It seems like the longer our Veterans Foundation is closed the more we miss seeing all our friends and the veterans and their families who visit us each week for help with their VA claims and questions. We have been helping the men and women who served our country in the military for so many years that these last two months of not doing so is kind of like a bad dream for many of us. We are planning to reopen our facility at 1268 North Interstate Drive the first week of June to start assisting veterans again. With the new CDC safety rules being in place I am sure we are all going to have difficulty adjusting to the new procedures that will be required for both volunteers and the veterans and their families who we serve. For your convenience, we will post all the new sign in and appointment procedures to both our Website and to our FaceBook page. One of the changes that will be made is the number of people who are in our building at any given time. As most people know most businesses are limiting the number of people who can be in their facility at any one time. Before this pandemic, we were able to assist over one hundred and fifty people each day we were open, today with the new CDC guidelines it is going to be difficult to serve that many people. We are doing the best we can to ensure we help as many as possible while following the new guidelines and procedures. Please be patient and keep your eye on our Facebook page and website for updates.
We would like to introduce you to Board Member, David Poarch. David A. Poarch is an active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA) where he served as the state-wide organization’s elected president in 2015. Prior to his service as its president, he twice served as a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association Board of Governors, 2001-2003 and 2010-2012. Mr. Poarch earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1973 and graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1977. He attended college and law school following service in Vietnam as a combat medic with the United States Army, 1st Cavalry Division (1967-1968). He began his legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney in Oklahoma City. He currently practices with the firm of Bailey and Poarch in Norman, Oklahoma, where he is engaged primarily in the areas of estate planning, probate, and real estate. Following service as in-house general counsel and chief operating officer for a private financial services business later acquired by a Fortune 500 company, he accepted an appointment as the Assistant Dean for External Affairs at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law, where he served from 1997 until his retirement in 2011. In that capacity, he also taught paralegals and law students. He is a member of the Oklahoma and American Bar Associations, as well as a past and present member of several local bar associations, including the Cleveland County Bar. He is a former elected member of the American Law Institute of the ABA (ALI-ABA), and a fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Foundation. Mr. Poarch is also serving as the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of the City of Norman. We are extremely fortunate to have him as a member of our Board.
We have been assisting veterans from every state in this United States of America along with countries in Europe and Asia. Today I received a call from a veteran who we started helping last year who lives and works in Australia. He called to tell us he was recently awarded a one hundred percent rating for the disabilities that we helped him to file. As the VA uses contract medical providers to evaluate veterans’ disabilities he was able to receive an evaluation in Australia on the disabilities and was then rated by VA based on the medical evaluations done by the contractors and by the DBQ evidence that he supplied when applying for benefits.
For those of you who may need food items or other types of assistance during these times please call us at 405-550-8806 with your questions. We have a couple of hospital beds and other types of handicap items that are available to any veteran or their family that needs them.
Last week 23 veterans received a disability rating of 100% for their service-connected disabilities. This group will receive a combined annual $845,368. 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 $714,633. 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.
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