18 January 2019 MDVA News and Announcements

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News and Announcements  -  January 18, 2019


Maryland Veterans Trust Fund Receives Large Donation from the American Ex-POWs Chapter from Kingsville, MD


At the quarterly meeting of the Maryland Veterans Commission, Commissioner Leonard Kirk, a World War II Veteran and former Prisoner of War, presented a donation of more than $14,000 to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund.  The Ex-POW Members closed their organization bank account due to dwindling membership and donated all the remaining funds to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund.

All of us here at the MDVA send heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to the members of the American Ex-POWs Kingsville Chapter.

This link will take you to an article written about the Ex-POWs by Carl Hamilton, and published in the Cecil Whig on May 28, 2017.


Maryland Veterans Commissioner Leonard Kirk of the American Ex-POWs, presents a very large donation to MDVA Secretary George Owings.  The donation from the Ex-POWs is to be directed to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund to assist Maryland Veterans in need.  Looking on is Mr. Fred Shinbur, the Chairperson of the Maryland Veterans Commission.

Dixie II

Brigadier General David Blackledge on the right, is the Executive Vice President of Melwood Veterans Services.  General Blackledge briefed the Maryland Veterans Commission on the services provided to veterans at Melwood.  With General Blackledge in this photo are his Service Animal and Companion, Dixie and MDVA Secretary George Owings.

See more information on Melwood's new "abilIT" program at the end of this e-newsletter.


You’re Invited!

“Meet the Artist” Public Reception, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

Saturday January 26, 2019

1:00pm to 3:00pm


In partnership with The Charles County Art Alliance, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home presents their public art gallery, showcasing 40 artists and 72 works of art. The gallery is located along the E-Wing Assisted Living Dining hallway at 29449 Charlotte Hall Road, Charlotte Hall, MD 20659.

On Saturday, January 26, 2019 the Veterans Home will host a “Meet the Artist” Public Reception in the E-Wing Multipurpose Room, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, to honor all the artists. The public is invited to this event and will have a chance to meet the artists while viewing their works on display. Light refreshments will be served.

The show’s theme was “Artist’s Choice” and includes work from: Julie Allinson, Alan Canter, Suzanne Cassidy, William Cassidy, Sang Jin Choi, Mary Colaianni, Renee Jefferson-Copeland, Dorothy Crown, Richard Cunningham, Michael Davis, Cecelia Dunay, Gina Durgin, Monic Fletcher, Penelope Gold, Roxana Gonzales, Doris Hall, Ron Hammans, Gordon Johnson, Philip Lang, Ahleam Leigh, Addison Likins, Joanna Macaulay, Bill Meck, Julie Meisel, Constance Moore, Margaret Neal, Kathy Noel, Nadria Nunez, Marie Parham, Phillip Parry, Walter Pearsall, Ashley Radano, Ella Radano, Cristy Ross, Dianne Shisler, Sharon Stapf, Joanne Van Brunt, Nancy Walcutt, Reginald Ware, and Belinda Wilburn.  Most of the artwork is available for purchase. The Security Desk staff have a copy of the price list and the artist biographies.

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home is Maryland’s only long-term care and assisted living facility specifically for Veterans and their eligible spouses. 

If attending, please follow the signs for the “State Office” entrance. 

For any further information please contact: Angela Quade at 240-577-7003 or veteranshomeart@charhall.org


Jesse Smith

MDVA Deputy Secretary Bob Finn (left), and MDVA Secretary George Owings (right) present the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin and Certificate to Mr. Jesse Smith, USMC 1967 - 1970.  Mr. Smith recently relocated to Annapolis, and stopped in the MDVA office to say hello.

State Partner News

2019 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Convened

The Maryland General Assembly is currently meeting in Annapolis for the 2019 Legislative Session.  As a service to the veteran community, information on proposed legislation of possible interest to veterans is provided below:

2019 Legislative Information

You may check the status of proposed legislation by visiting the:

Maryland General Assembly Website


Vet Caucus

MDVA Secretary George Owings addresses the Veterans Caucus of the Maryland General Assembly yesterday in Annapolis..

Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Department of Health Expand Hearing Aid Coverage through Maryland Medicaid
Hearing Aids Now Available for Eligible Marylanders Over Age 21

ANNAPOLIS, MD – With 2019 health insurance plans beginning coverage January 1, the Governor’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced a recent change in Maryland Medicaid regulations that allow coverage for medically necessary hearing aids, cochlear implants, and auditory osseointegrated devices for adults over the age of 21 in accordance with federal requirements. Prior to July 1, 2018, Maryland Medicaid only covered hearing aids and cochlear implants for children and young adults under 21 years old.

