LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - For six years, the Veteran Services Center in Lawton has struggled to keep their doors open, due to lack of funding. They rely on donations to cover monthly expenses.
“Every single month since I’ve been here has been a grind. A grind," said Dr. Jeffrey Seright, a volunteer at the Veteran Services Center. "Are we going to have enough money to get to the next month?”
Jeffrey Seright is the only doctor at the Veteran Services Center in Lawton. He has been a volunteer at the center for six years. He said the struggle to get funding is not anything new.
“If we do not receive the donations we need to run this place, which is $1,800 a month, we take the money out of our pocket," said Seright. "That gets old real quick.”
The center volunteers are currently working on over 4,000 veteran claims. Seright said that if each veteran would give a small monthly donation, it would cover all the center’s expenses.
“We have 4,300 active veteran claims that we’re working in this office right now, today," said Seright. "If every one of those veterans came by and gave us 50 cents a month, that would give us $2,150 a month that we could continue to operate this facility and provide the veteran with everything they need, so they get their just due.”
“Average comeback money to that veteran at that stage going from 60-100, or 70-100, is about, could be anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000 a month," said Tom King Jr., a volunteer at the Veteran Services Center. "That’s a lot of money.”
That is why they are asking for the community’s help.
“This is not for us," said King. "This is not something that we’re asking for you, to like, pay us. This is something that we’re asking you to help us do what we like to do. And all we want you to do is keep those doors open. And if you keep those doors open, we’re alright.”