John Pulliam, Korean War Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
As we celebrate Memorial Day, let us take a moment to remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice for our freedom. Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Countless men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for each of us to continue to be free in this United States of America. Everyone who has worn the uniform of our military has made a difference in the lives of every person in our country.
Our Veteran of the week, Mr. John Pulliam of Norman, Oklahoma, served in the United States Army during the Korean War. We were very proud to recognize him for his service and to present a military cap to him representing the Korean War. Thank you, Mr. Pulliam, for serving our country.
As you know, we are always accepting the donation of cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, and handicapped that can be given to veterans or sold to raise funds to support them. Last week we received the donation of a Quarter Horse from one of our Washington, Oklahoma supporters. I can honestly say that this was the first horse we have ever received. Since I don’t have a pasture for it, we sold it to a man who rides his horses daily. Just want to say thank you, Kent for the donation. The money we received will go to the direct support of veterans in need.
The severe weather kept some of our veterans home last week instead of making the trip to our foundation; there were only one hundred and six of them who made it on Tuesday and one hundred forty-five Thursday. I believe this upcoming week, we will see an increase in the number of veterans who need assistance with their VA claims. Our Department of Veterans Affairs regional office in Muskogee must be working overtime based on the increased number of decisions we received over the last few weeks. We may have set a record for the number of veterans who were approved for service-connection of a new disability or an increased rating for an old one. There were over seventy veterans who received ratings from ten to ninety percent last week. I don’t know how our volunteers continue to assist so many veterans each week with few if any mistakes. Our bi-weekly training is paying off in a big way for the men and women who have served our country. As we continue to grow, there will be a need for more volunteers to help make a difference in the lives of the men and women who have given so much. Please remember that we are a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit that operates only because of the financial support that some of the veterans we assisted gave back for others. Each week we spend an average of twenty-five thousand dollars on funding the programs we offer to veterans and their families. One of these is our transportation service that is provided at no charge. On average, our drivers will average over two thousand miles each week, transporting disabled veterans to their VA Medical appointments. Another service we provide is assistance for the cost of medical testing. Many of our senior and homeless veterans don’t have the funds necessary for a medical evaluation of a disability that could be used as evidence to support a claim for service connection of a disability. We also provide food sacks, rents, utilities, and many other types of needs that families may not have the funds to pay for.
As we continue to make a difference in the lives of thousands of our fellow Oklahomans, please consider becoming a part of what we do. My goal has always been to change the lives of the men and women who served our country. For those of you who remember what it was like to be in the military during the sixties and seventies, please help us to make sure we never disrespect the men and women who are serving or those veterans who did. I believe that each of us can make a difference in the lives of others by what we do.
I receive a copy of all decisions and other correspondence that the VA sends to the men and women who are represented. Last week there were 32 veterans both male and female, approved for a 100% disability rating. This group will receive a combined annual income of over 1.4 million dollars per year. They will also be eligible for the Oklahoma property tax exemption, reduced auto tags, free hunting, and fishing licenses. If they are not retired military, their spouse and dependents may be eligible to receive the Free Champ-VA medical insurance. Our state has many state benefits that many others do not provide to the men and women who served in the military. Seventy veterans awarded disability ratings from ten percent to ninety percent. This group of men and women will receive a combined annual income of over 1.3 million dollars per year. Those rated thirty percent or higher receive an increase based on the number of dependents they have. One surviving spouse was awarded benefits and will receive $15,829 annually.
We have several wheelchairs, receiver hitch carriers, and other types of handicapped items available to veterans and 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 donations 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