15 March 2019 News and Announcements

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maryland department of veterans affairs

News and Announcements  -  March 15, 2019



MDVA bids a fond farewell to Mr. Chris Piscitelli, who is leaving after nearly 20 years with the Department.  Chris served as the Director of the MDVA Cemetery and Memorial Program.  We wish him all the best! 

Shown in this photo from left to right: MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Russell Ware, Assistant Director, Cemetery & Memorials Program, Chris Piscitelli and Secretary George Owings, who is presenting a Proclamation from the Governor to Chris.

Chris & Russ

Chris Piscitelli and Russell Ware. MDVA Cemetery and Memorial Program

Charlotte Hall Resident Celebrates 101st Birthday

Charlotte Hall logo


Mr. Charles “Chuck” Lewis was born in 1918 in Frederick, MD and he recently celebrated his 101st birthday at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  Mr. Lewis is a Veteran of the United States Army.  He served in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War II, and is a recipient of the WWII Victory Medal. Mr. Lewis is a friendly gentleman who greets everyone he sees each day.  It is an honor and a pleasure to serve Mr. Lewis at Charlotte Hall.

Mr. Lewis

More Charlotte Hall News, written by Renee Nordstrom, Mental Health Coordinator at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

When I began my weekly veteran recovery support group on December 20, 2018, I had no idea the path it would lead me to tell you about today.  During our group I was touched by a story from a very special veteran.  This gentleman served in the Army and has been attending my group for the last six months.  He often is a listener in group but that day I asked him this question, “What is the biggest waste of human potential?”.  I wanted to encourage him to talk more. After a few minutes of thought, he spoke up. He stated that he feels the biggest waste of human potential is when a child who lives in the ghetto doesn’t get the opportunity to live up to their potential, their talents, their dreams.  He proceeded to tell the group this story:  In high school he was a star athlete, he played football, baseball and basketball.  He was the quarterback, pitcher and a guard. He made the All-City team twice while growing up in Brooklyn, NY.  He lettered in all three sports and was offered a scholarship to play basketball at University of Maryland. 

                Unfortunately, he chose the wrong path of drugs and ultimately lost the scholarship as a result.  He came from an unstable home, an alcoholic father who wasn’t present, raised by a stepmom who didn’t love him.  When he finished his story, the group was silent at first but then everyone began to show their support for him, for sharing such a painful and life altering event, that resulted in years of regret and struggle. He has been sober for several years.  Needless to say, I was moved to reach out to athletic director, Damon Evans at University of MD via email telling him this story and asking for the opportunity for this gentleman to be able to attend a Terps basketball game and maybe even get a chance to meet the team.  I could only imagine how much different his life could have been, had he had the right guidance, a stronger family.  He is a gentle and kind man who has begun to age and have health issues.  If we could give him one great experience, this would be the one.  Sure enough, a week or so later I received a call from another athletic staff member, Jake Longenecker and they wanted to do something special for him!

                On February 23rd, the veteran, his sister, brother and I were greeted at the Xfinity Center by one of the student team managers, Alex.  We were given a tour of the whole facility, met some amazing people, shot some hoops on the court and then sat in the front row for the UMD vs. OSU men’s basketball game.  To say it was beyond his wildest dreams is an understatement.  He thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience along with his sister and brother. And we all agreed that we want to make this a yearly event and that I am now a part of their family!  For me, to see the huge smile on his face the whole day made it all worth it.  Doing kind and simple things for our fellow man can go a long way and I will continue to do so for as long as I can! Serving those who served!


From left to right: Robert Payne, Shirley Payne, Bill Payne and Renee Nordstrom

General Adkins

On March 7th, the Maryland Senate offered a Proclamation Honoring the Maryland 400, the 1st Maryland Regiment who held the line at the Battle of Long Island in 1776.  The heroism of the Maryland 400 is the reason Maryland is referred to as the "Old Line State".  Shown left to right in this photo: Mr.Owen Lourie, Maryland State Archives. Mr. Robert Furman, historian from Brooklyn, NY, Mr. Tony Pucciarella, MDVA Secretary George Owings, Major General James Adkins, (General Adkins served as both Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard and as a former MDVA Secretary), and Mr.Tim Dioquino.

