Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
As we are waiting to reopen our Veterans Foundation many of you have contacted me or other volunteers wanting to know when we will be able to begin assisting veterans and their families. We are aware of the financial difficulties that many people are facing after they have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. We are hoping that we will be able to start our programs soon. As our volunteers and the veterans we serve are mostly over sixty years of age and older, we have an obligation to plan our reopening with everyone’s safety in mind. We do know we will not be able have business as usual. The number of people in our building at any one time is going to be reduced. There will also be safety measures in place to protect both volunteers and veterans. Personally, I do not know how long this new way of business doing will last, or if it will ever return to what it was before. One of the changes that will be implemented is we will have a system for veterans and surviving spouses be able to schedule an appointment.
We would like to introduce you to Board Member, Marlon T. James. Mr. James is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he attended Northwest Classen High School. Upon graduating from Northwest, Marlon was able to attend Langston University on an academic scholarship. While enrolled at Langston, Marlon simultaneously served in the Oklahoma National Guard and was a cadet in the ROTC program at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). He successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management from Langston and days later, received his commission from UCO, as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. After graduation, Marlon entered active duty and has been stationed all around the world. Throughout his 23-years in the Armed Forces, he has held positions of increased responsibility in management, human resources, operations, and leadership. Marlon was fortunate to command two companies, including one in combat where he was awarded the Bronze Star with “Valor” due to his actions. Now retired from the Army, he is currently employed with the Department of Defense as a Program Analyst in the Strategic Planning Unit, located at Tinker Air Force Base; he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Marlon most recently completed a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership degree from Webster University. He is also a proud and active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and is active in many roles throughout the community, his church, and other organizations. Marlon has been married to Karrie L. James for five years and they have five awesome children: Marlon James II, Victoria, Kasey, Michael, and Nicholas. In his spare time, Marlon enjoys spending time with his family, friends, mentoring, tutoring, public speaking and serving the community. We are proud to have Mr. James as a veteran and his experience on our board.
Last week twenty-six veterans received a disability rating of 100% for their service-connected disabilities. This group will receive a combined annual $1,105,457. 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. Thirty-eight veterans were awarded disability ratings from 10% to 90% and will receive a combined annual $662,425. 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. Three surviving spouses were awarded benefits and will receive $48,245 annually.
We have been assisting some veterans and surviving spouses with their claims electronically or by using the USPS if they are running out of time to file their fully developed claim for benefits. By doing this, we have been assisting an average of 30-35 each week. Many of you know that the VA is starting to send veterans to QTC, LHI and VES for their disability evaluations. That has not been happening for the last few months because of the virus. We hope some of the veterans who have been waiting will receive their evaluations soon so they can be approved for VA compensation for their disabilities that occurred in the military.
For those of you who need to ask questions about their VA benefits or need other types of assistance please e-mail or call 405 550-8806. We also have a Facebook site that we review daily answer questions. I certainly hope that we can return to our mission of changing the lives of veterans and their families by assisting them with benefits. We also provide many other types of assistance or can provide contact information for organizations who can.
We have several hospital beds and other types of medical equipment available to any veteran or their family who need these types of items.
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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
We will post the re-opening date as soon as we are able to determine one.
Stay healthy! Our prayers are with all of you and your families during this time of trial in our country.
Dale K. Graham, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation