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Outing supports Veterans' Court mission



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July 30, 2014 - Local soldiers returning home with physical and emotional issues sometimes find themselves in trouble with the law. Thanks to a Veterans' Treatment Court program, soldiers do not have to wage the battle alone.

On Sunday, July 20, several leaders connected to the court system attended a golf outing at Boulder Point Golf Club in Oxford to raise money for the cause. Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle was one of 200 attendees who went to the outing to show support for the court's mission.

Kittle said over $75,000 was raised to help pay for services to assist US Veterans who are struggling with substance abuse and emotional issues.

The outing began with singing of the National Anthem, a 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps. Kittle said all events were made in honor of warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Golf, dinner, a silent and live auction and free car raffle were also included in the outing.

The July 20 outing was the fourth annual event held to support the Veterans Court.

"Every year the event continues to grow along with the number of supporters and volunteers," said Kittle. "A special thank to everyone who support our Veterans in need."

Kittle volunteered to serve on the Friends of the Oakland County Regional Veteran's Court board of directors after 52-2 District Court Judge Kelly Kostin asked for his help.

Kostin said she approached Kittle for help because she knew what he had gone through when his son David passed away in 2013.

David, a 2003 graduate of Clarkston High School, served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army with tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. When he returned home to face civilian life, he was completely different person. At the time of his death, David was also on full disability from his work in the military and also struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.

Kittle said he volunteers to help as a labor of love and he wants to help soldiers facing the same types of issues his son had faced.

Kittle said the Veteran's Court is a helpful tool for America's men and women returning home from battle.

"There are thousands of men and women who have proudly served our country who are struggling to adjust back into civilian life," said Kittle. "The Veteran's Treatment Court works."

According to Kostin, many soldiers are in self medication mode, and dealing with substance abuse issues is exactly the type of issues the court targets.

Kittle said because of the drug abuse they end up in a vicious cycle, and get themselves into trouble.

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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