The Moore American

November 13, 2013

Veterans bid volunteer goodbye


The Moore American

MOORE — The volunteer of the week has been with us for more than three years. Ray Stelting is the person who has kept the coffee and donuts available for all of the visitors we assist each week. He and his wife Diana will move from Tuttle to Wyoming in the next few months. All of us at Veterans Corner will certainly miss him being behind the counter with his quick wit and ready smile.

Saturday evening, several of us from Veterans Corner were able to attend the 14th annual banquet and induction ceremony for the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame at the Jim Thorpe Museum Event Center. Each year, 10 Oklahomans who distinguished themselves in the military are inducted into the organization. There were two inductees who were Medal Of Honor awardees, First Lt. Fredrick F. Henry from Clinton, and Sgt. Tony K. Burris of Blanchard. One of the other eight inductees, Lt. Col. Dudley J. Britton, U.S. Army, was the uncle of Steve Higgins, one of our volunteers. For information about the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation or to nominate a veteran to be inducted, send inquiries to P.O. Box 30658 Edmond, OK, 73003. Nomination forms are available at okmhf.org, info@okmhf.org or by calling 424-5313.

The Veterans Corner fire truck was busy last weekend being used as a fundraiser at Sam’s Club and was also driven in the Veterans Day parade Saturday in Norman. We would like to say thank you to Sam’s management and employees for their support of veterans and their families.

Sunday morning I helped Chapter 61 of the DAV operate their table at the Golden Corral restaurant in Norman. The Post Commander, Don Taylor, can be reached at 365-9752.

Monday, several of us visited one of the assisted living centers in Norman to recognize those veterans who call the Rambling Oaks Center home. The veterans were each presented with a military cap representing the branch of service that they served in. We also provided copies of “100 stories from Veterans Corner” for their library. To be able to recognize these men and women who served is an honor and privilege.

Thursday morning when I arrived at the Goldsby Community Center, there were more than 100 veterans and surviving spouses waiting for the building to be opened for us to begin assisting them. Of that number, seven received a 100 percent rating from the regional VA office.

There were 18 veterans who filed their first claim for VA benefits. These were men and women who were from 21 to 88 years of age.

Shirley and her volunteers were able to assist 16 surviving spouses with their applications for DIC or pension based on their husbands military service.

The benevolence was used to assist a young veteran with medical expenses last week. We also provided help with rent, fuel, food items and other needs Thursday. Jerry Baxter, treasurer, is able to help some of the veterans and their families who are in need of assistance each Thursday morning at the Goldsby Community Center. If you are in need, stop by and visit with Jerry he also can be reached at 833-0773.

For those who need food items, Sid Smith has boxes prepared each Thursday.

We have three transportation vans that are used to transport veterans to their VA appointments. Driver Clayton Lee of Dibble can be reached at 684-8860. Other drivers are Howard Martin of Norman and he drives the wheelchair accessible van and can be reached at 227-3239.

For all of your questions and assistance about veteran’s benefits we are at the Goldsby Community Center each Thursday. The doors open at 7 a.m. and sign in sheets are available at 5:30 a.m.

If you would like to be a Veterans Corner sponsor, we are a 501(C )(3) where your donations should be tax deductible. You also may send donations to Veterans Corner, P.O. Box 704, Washington, OK, 73093.

You can call me at 550-8806 or email me at kdgraham@windstream.net.

Semper Fi.

Dale K. Graham serves as Veterans Corner service officer.