Ted Smith, of Oakalla and a practicing attorney in Harker Heights for 40 years, discussed his work with military service members at a Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans gathering Saturday.

“Many people don’t know that Mr. Smith and seven other individuals started the Killeen Food Bank,” said Jonathan Haywood, the group’s president, as he introduced Smith.

Ted Smith Law Group PLLC represents many veterans with Social Security disability claims, Haywood said.

“Judges presiding over the cases usually come from Dallas, and they may or may not be sympathetic towards a disabled veteran’s condition,” Smith said. “Service-connected disabilities do not guarantee Social Security disability.”

Post-traumatic stress disorder cases are most difficult, he said. Smith’s job is to prove a client’s condition makes it difficult for them to fulfill the demands a vocation requires during a normal work week.

“We have an 80 percent success rate and handle a variety of cases,” he said.

After Smith’s remarks, members of the group placed a wreath at the veterans memorial on the north side of the Star Group-VHV office. The ceremony recognized former prisoners of war, veterans and service members who died while in the military.

“We did not lay a wreath during this year’s Memorial Day observances,” Haywood said. “Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 have had that honor and privilege. ... Now that we are located on the property with the veterans memorial, it will be our intent to show our respect by hosting the ceremony next year.”

Star Group member Sheila Timmons recognized four new lifetime members: Joannie Shedrick, Ann Cobe, Catherine Blashack and Malinda Brown. She presented them with tokens for their commitments.

The group also announced the annual picnic honoring veterans and their families will be June 29 at the Cove Civic Center.

For more information about sponsorship, donations or the picnic, call Haywood at (254) 681-8029 or haywood.veteranshelpingveterans@yahoo.com.

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