EMPLOYMENT NOTICE: MDVA is recruiting for an open position:

Veteran Benefits Specialist II

State Partner News

Governor's Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs Offers March Trainings:

Mark Your Calendar

Most business development takes place outside the office. We maintain a robust calendar of events on our website. It's updated regularly, so be sure to check back often. Here are just a few upcoming events:

03/19/2019 - Confidence in Business Relationships
03/22/2019 - Develop a Marketing Plan for Small Business
03/25/2019 - Construction Contractors' Briefing
03/26/2019 - State Procurement 101
03/26/2019 - Contract Cost & Price Analysis
03/26/2019 - Workplace Violence
03/30/2019 - W.O.M.E.N. Conference

Check out our full range of small business events
online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

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 

Women Veterans Caucus

The Women's Legislative Caucus of the Maryland General Assembly hosted "Women Veterans Day" this week.  From left to right in this photo are:

Ms. Brenda Jamison, Chairperson, DAV-DC Women Veteran's Committee; Dr. JoAnn Fisher and MDVA Secretary George Owings

SDAT’s 2019 Homeowners’ and Renters’ Tax Credit
Applications Now Available 
New Online Application System Coming Soon

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) announced that 2019 Homeowners’ and Renters’ Tax Credit applications are now available. SDAT strongly recommends that Marylanders consider whether they may be eligible to receive a Homeowners’ or Renters’ Tax Credit and to submit an application before the deadline on September 3. These two tax credit programs alone saved Maryland taxpayers more than $65 million in 2018. In addition, SDAT will be launching an innovative new online tax credit application system in the coming months; which will expand filing options, drastically reduce application processing times, and improve the service provided to customers.

“Our Department is committed to helping Maryland’s hard working taxpayers save money on their annual property tax bill and strongly encourages all residents to apply for the Homeowners’ and Renters’ Tax Credits,” said SDAT Director Michael Higgs. “We are also looking forward to imminently launching an innovative new online tax credit application system, which will make it faster and easier than ever before for Marylanders to apply for these important tax credits.”

The Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program provides tax relief for eligible homeowners by setting a limit on the amount of property taxes owed based on their income. Applications received and approved by May 1 will be included on the initial July tax bill. If a resident has already paid their property taxes and applies before September 3, any tax credit that the homeowner may be eligible for will be refunded by their county finance office. In FY18, 46,682 eligible homeowners received an average of $1,329 in tax relief.

The Renters’ Property Tax Credit Program similarly provides tax relief for eligible renters who pay high monthly rent relative to their total income. The majority of recipients of this credit are Marylanders age 60 or older, but the program is also available to the 100% disabled and renters under age 60 with at least one dependent child. This credit is issued in the form of a direct check payment of up to $1,000 a year. In FY18, 7,351 eligible renters received an average of $424 in tax relief.

All Marylanders who received a Homeowners’ or Renters’ Tax Credit in 2018 were mailed a complimentary 2019 application to their home address. To determine whether you are eligible to receive a tax credit, you may visit the links above or call 410-767-4433 or 1-800-944-7403 (toll free within Maryland). To receive an application, please email sdat.taxcreditapp@maryland.gov or call 410-767-4238. While completing your tax credit application, please read the instructions carefully, provide all required documentation, and review your application to ensure that all fields have been completed before submitting it to the Department.

Homeowners may also be eligible to receive a Homestead Tax Credit to limit taxable assessment increases on their principal residence. To determine eligibility, homeowners may complete a one-time application online, which is available to complete all year. Many counties and municipalities also offer additional residential tax credits, which provide additional tax relief. If a resident is approved to receive the state homeowners’ credit, they may automatically receive local supplemental homeowners’ credit for which they are eligible.

As a result of SDAT’s partnership with Benefits Data Trust (BDT), multi-lingual outreach specialists are readily available to assist individuals during the entire tax credit application process. BDT is a national non-profit committed to transforming how families and individuals in-need access essential benefits and services in Maryland. To receive assistance while completing your tax credit application and to be connected to additional state, local, and community programs that are available to low-income individuals, please contact the Maryland Benefits Center.

