We will be closed on Thursday, November 22, 2018, for Thanksgiving.

Our Veteran of the week is Mr. R. C. Brashears who served during World War II in the Special Troops Army Forces in the Western Pacific.  Thank you for your service to our country.  We appreciate your service and sacrifice.  Mr. Brashears wanted to show off the new smile he is proud of thanks to his VA benefits!

Dine and Donate at Saltgrass Steak House in Norman on October 25 from 11 am to 9:30 pm.  Dine- In or Take out will donate 10% of your bill to Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation when your present a flyer to your server.  Stop by the Foundation any Tuesday or Thursday to pick up a flyer.

Our automobile donation program has proven to be a great way for veterans or others to receive a tax deduction.  It also gives an opportunity to help a veteran with a vehicle to drive or allows us to sell the vehicle to raise funds for our organization.  To all of you who have supported with a donation, we want to say THANK YOU! We started this program after so many veterans received a VA disability and used some of their money to purchase a new car or truck.  Since most of them don’t receive much for their trade-in vehicle, they make more donating their old vehicle to us and taking the tax deduction.

As everyone I hope is aware, we are volunteers who are making a difference in the lives of all veterans and their families. We provide transportation services to more than 25 veterans each week that would not otherwise have a way to go to their VA appointments or to make the trip to our location.  Our drivers are on the road for over one thousand miles each week providing these services to veterans.  I want to say Thank You to the men and women who are making what we do possible with their support and contributions to our Veterans Foundation.  One of the most surprising things that I have found out during my many years of volunteering with a non-profit is the small percentage of people we help who return the gifts and kindness we gave them.  Only 12% of those we support are willing to help the next veteran.  On an average month, we spend more than twenty-five thousand dollars helping veterans with rents, utilities, food items, and most of all medical testing, as well as the many unforeseen needs we all encounter.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some sunshine as it has been too wet for me the past week.  I attended my grandkids ball games last Saturday, and after the repeated showers I was sure glad to feel the warm sun finally.  At the Foundation, even with the wet weather last week there were more than over 300 veterans and surviving spouses who were seen Tuesday and Thursday morning at 1268 North Interstate Drive in Norman, OK.  On Thursday alone, we had more than 160 visitors.  We were forced to stop signing people in when we reached our maximum on both days.  It appears to me that if other organizations used our system of obtaining DBQ evidence before filing veteran’s claims for service-connection of a disability we would not be so busy.  I also believe that many veterans are not aware of the VA Disability Benefits Questionnaires that are available on the VA website.  These can be filled out by their medical provider and then used as evidence to support a claim for service-connection of a disability of for an increase of a current service-connected disability.  I believe the more pro-active a veteran is with their claim for VA benefits the more likely it will be approved.

As we are getting closer to the end of 2018, it won’t be long until we see if we can accomplish our goal of assisting one thousand veterans in receiving a 100% rating for their service-connected disabilities this year.  We have already broken every record we have set in the past with more than 700 already approved this year.  Hopefully, we will surpass 800 before the end of October which should make it possible to meet or exceed our goal of 1000 veterans receiving 100% for their service-connected disabilities in 2018.

Last year our total of 100% veterans reached 316, and we were so excited to be a part in helping so many that we pledged to do more and set our sights on 1000 for 2018.  Wish us luck and continue to check back with us to check our progress.  We hope other folks out there will visit us and be a part of this incredible journey.  All I ever wanted to do was help people.  I hope you will let us help you.

Last week there were 27 veterans both men and women who received the 100% rating from VA.  These veterans will receive an annual combined amount of $1,059, 197 per year.  They will also receive the Oklahoma State Benefits that include sales tax relief, property tax relief on their primary residence and discounted auto tags along with free hunting and fishing license.  Thirty-three veterans received a VA disability rating from ten percent to ninety percent for their service-connected disabilities.  They will receive an annual amount of $522,912.  We had one surviving spouse approved for benefits.  Surviving spouse and pension benefits are changing the way some of the surviving spouses and veterans who we are assisting live each day each.  Many times, veterans or surviving spouses we help will receive double the money that they are now living on. I have met many veterans and surviving spouses who are living on under a thousand dollars each month with many of them receiving less.  It’s a sad day for me when there are so many in this United States who are not receiving the VA benefits for which they are eligible.

As we continue to grow, there will be a need to increase the number of volunteers we currently have helping veterans and their surviving spouses each week.  Applications are available on our website, or a paper copy can be picked up at our Foundation each Tuesday and Thursday.  If you would like to help those men and women who served in the military and their families, we want to visit with you.  A background check is required before anyone becomes a volunteer with our organization.

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 dale@dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.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