Evans names Air Force retiree veteran services chief

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has appointed an Air Force retiree to oversee county veterans’ programs.

Evans said John Gardner will begin his duties as veterans services administrator immediately. He has a staff of six people, including three full-time veteran counselors, a department manager, a secretary and a community outreach manager.

“Mr. Gardner brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to veterans services, which will be invaluable as we continue providing services to veterans in Wayne County,” Evans said in a statement Monday.

Gardner, who served in the Air Force for 24 years, will supervise programs, including the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund and the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund, which help veterans with financial hardships pay mortgages, rent or utility bills. Both funds also aid veterans with transportation needs.

He will also manage the county’s veteran burial benefit program, which provides qualified veterans or their next of kin with up to $1,000 for burial costs.

In addition, Gardner will serve as the county’s representative on the Veterans Community Action Team, a consortium of more than 230 organizations that serve veterans.

“Being a retired military serviceman, I bring a personal understanding of veterans’ needs and look forward to serving veterans on behalf of Wayne County,” Gardner said in statement.

Gardner served the Air Force in logistics management, computer operations and recruitment.

More recently, he was manager of Quicken Loans’ Military Veteran Recruiter and Program.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

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