Calvin Watson, World War II Veteran
Dale K Graham Veterans Foundation
Thank You to The Oklahoma City Metro Auto Dealers Association designating our organization as the beneficiary of their recent automobile show held at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds March 6-8. Your donation will help us make a difference in the lives of the military veterans and their families that we serve each week.
Our veteran of the week, Calvin Watson, served in World War II in the United States Navy as a crewmember flying on dive bomber in the pacific theater. We recognized him for his service and presented him with a military cap representing his service to our country. He is a proud military veteran who had never filed a claim for benefits until visiting us Thursday morning. I feel confident that he will receive the benefits he is filing for that will help him to stay in his home as long as possible. Once we can help him to get approved and service-connected for the disabilities he is eligible for; we will work to help him to reach seventy percent, to open the door for him to stay in one of our Oklahoma Veterans Centers at no cost. Thank you for your service, Mr. Watson. There are many benefits available for our veterans and their families if they only know how to apply for them. We are proud to say that when a veteran or surviving spouse visit us, we are going to do everything possible to help them to receive all of the VA benefits for which they are eligible.
Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, we are reaching our maximum capacity of 150 veterans and surviving spouses by 0300 or before. Last week while we were unloading supplies at noon on Monday, there were already several people lining up for our 4 AM opening on Tuesday morning. I don’t think anyone needs to get there sixteen hours before opening, although I do believe 2 hours early should be about right on most of the time. I keep thinking we are going to find a way to provide our services to everyone who shows up; we just haven’t found that solution yet. We do have volunteers who are starting at 10 AM on each of those days that seems to be helping us to finish earlier. Lately, several of us are not finishing until 5 PM or later that makes to long of a day for us, especially when it is two days per week. The only option I’m seeing is to add more volunteers and a larger workspace. Come see us if you would like to be a part of our growing organization.
The number of veterans approved for the 100% rating continues to increase to the point we are averaging forty or so each week. If it continues at the pace it is going; there may be over two thousand who we assist in receiving that coveted 100% rating in 2020. The VA has and continues to alleviate the backlog of claims both at the local VA Regional offices and at the Board of Veterans Appeals. Last year Rhonda and I represented over 150 veterans and surviving spouses with their appeals through both the BVA and DRO hearings. I’m very proud to say most of the men and women we represented were approved for VA benefits.
Last week 38 veterans were approved for the 100% rate and will receive a combined annual $1,591,886. Seventy-eight veterans were rated between 10-90% and will receive a combined yearly $1,456,184. One surviving spouse was awarded benefits and will receive $16,082 a year.
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 be a donor to our program, your donations are always appreciated and may be tax-exempt. We accept donations of vehicles that can be given to veterans in need or sold to raise funds to continue our mission. 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.
Food sacks are available for those who need them. If you need a ride to and from a VA medical appointment or our Foundation, please contact 405-550-8806, Ext. 105 for Clayton or Ext. 106 for Louie.
We are available Tuesdays and Thursday mornings at 1268 North Interstate Dr. Norman, OK 73072. Visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org.
Dale K. Graham, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation