Ash Julian, United States Army Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the full week of Christmas so our volunteers can spend time with their families.
Our veteran of the week, Mr. Ash Julian, served in the United States Army. He makes his home in Moore, Oklahoma. Thank you, Mr. Julian, for your service to our country. We truly appreciate your service and sacrifice.
Our Foundation was excited to partner with the Oklahoma Dental Foundation in providing free dental care to our veterans last week. With their mobile clinic, we were able to help serve 50 veterans with their dental needs. Thank you to the Oklahoma Dental Foundation!
Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, we assist over one hundred veterans both men and women, who have served in the military of this United States of America. All of us who volunteer at our Veterans Foundation including myself are making a difference in the lives of thousands of veterans each year. When we first started this mission, we all thought that in a few years we would have assisted all of the veterans and surviving spouses who needed help with their VA claims and questions. Needless to say, we were wrong; the more of them we can help, the more we have the following day. Since we started, I’m sure we have assisted over a hundred thousand receive the VA benefits they are eligible for. I do know that we have only been tracking those who I have, or Bill Scott has listed as their POA. Currently, there are around thirty thousand veterans we are representing with their VA claims. In the first fifteen years or so, we did not even count the ones we assisted each year. I hope that we will be able to continue making a difference in the lives of our countries veterans for many years to come. Many years ago, when we first started this program the main reason to get involved was that so many veterans who were not receiving the benefits that they should have been approved for when they were Honorably Discharged from the military. As I remember, around 1999 or 2000 I began to understand why so many veterans who filed a claim for benefits were denied. Back then no one had ever seen or heard of a VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire that is now used by the VA to evaluate and diagnose a veteran’s disability. When VA first introduced these (DBQ) forms everyone thought it would be a disaster. Our organization has thrived by using the DBQ forms that are filled out by medical providers for veterans. I found out a long time ago that the more evidence a veteran can provide to the VA when requesting service-connection or for an increased rating the better off they will be. Some people will file a laundry type list of disabilities when seeking service-connection of disability and most usually those types of claims will be denied because there is no diagnosis of a disability and no nexus linking what occurred in the military to the veteran’s condition today.
One of the things that we are continually seeing is veterans who are suffering from PTSD caused by MST (Military Sexual Trauma). This has happened to both men and women in the military through no fault of their own. There is not a week that goes by that we don’t have one or more who have received a diagnosis of depression, anxiety or PTSD caused by that type of trauma. We are lucky to have partnered with some great organizations one of which is the VET Center counselors from OKC or Lawton, who are with us each day we are open. We also have representatives from the Tinker Federal Credit Union and the Navy Federal Credit Union available to assist veterans and their families. Legal Aid and representatives from Social Security are here to help veterans at no charge.
We received quite a bit of mail from the VA last week. Twenty-seven of our veterans we represent were awarded 100% for their service-connected disabilities and will receive a combined annual $1,172,643. Seventy-four received ratings from 10-90% and will receive a combined yearly $1,214,357. One surviving spouse was awarded benefits totaling $15,829 a year.
Our drivers have been working overtime, transporting veterans to our location, and to and from their VA medical appointments. Thank you to each of them for many hours on the road.
We are a 501-3-C Non-Profit, which means our services are free to everyone who we assist with our services. We operate on donations from individuals, businesses, or grants we receive. Our budget each month to provide services such as rents, utilities, transportation, and medical expenses for the men and women we assist is over twenty-five thousand dollars. This equates to over $300,000 per year in services to veterans and their families. For those of you who want to help us help others, please consider becoming a donor. Your gifts should be tax-deductible. You can donate directly on our website or mail to PO Box 592 Washington, OK 73093
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