“Our office received calls asking for financial assistance to help cover the cost of hearing aids due to the high out-of-pocket costs and the lack of coverage through Maryland Medicaid, so we worked with the Department of Health to address this significant gap,” said Kelby Brick, Director of the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “The Hogan administration’s expansion of Maryland Medicaid coverage for adults provides tremendous financial relief for thousands of eligible Marylanders in need of these vital services.”

Marylanders can access these services by contacting their primary care physician for a referral to an audiologist who can complete an assessment for audiology services.

“We are pleased to make progress towards achieving equitable health care for all Marylanders and the ability to now offer hearing aids and cochlear implants to those over the age of 21,” said Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “This expansion of coverage is another example of this administration’s commitment to serving Maryland’s 1.2 million deaf and hard of hearing residents.”

More information on the regulation changes can be found on COMAR online. State residents who are eligible for Maryland Medicaid can learn more at www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.


About the Governor's Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing:
The Governor’s Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing serves as a coordinating office that promotes equal access and the general welfare of the Deaf and hard of hearing by addressing policy gaps, providing expertise, and facilitating access to resources. Learn more by visiting our website at odhh.maryland.gov 

About the Maryland Department of Health:
The Maryland Department of Health is the State agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected: http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept and http://www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH. ​

Marylanders who need help finding substance use disorder treatment resources should visit http://goo.gl/nIfGm0 or call 211, press 1. For information on many of the policies currently implemented to fight addiction and overdose in Maryland, see http://goo.gl/KvEzQw


Maryland State Careers for Veterans

Maryland State Government appreciates the value of the experience you gained while serving our country.  This page link contains resources Maryland provides to returning veterans - employment opportunities, veteran services, upcoming events and more.

Read More Here


Natural Resources Career Training Program Now Recruiting

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, is now accepting applications for its workforce development, skills and training program, Work2Live WELL. Now in its second year, this program provides entry into the emerging fields of the environment and natural resources.

With funding from the Employment Advancement Right Now Maryland program, this year’s program is recruiting 13 adult applicants in Baltimore City. Participants can gain entry, exposure, opportunity and training in blueprints, conservation, construction, dredging, land management, restoration and tree care.

“This innovative program allows staff, along with partners, to transform their experience and expertise into active career mentoring and teaching,” Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Joanne Throwe said. “We look forward to developing and growing a diverse workforce that is focused on our core value of environmental conservation, management and stewardship, and ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

The nine-week program offers two distinct tracks, one focused on environmental and land resources, and the other on land and marine construction. Selected individuals will be scheduled five days a week, eight hours a day, receiving classroom instruction, equipment and field training, mentoring, as well as a biweekly stipend. Training will begin in late February with graduation slated for May 2019.

Federal Partner News


January 31st: VA Veterans Benefits Administration Progress and Results Webcast with VA Under Secretary Paul R/ Lawrence, Ph.D.

VA Resources for Veterans, Dependents, Survivors and Federal Employees During Shutdown

VA - Trying to Quit Smoking?

Glaucoma - Why Veterans Need Regular Eye Exams

VA Secretary Wilke Addresses Student Veterans of America (Video)

Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer - 2019 FLC Planner  For the third year in a row, photographs of NSA-developed and patented technology are featured in the prestigious Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) 2019 FLC Planner.

Suicide Prevention: Eliminating the Stigma, Health.Mil article

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 - Saturday, February 23, 2019, Noon until Midnight: Marathon Bluegrass Jam Maryland to Benefit Fisher House Foundation, Severn


British Royal Marines Visit the Marine Corps League Baltimore Detachment, Story and Photos provided by Marine Corps League


Wounded Warrior Project Offers Support Groups in three locations: Waldorf, Arbutus and Frederick


Save the Date - March 2, 2019, Knights of Columbus Honors Those Who Served During Vietnam, Nottingham


Save the Date - Thursday, March 21, 2019, Lunch and Learn: Resources for Caregivers in Service to our Men and Women Who've Served, Catonsville


Save the Date, Saturday, March 30, 2019, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Easton


Save the Date - June 20 - 27, 2019 The Mission Continues, Mass Deployment 2019, Operation Charm City Charge


Every Thursday - Healing Waters Fly Fishing Project, 6-8pm - Is in search of Disabled Active Military and Veterans who would like to learn the Art of Fly Fishing. We are dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of our wounded warriors and veterans thru fly fishing, fly tying and outings. Meetings are held every Thursday Evening at the Ft. Meade Kimbrough Rascon Center. Feel Free to Contact Larry Vawter Program Leader at 443‐535‐5074 or thecarptman@msn.com


Comcast Affordable Internet for Veterans


Veterans N Transition Show on WHUT-TV, PBS


Project Opportunity - Spring Class in Anne Arundel County, Spring Class in Prince George's County and Lunch and Learn on March 7th in Waldorf.  Free Entrepreneurship Training for Veterans who want to start their own business.


