Dale Graham, Vietnam Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
We will be closed in Observance of Independence Day Thursday, July 4.
Our Foundation would like to recognize Dale K. Graham as our veteran of the week. Dale celebrates his 72nd Birthday on July 2, and we are thankful for his continued service to his fellow veterans and their families. Dale served in the United States Marines during the Vietnam War. Dale was raised on a small farm in Central Oklahoma and graduated from Dibble High School in 1965. His father and all his uncles served in the military during World War II. He wanted to do his part for this country in the struggles against communism. He joined the Marines in the fall of 1965 and made it to Vietnam in 1966. He was honorably discharged in 1967. Dale began working for Tinker Air Force Base as a Machinist – Toolmaker. He retired in 2002 to devote more time to helping our Nation’s Veterans. Dale feels that today’s Veterans deserve a better homecoming than was afforded those during the 1960s and 1970. Dale and his wife Barbara have been married since 1968. The couple has four children and nine grandchildren.
Surprise Dale! Happy Birthday!
As we start our 4th of July Celebration, please remember the founders of this United States of America and the men and women who have kept us free. Without our military and our veterans who have served this country would not have survived since 1776. There has been and will continue to be people of other nations who would harm us and our way of life. I want to take this opportunity to say Thank You to those serving today and to all of our veterans who have served in the military of this great nation. If not for the sacrifices of those who have worn a military uniform for our country, all would have been lost long ago. This week there will be countless Parades, Fireworks Displays, and family cookouts celebrating our Independence. We will be open Tuesday, July 2nd, and Closed on Thursday, July 4th, for this occasion.
We are happy to announce we are now a partner with the United Way. You can now choose Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation when you donate to your local United Way.
Thank you to AT&T’s Oklahoma City Retirees Group for your donation! The veterans and families we serve are grateful for your generosity.
We always have stories about some of our veterans, and I would like to share one with you today. In 2017 we were contacted by a Marine Aviator who lived near Seattle, Washington. One of his friends had recommended he contact us for help in filing a claim for VA benefits. He had retired from the Marines as a Fighter Pilot and served in Vietnam. We filed for several disabilities that are presumptive Agent Orange exposure. Fast forward to today. He is now on Hospice care due to a Heart Condition. His family contacted us last week with questions about benefits saying he had never received anything from VA. After checking his file in the VA VBMS computer system, it showed a service-connected rating of 60% for his Heart Condition. After going back to review the VA Form 21-526 EZ, he had filed in Washington; it showed that he had checked the box on the application he wanted retired pay instead of VA Compensation. I called the VA @1-800-827-1000 the representative, and I decided to file a VA Form 21-651 to elect Compensation in Lieu of retired pay from the military. This means that he will receive over $1200 per month retroactive back to 2016 plus since his rating is fifty percent or higher, he will also receive his retired pay. There were several other disabilities that he is diagnosed with that are presumptive to Agent Orange due to his medical condition he was unable to attend those evaluations for the VA, and they were denied. We also ask VA to grant service-connection for those disabilities using his medical treatment records.
Our organization passed a milestone in June when the total number of veterans rated at 100% reached over 500 from January 1, 2019, to June 25, 2019. We are changing the lives of veterans and their families every day at our Foundation. For those who would like to support our veterans as a volunteer or as a donor, please contact Lora Malone at 405-550-8806 or stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning.
Last week 34 veterans received a 100% rating for their service-connected disabilities. This group of men and women will receive a combined annual amount of $1,432,391 per year. Sixty-one veterans received disability ratings from 10% to 90%. They will receive a combined annual amount of $984,509.
The number of people who visit us each Tuesday and Thursday morning continues to be more than we can accommodate. We have started opening our doors around 4 AM on each of those days to help as many as possible. The minimum number of veterans and surviving spouses we accept each day is 150 if we have all of our volunteers on duty, we have accepted up to 190 per day. These kinds of numbers are keeping some of us working until 4 pm or later to ensure that everything we do is right the first time. It appears to we may be so successful at what we do that we will never catch up. When we first started doing this job in my work shop over fifteen years ago, we would only see six or seven veterans each day I would have never dreamed that we would accomplish what we have for the men and women who have served in the military along with their families.
Our organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that relies on donations to be able to provide services to the thousands of veterans and their families who need assistance. We accept the donation of cars, trucks, motorcycles, or other types of items that can be given to veterans or sold to raise funds to provide for veteran’s needs. Please remember that your donations should be tax deductible on your income taxes. Thank You for supporting our Foundation. You can also donate anytime online at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org or by mail at PO Box 592 Washington, OK 73093.
Counselors from the Vet Centers are here each session, and a Legal Aid representative is here on Thursdays. We have food baskets available for those who qualify. We look forward to your visit and thank you for trusting us to help you with your VA matters.
We are available every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 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.
Visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org for more information. There you will find a section on Frequently Asked Questions. You may also contact us at 405-550-8806 for information or to schedule transportation.
As always, I want to say Thank You to all veterans and their families for their service to the United States of America.
Dale K. Graham, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation