Wootten to oversee cemetery advisory council

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Oakland County's Veterans' Services Division Manager Garth Wootten has been elected president of the Great Lakes National Cemetery Advisory Council, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced Tuesday. The advisory council supports the cemetery by purchasing and maintaining the Avenue of Flags, hosting annual Observances, supporting the volunteer honor guards and purchasing other items and providing other support as necessary.

"Garth is an outstanding choice to lead the advisory council," Patterson said. "He's a former Navy officer who ensures the 70,000-plus veterans in Oakland County receive all the benefits they've earned for their service to our country."

Wootten said serving as president of the Great Lakes National Cemetery Advisory Council is among the highlights of his career.

"It is a privilege to help ensure that the men and women who faithfully served our country have a well maintained, beautiful location as their final resting place and receive appropriate honors at their funerals," Wootten said.

Great Lakes National Cemetery is the second national cemetery built in Michigan and the 122nd in the national cemetery system. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs established the cemetery in 2005 after the Patterson administration made the case to Washington, D.C. why Oakland County was the best location for the cemetery. The first burial took place on Oct. 17 of that year. There are currently over 26,000 veterans and dependents interred at the cemetery.

Oakland County Veterans' Services helps veterans and their families obtain and maintain all veterans related benefits from federal, state, and local government agencies. The process of finding, applying for, receiving and maintaining veteran's benefits can be confusing and frustrating.

Its goal is to provide outstanding service to the more than 70,000 veterans and their families who reside in Oakland County by maximizing the receipt of veterans' benefits and eliminating or reducing the frustration and confusion that go along with the process. It has a staff of highly trained professionals who are dedicated to serving veterans and their families. For additional information, go to www.OakGov.com/Veterans.

Published: Wed, Sep 23, 2015