Log in Subscribe

An Interesting Neighbor

Everyone has a story


Dale K. Graham is A Neighbor who Serves.

Lance Corporal Dale K. Graham is a United States Marine who has been serving veterans by encouraging and helping them to file their benefit claims for nearly 30 years.

Dale is originally from the Blanchard/Dibble area.

After his service in the Marine Corps, he settled back in Central Oklahoma and went to work at Tinker Air Force Base.

Upon returning to civilian life, Dale knew he had some medical issues.

He stated simply that the V.A. acknowledged his issues but wouldn’t do anything to help him.

Like so many veterans, he put his own problems aside and did his best to focus on his career and family.

In the late 80s, Dale attended a veterans program called “A Walk through Vietnam” in Oklahoma City. It was here that for the first time he realized that he wasn’t alone in his feelings and medical issues stemming from his time in service. Dale discovered that helping others was his therapy.

Dale said “If you are diagnosed with PTSD it isn’t gone tomorrow.”

From this realization, the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation was born. In 2004 Dale started serving veterans out of his garage in Goldsby.

After his wife, Barbara, expressed concern over so many cars in their yard, they moved operations to the Goldsby Community Center where they would have veterans lined up down the block, all waiting for help with their veteran benefit claims.

After some minor growing pains and many years working out of garages, community centers and local churches, the Foundation set up shop in a 10,000 square foot building at 1233 West Lindsay Street in Norman. That’s where 10 employees and countless volunteers assist hundreds of veterans and surviving spouses through their claims process every week.

Through the use of Dale’s own “Evidence Based Claims System”, 50-60 veterans who are 10-90 percent disabled begin receiving their benefits each week while upwards of 15 veterans who are 90-100 percent disabled begin receiving their benefits weekly.

Volunteers go through individual veterans medical records with a fine tooth comb to gather evidence linking their health problems directly to their time in service.

This is a timely process that requires patience and commitment. Dale advises all veterans going through the claims process to stay with it and “don’t give up.”

The Dale K. Graham Foundation wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of founding members and dedicated volunteers like Rhonda Reynolds and Harold Reed, both have been with Dale since the beginning.

Growing a non-profit of this caliber requires dynamic leaders.

The current board president is Colonel Chuck DeBellevue, a highly decorated Air Force veteran and an “ACE” pilot.

To date, the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation has helped more than 250,000 veterans and surviving spouses receive their earned benefits. Veterans from all 77 counties in Oklahoma, all 50 States and 15 countries around the world have received benefits with assistance from the DKGVF.

No other organization is doing for veterans what the DKGVF is doing.

In 2012, Dale received an award from the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. He was also invited to attend “A Better Welcome Home” event at Harvard University.

He and many of the volunteers have earned accreditation from the V.A. for the work they do. To protect those they are helping, all volunteers must go through a background check and training before working with veterans directly.

If you are a veteran in need of assistance with your benefit claim or a surviving spouse of a veteran, the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation can help.

If you are interested in learning more about the services and programs offered or if you would like to donate to the cause or volunteer your time, all of the information you need can be found on their website at dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org.

Dale has three daughters and several grandchildren. He and Barbara have been married for 55 years and live right here in Central Oklahoma.

“There are too many people left out,” Graham said.

He is working tirelessly to change that.

Dale K. Graham is truly a neighbor who serves.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here