Ron Van Meter, United States Army Veteran
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation
Just to get the word out early, we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day November 28 to allow our volunteers to be with their families and friends. We will also be closed all of Christmas week.
Congratulations to our Veteran of the week, Mr. Ron Van Meter. Ron is a veteran of the United States Army and got the ring the bell last week at our foundation. He is also a volunteer for our organization and gives many hours of his time serving others. Thank you, Ron, for your continued service helping veterans and their families. We appreciate you!
Last week we celebrated our second anniversary at our office in Norman located at 1268 North Interstate Drive. We had a large tent set up and enjoyed a great cookout along with entertainment for our volunteers and board members. We were joined by one of our partners, Navy Federal Credit Union who presented us with a $5000 check to assist veterans and their families. Thank you, Navy Credit Union! We appreciate you!
Last week we had a full house on Tuesday and Thursday, assisting over three hundred veterans and surviving spouses with their applications for VA benefits. Several years ago, we thought that at some time, we would see the number of veterans and surviving spouses who visited us for help would start to decline. Needless to say, we have seen the opposite. We do the very best we can to help all those who come to us for help. I hope other organizations would use our system of evidence-based claims to help some of the men and women veterans in need of assistance. A quick question to ask the person who is helping you with your VA claim is: Do you send us out for medical evidence such as a VA Disability Benefits Questionnaire or other types of evidence before submitting a claim for VA benefits? If their answer is no, consider finding someone who understands what is required for a veteran to receive VA benefits. As the number of veterans who visit us each week continues to increase, it should easily be understood that our evidence system is successful.
As a VA Accredited Claims Agent, I receive a copy of all ratings and other communication from VA for all the veterans represented by our Veterans Foundation. As of January 1, 2019, there have been over eight hundred veterans who have received a 100% rating for their service-connected disabilities. Last week 18 veterans received that 100% rating. This group of men and women will receive a combined annual amount of $714,770 per year. They will also be eligible for our state’s tax benefits and other VA benefits. I received rating decision letters for 47 veterans who were awarded disability ratings from 10% to 90% for their service-connected disabilities. This group will receive an annual combined annual amount of$754,213. One surviving was were approved for DIC, Pension or Aid and Attendance benefits based on their veteran’s military service and will receive $15,828 annually.
One of the things we have considered is setting up a partnership with one or more of the hotels and motels in our area for veterans to stay during their visit to our location in Norman. If you have a contact with an owner or manager who would be interested, please have them contact us.
As a 501-3-C, we have several ways that we raise funds to support our Veterans Foundation. The main one is donations from some of the men and women we have assisted. We also apply for grants and have our automobile donation program where people give us their old cars trucks, tractors motorcycles and other items that can be given to veterans or sold to raise funds to provide our services. Some of the veterans we have helped will purchase that new truck they always wanted and then give their old one to us. There are many ways that we can be helped. On an average month, we spend over twenty-five thousand dollars supporting veteran needs. We ask that you give however you are able. You can donate directly on our website or mail to PO Box 592 Washington, OK 73093 Help us serve veterans and their families.
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