23 November 2018 MDVA News & Announcements

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maryland department of veterans affairs

News and Announcements  -  November 23, 2018



Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, this edition of the MDVA e-newsletter is briefer than usual.  Organizations and agencies have sent in fewer events and notices. So, we are taking this opportunity to share some recent photos from around the state. 


We here at MDVA hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday, and if you are traveling this weekend, we wish you safe travels!

Honor Flight

MDVA Deputy Secretary Bob Finn spoke to the attendees of the USS Joseph Strauss Reunion. While there, participants of an Honor Flight arrived (Honor Flight participants in red).  It was a stirring sight to see the two groups honoring each other and singing the National Anthem.

Janice Chance

The Carroll County Salute to Service Luncheon was held at American Legion Post 31 in Westminster.  From left to right: Janice Chance, President of the Maryland Gold Star Mothers Chapter,  CPL Michael Fitzgerald, 2018 Carroll County Police Officer of the Year, MDVA Deputy Secretary Bob Finn, and Gold Star Mother Donna Robinson.

Accokeek Church of God

Secretary Owings spoke on Veterans Day at the Accokeek First Church of God.

Robert Hanson

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Robert Hanson (on the right), presents the Governor's Proclamation for Veterans Day at St. Peter and Paul School in Easton to Mr. Christopher Thompson.


MDVA Secretary George Owings attended the St. Mary's County Veteran Resource Fair, and while there he pinned veterans with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin. Joining the Secretary in this photo is Mr. Curtis Cotrell, who served in the United States Navy.

State Partner News

Donors Beware!

As the holidays approach, Secretary of State John Wobensmith warns citizens to beware of scam charities and deceptive practices. Charities in Maryland and beyond rely upon the generosity of citizens to provide programs and services to those in need across our great state.

The holidays inspire a spirit of generosity. Charities step up efforts to solicit donations during the holidays. Many of us respond and dig deep to help. Sadly, scam artists abound and often prey upon generous hearts.

Did you know that all charities who solicit money in Maryland must register with the Office of the Secretary of State before they can begin to solicit money? Check our website to confirm if a charity is authorized to raise money in Maryland: http://sos.maryland.gov/Charity/Pages/SearchCharity.aspx.

Recognize red flags. Ask questions. Be suspicious of any charity that won’t answer your questions. Here are some red flags that should help you question whether a charity worthy of your support:

  • Did the organization refuse to send you written material or financial information?
  • Did the solicitor offer to send a person to collect your contribution?
  • Did the charity send you an invoice or statement that indicates a payment due for a contribution you never pledged?
  • Does the organization’s name and logo closely resemble another charity with a similar purpose?

Con artists abound. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, or change your mind and choose not to donate for any reason, it’s okay. Did you know that you have the right to change your mind after you pledged to donate? Well, you do!

Call 800-825-4510 to check if a charity is registered. More information about charities can be found on the Secretary of State’s Charity page at http://sos.maryland.gov.

The Secretary of State’s Office investigates complaints about charity fraud. To report a potentially scam charity, contact our Investigations Unit at 410-260-3859 or 800-825-4510.


University of Maryland University College hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 12, 2018 in Adelphi, Maryland. The University of Maryland, College Park Army ROTC detachment provided the Color Guard.  General (U.S. Army, Retired) Carter F. Ham served as the keynote speaker and was awarded the UMUC Presidents Medal by UMUC President Javier Miyares.  Gunnery Sergeant Kenny Saavedra, an active-duty Marine stationed in Okinawa, was recognized as the 2018 recipient of the UMUC General John W. Vessey, Jr. Memorial Student Veteran of the Year award, and he received a $2,250 scholarship. Shown in Photo: General Ham and GySgt. Saavedra

Mike Moore

Mr. Michael Moore (Class of 1968), speaks at the TerpVets' "Honor and Remember Veterans Day" ceremony at the University of Maryland.  TerpVets is a student run organization at the University of Maryland College Park.  Mr. Moore also serves as a Commissioner on the Maryland Veterans Commission

Federal Partner News

Honorably Discharged Veterans May Now Shop the Exchange

K9s For Warriors

How to Get a Veterans ID Card, MilitaryBenefits.info article

Types of Veteran ID Cards, va.gov

Arthritis: What You Need to Know, va.gov

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Memorials in Washington, DC

U.S. Postal Service Warns of Postal Scams, FEDweek article

The US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Communications Commission are teaming up to combat illegal robocalls targeting all Americans, including American vets and their families. 

