Rex Reynolds, Korean War Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
Our office will be closed on Thanksgiving Thursday, November 22.
As tax time is drawing closer, please consider helping us help our veterans and surviving spouses who could use a hand up. Currently, we are spending twenty-five thousand dollars a month to support the needs of veterans and their surviving spouses. We are doing this with the support of people like you who believe our veterans and their families are important to all of us. We are a 501 (c) (3) Non- Profit where your donations should be tax deductible. Another way you can help is with the donation of that running car, truck, motorcycle or tractor that can be given to a veteran or sold to raise funds for the needs of veterans.
For planning purposes, please note we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and also on Christmas Day.
Veteran of the Week, Mr. Rex Reynolds, a Korean Veteran served as a member of the United States Army. He makes his home in Oklahoma City. Thank you, Mr. Reynolds, for your service to our country. We appreciate you.
As we gather with friends and family on this Thanksgiving Day please say a prayer for the men and women who are serving in the military and those who have served before. Many of them will not be home for the holidays while all of us remember how we felt when we served in faraway lands. My hat goes off to every military member and veteran for their service to this great nation. In today’s world, just a little more than one percent of our citizens will serve in the US Military. To me that says that ninety-nine percent of the people in our country are depending on that one percent to preserve our way of life. We certainly owe each veteran a Thank You for their service.
We provide our services to veterans and their families at no charge (FREE) each Tuesday and Thursday morning in Norman at 1268 North Interstate Drive. On an average week , there will be more than three hundred veterans and surviving spouses assisted with their claims for VA benefits. Veterans who are approved for service-connection of a disability will receive from ten percent up to one hundred percent based on the severity of their conditions. The amount of compensation can range from around $135 per month to $3,000 a month. The VA will make the determination to approve or to disapprove all veteran’s applications for benefits. Our organization only guides veterans and encourages them to obtain evidence from their medical providers that may support their claims for benefits. The reason that so many veterans and surviving spouses visit us is our reputation for helping veterans and their families when others have failed. We pride ourselves on our ability to make a difference in the lives of all veterans and their families.
During the past year, we have provided our services to thousands of veterans and their families at no charge to anyone. As Non-Profit we operate on donations from veterans along with grants that we receive from business or other entities. We do not receive any funds from the government either Federal or State. What we do receive is the thanks from many veterans and surviving spouses whose lives have been changed when they were approved for VA benefits. There are many older veterans and surviving spouses who are trying to live on less than a thousand dollars per month. Most of them never dreamed they would ever apply for VA benefits to help pay for the basic necessities such as food and housing. Every week we see men and women who are homeless or are sleeping on the couch of friends or family members. One of the things I learned many years ago is that if a person has enough money for food and a place to stay, they are less likely to consider suicide or drugs. Our veterans deserve everything we can do for them as many of them are never the same emotionally or physically after serving in the military.
Last week there were 290 veterans and surviving spouses assisted with their VA claims and questions. Our drivers transported many of them and logged 84 hours traveling a record 1,658 miles or twenty-seven passengers.
One of the most common questions veterans have for us, “Is my spouse going to eligible to receive VA benefits after I’m gone. That question has lots of variable answers. First, the surviving spouse could receive benefits if the veteran dies from a service-connected disability or one that is presumptive to their military service. The service-connected or presumptive disability must be listed on the death certificate as the primary cause of death or listed as a contributing factor. Second, the surviving spouse and dependents could receive benefits if the veteran was receiving a 100% rating for ten years or more. Third, a surviving spouse could receive Pension benefits depending on when the veteran served, length of service and the surviving spouse’s income. Income for pension is based on the combined amount of money that everyone in the house receives.
As a VA Accredited Claims Agent, I’m copied on all of the rating decisions veterans and surviving spouses receive from VA. This enables us the ability to review every VA decision and to follow up with the veteran or spouse with what their next thing they need to do to keep their claims on track. Last week we received 16 rating decisions with a 100% rating for service-connected disabilities. These men and women will receive an annual combined amount of $619,494 per year. Sixteen veterans were approved for disability benefits ranging from ten percent to ninety percent. They will receive an annual combined amount of $301,255 per year. If you were recently awarded a service-connected disability you may be eligible for other Oklahoma State benefits. One surviving spouse was approved for DIC and will receive $19, 212 per year. As always, we encourage all veterans and surviving spouses of veterans to stop by for a visit with our triage folks who will help to determine if you may be eligible for VA benefits. Please remember we are volunteers who want to help our veterans and their families receive the VA benefits for which they are eligible.
If you would like to donate to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation, you can do so at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org or mail a check to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation at P.O. Box 592 Washington, Oklahoma 73093. As a 501-C-3 non-profit your gift may be tax deductible. We appreciate your support of our nation’s veterans and their families.
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has food sacks available to those in need. An application for this type of assistance will be available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. A DD-214 or military discharge will be necessary to apply. Please contact 405-550-8806 Extension 103 to request a food sack.
Several organizations have services at our location each week. Legal Aid for veterans is available each Thursday morning. Counselors from the Vet Center will be available each Tuesday and Thursday morning to answer questions about their services.
If you need a ride to and from a VA Medical Appointment, please contact 405-550-8806 to reach Clayton at Extension 105 or Louie at Ext. 106.
We are available every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the 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. We stop taking clients at 8:00 a.m. and urge you to arrive as early as possible. Contact us with any questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For telephone assistance, please call 405-550-8806 to listen to our options. For general information dial extension 101, to schedule transportation dial extension 105 or 106.
For help with Surviving Spouse Benefits, dial extension 104, or stop by any Tuesday or Thursday morning. Visit our website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org. Semper Fi!
As always, I want to say Thank You to all veterans and their families for their service to this United States of America.
Dale K. Graham, USMC, VA Accredited Claims Agent
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation