health Care is open for them.  During the last thirty years that I have been helping veterans receive benefits, we have found that the easiest way to obtain a service-connected disability is to file a claim for service-connection of hearing loss and tinnitus.  In 2002 there was an article printed in the Federal Register that stated if a member of the military worked in a hazardous noise job while on active duty that hearing loss and tinnitus were presumptive to their military service.  Since that time, we have helped more than fifty thousand veterans submit a VA claim for service-connection of those disabilities.  VA has approved most of those we helped with hearing loss and tinnitus and now receive compensation for those disabilities.  When a veteran visits us for the first time, we will file VA Form 21-0966 Intent to File.  This form will give the veteran a start date of the following month for benefits.  If we are going to file a hearing loss and tinnitus claim for them, we will ask them to go to an audiologist who can administer a VA Hearing Test and give their history of noise exposure in the military.  History includes exposure to gunfire, artillery, aircraft engine noise or from any type of acoustic trauma they were exposed to while in the military.  After the veteran has evidence for that kind of claim or any other claim, we will attach it to a VA form 21-526EZ application for benefits and send it to the VA.  Currently, the VA will make a decision to approve or deny a veteran claim for service-connection of a new disability in ninety days or less with some being completed in 30 days or less.  Our thanks go out to the Department of Veterans Affairs employees who are working to help our veterans receive their VA benefits.  I’m sure their job often feels like a thankless one with all the bad publicity that has occurred in recent years.  Personally, I believe with the many changes I have seen that the VA is operating better today than ever before.

Last week with the Christmas Holidays there were only 175 veterans and surviving spouses assisted by our volunteers.  Please remember if you need a ride to visit us you may contact one of our drivers.  They can be reached at 405.550.8806.  Select Extension 105 to speak to Clayton or Extension 106 to speak to Louie.  Last week these two volunteers spent 63 hours transporting 13 folks 1063 miles.  Thank you to Louie and Clayton, and to all of our other hardworking volunteers!

As a VA Accredited Claims Agent, we received the following decision letters from VA on some of the veterans and surviving spouses who are represented.  Four veterans were awarded a 100% rating for their service-connected disabilities. These men and women will receive a combined annual amount of $141,357 per year.  Thirteen veterans were awarded disability ratings ranging from 10% to 90%.  These veterans will receive a combined annual dollar amount of $180,394 per year.

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has food boxes 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 Rhonda 405-550-8806 Extension 103 to request a food box.

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 at 1268 North Interstate Drive in Norman, Exit 110 off of I-35 each Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30 am. Please arrive by 8 am.  We accept the first 130 veterans and spouses. The only reason we are here is to help all veterans and their families receive the VA benefits for which they are eligible. Contact us with any questions at 405-550-8806 Extension 101 or or Shirley Clark-Cowdin for spouse benefits at Extension 104.  Visit our website at Semper Fi!

Dale K. Graham

Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, VA Accredited Claims Agent