Unwanted calls account for more than 200,000 complaints to the FCC each year – a big number, but one that pales in comparison to the millions of robocalls being made each day.  The calls interrupt dinners and family time, they flood landline and mobile phones, and they frequently solicit money for fake charities, including ones claiming to support America’s veterans, and even claiming to be representatives of Veterans Affairs.   

Together, the FCC and VA urge everyone to maintain awareness of robocalls.  Here are some quick tips on how to protect yourself: 

  • Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. Scammers may spoof their caller ID to display a fake number that appears to be local.  If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, or passwords in response to unexpected or suspicious calls.
  • Be sure to set a password for all voice mail accounts to avoid being hacked.
  • Register your number on the Do Not Call List to block calls from legitimate telemarketers.
  • Ask your phone company about call-blocking tools and services for your landline phone, and check for helpful apps that you can download to your mobile phone.

Finally, during the month when America celebrates its veterans, we suggest reaching out to fellow veterans -- especially the elderly, who are known to be particularly vulnerable-- -- and help spread the word about robocall fraud.  

For more tips and other useful information, visit:  fcc.gov/robocalls.

Also check out: ftc.gov/charity and Video

Women Veterans II

United States Senator Chris Van Hollen sponsored a program for women veterans, "Women Who Serve, Women Who Lead".  At the podium is Dr. Joann Fisher, who served as Mistress of Ceremony for the event.

Sen Van Hollen

Senator Chris Van Hollen and MDVA Secretary George Owings

Community Partner News

For Your Information

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse the organizations sponsoring these events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of MDVA.  The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only, and serves solely as a MDVA community outreach effort.

Community News

Save the Date - Gilchrist's 2nd Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration, March 30, 2019.  Flier


Veteran's Day is particularly meaningful for The Global Good Fund. In 2018, through our partnership with Smithfield Foods, we've been able to support the leadership of 6 Veteran entrepreneurs through our Fellowship Program.  Why did we do this? Because as a company we go after opportunities where we can have tremendous impact. Did you know that approximately 2.5 million small businesses in the U.S. are majority-owned by veterans - employing five million people and bringing in revenue above $1 trillion?


VETOGA offers free yoga classes in Maryland


Save-the-Date - 5th annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration

Hospice of the Chesapeake will host its fifth annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration at 5 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2018, at Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport Hotel, 1736 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum, Maryland. The doors will open at 4 p.m.

This is the fifth year the state will celebrate the commemorative day. In 2015, at the request of Hospice of the Chesapeake’s We Honor Veterans Committee, legislation was introduced by state Senator John Astle to make the day official. It was the first bill Governor Larry Hogan signed into law. States and organizations across the nation plan events at the end of March with the hope that every Vietnam Veteran can receive the thank you and warm welcome they should have received five decades ago.

Headquartered in Pasadena, Maryland, Hospice of the Chesapeake is a Commemorative Partner in the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration as well as a 4-Star Partner in the We Honor Veterans program, a national hospice initiative honoring the men and women from all branches of the military who have served our country.

For photos from last year’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/pg/hospicechesapeake/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1712532995469449.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Chris Wilson at 443-837-1530 or cwilson@hospicechesapeake.org.


Community Calendar

November 27, 2018

Job Zone Job Fair, Patuxent River

November 28, 2018

Community & Veterans Job Fair, Ft. George G. Meade

December 3, 2018

Veterans Workshop Hosted by Congressman Anthony Brown, Largo

December 7, 2018

Ready, Set, Grow!, Procurement Workshop, Frederick

December 15, 2018

Wreaths Across America, Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery

Greenbelt Ceremony

Remembrance Wreaths are presented at the Greenbelt Veterans Day Ceremony.

Jewish War veterans

In the last edition of the MDVA e-newsletter, the names of the gentlemen in this photo were listed out of order.  From left to right are: Michael Zippert, Sheldon Goldberg and Erwin Burtnick.