Outward Bound Spring US Naval Academy & Veterans Backpacking and Rock Climbing

Veterans Portrait Project

Stacy Pearsall, an American veteran and world renowned photographer will be the featured guest on Prime Time for Women, a local live audience TV show taped in Hagerstown, Maryland. 

Ms. Pearsall, who earned the Bronze Star and the Air Force Commendation with Valor, served as a military combat photographer in the United States Air Force until injured by roadside bomb in Iraq. While under rehabilitation for her injuries, she was surrounded by other veterans who were supportive and encouraging.  After receiving a medical discharge, she established the Veterans Portrait Project to thank and honor military veterans for their service through photography.  Since then, Pearsall has photographed and documented more than 6,000 veterans in over 27 states and has held exhibitions in the veterans’ hometowns. 

On February 9, 2019, Ms. Pearsall, who has also appeared on Oprah and PBS Newshour, will share her story on Prime Time for Women right here in Hagerstown, Maryland!  She will talk about her 2018 Veterans Day Exhibition at the U.S. Women’s Military Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and her desire to support and uplift women.  The show’s format encourages audience participation.  It is my hope to provide female (and male) veterans, from across the tri-state area, with a chance to interact with Stacy, share their thoughts and ask questions.  

Those interested in attending the show can purchase tickets for $10 by clicking this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/268390313840262/

Community Calendar

January 19, 2019

Veterans Home Buyer Seminar, Arbutus

January 22, 2019

Navigating eMaryland Marketplace

State Procurement 101

Understanding Your Business Financial Statement, Baltimore

January 24, 2019

Ask a Business Lawyer Before Starting a Business, Legal Workshop, Baltimore

January 28, 2019

Free Food Service Training, St. Vincent de Paul, Baltimore

January 29, 2019

Digital Marketing, Baltimore

JobZone Job Fair, Pax River

January 30, 2019

HUBZone Government Certification, Baltimore

January 31, 2019

VA Veterans Benefits Administration Webcast with VA Under Secretary for Benefits

Ft. Meade SFL-TAP Hiring Event, Ft. Meade

Developing an Effective Business Plan, Baltimore

JobZone Job Fair, Joint Base Andrews

February 4, 2019

Vet Arts Connect, Introductory Improv for Military Veterans, Six sessions beginning 2/4 in Columbia

February 5, 2019

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Veterans Ensemble: Olive Branch and Laurel Crown, beginning 2/5 in Baltimore

February 12, 2019

Bmore Military Muster, Halethorpe

February 16, 2019

19th Annual Buffalo Soldiers Banquet, Baltimore

New "abilIT” Program Trains People of Differing Abilities and Injured Veterans for Jobs in Cybersecurity

Now Recruiting Inaugural Class at www.abilIT.melwood.org


UPPER MARLBORO, MD, Jan. 10, 2018 – Melwood, one of the nation’s largest employers of people of differing abilities, is embarking on an innovative new project to provide cybersecurity and wraparound professional development training to injured veterans and people of differing abilities.

The “abilIT” pilot program launches early next year in Arlington, VA, and is actively recruiting people of differing abilities and injured veterans for its inaugural class. The 12-week program will prepare students to sit for several of the certification exams needed for entry-level cybersecurity jobs. It will also support students by developing skills necessary to succeed in today’s employment environment including interviewing, resume development, corporate professionalism, and job retention. These wraparound services have been the cornerstone of Melwood’s success for 55 years. Through partnerships with industry leaders, students will also have access to job shadowing and mentorship opportunities from cybersecurity experts.

“People of differing abilities represent one of the most promising and readily available cybersecurity workforce pipelines in the nation,” says Cari DeSantis, Melwood’s President and CEO. “We have two problems that can solve each other: under-employment of people of differing abilities and the inability to fill tech jobs.”

According to the Department of Commerce, the U.S. is on pace to hit a half million or more unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021. However, only four out of 10 people of differing abilities are employed and 30 million American adults of differing abilities struggle to find employment opportunities.

Melwood has partnered with Cybrary, the provider of the nation’s largest massive open online course in cybersecurity. Cybrary is an industry leader in cybersecurity training and has donated their services to this pilot program.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the abilIT program, visit www.abilit.melwood.org for more details, or contact Program Coordinator Patrick Finley at pfinley@melwood.org


About Melwood
Melwood is one of the largest employers of people of differing abilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people of differing abilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to thousands of people of differing abilities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood also operates an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit www.Melwood.org.