In addition, SDAT will be launching a new online tax credit application processing system in 2019. This innovative application system will allow customers to file their Homeowners', Renters', and Homestead Tax Credit applications entirely online. Not only will this new online system provide more convenient filing options to customers, but will also drastically reduce application processing times and improve customer service.

To ensure that eligible tax credit recipients submit their applications by the required deadline, SDAT strongly encourages all homeowners and renters in Maryland to sign up for our email distribution list to receive timely reminders and general news updates.


Spotlight on Education: Chesapeake College

Chesapeake College Nursing is offering an information session for our NEW accelerated course March 21st and April 18th at 5:00 pm for Veterans who served in a medical capacity while on Active Duty. Flier


Spotlight on Education: Hood College

Hood College and Fort Detrick Sign Agreement to Provide Scholarships for Active Duty Military.

Read More Here

Federal Partner News

Upcoming Events at National Cemeteries in Maryland

Friday, March 29th is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. In recognition of those who served our country faithfully during the Vietnam War period, the Historic Baltimore National Cemetery Complex will host two ceremonies to honor all Vietnam Veterans past and present.

Baltimore National Cemetery:  March 29th at 11am

5501 Frederick Avenue

Catonsville (Baltimore), MD 21228


Annapolis National Cemetery: March 29th at 2pm

800 West Street

Annapolis, MD 21401

Each ceremony will take place vicinity the main flagpole. The ceremony will include:

  • A wreath laying in honor of all Vietnam War period Veterans
  • Reading the names of Vietnam War period Veterans interred at the cemetery
  • Presentation of Vietnam Veteran lapel pins to all attending Vietnam War period Veterans for their service and sacrifice

We invite all to attend either ceremony.

If your organization wishes to participate in either ceremony, please contact Mike Brophy (contact information below), the HBNCC Director:

Michael D. Brophy, Director

Historic Baltimore National Cemetery Complex


Office: 410-644-9696


Saturday, March 23, 2019 - Open House and Enrollment Fair at newly opened Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Rosedale

2019 National Vietnam War Veterans Day

The traveling photography exhibit, Warriors,Tattoos and the Stories They Tell will be on display at Perry Point, April 3-7 in the lobby of Building 366.

2019 National Veterans Day Poster Contest is Underway, Deadline is April 1, 2019

Women Veterans History Month

Celebrating Female Veterans - Past, Present and Future

Brain Injury Awareness Month, Health.mil article

Purple Heart Recipients to be given priority for VA Claims

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1, More Information


This week’s #OperationSong, “My War”, was written by Vietnam War Veteran Mike Cowger with Bob Regan at the Nashville Vet Center in 2016. Vocals by Tim Buppert. HEAR THE FULL SONG AT: https://soundcloud.com/operationsong-tm/my-war FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: operationsong.org Operation Song is partnered with VA Voluntary Service. Their mission is to empower veterans, active duty military, and their families to tell their stories though the process of songwriting. Their songwriting programs and retreats create an opportunity to transform service-related issues, injuries and illnesses into a structured, musical outlet as an enhancement of traditional therapy and/or treatment. Read more about Mike Cowger on VAntage Point https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/47086/air-force-veteran-mike-cowger/

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

The American Legion was founded in March of 1919 in Paris, and members are celebrating the Centennial of the organization's founding. Read More Here

Contact your local American Legion Post for information on events near you.




Works of art to be exhibited at the 9th annual Maryland Veterans Creative Arts Festival have now been selected.  The festival, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Maryland, will be held on March 24, 2019 in the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts.  The exhibit features work created by veterans who use the arts as an aid in their recovery from physical and mental health issues through the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) Recreation Therapy Departments throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia.  Over 30 works of art will be displayed representing a variety of media including clay, ceramics, photography, needlework, painting and kit construction.  These pieces of art were entered in competition at the local VAMC level in hopes of earning a spot in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan in October.

 Artwork and creative writing will be on exhibit beginning when the doors open at noon and end at 1:45 pm.  All are invited to browse through the exhibit, visit with the artists and authors who are on hand and maybe get some autographs.  The doors of the auditorium will open at 1:30 pm with a stage show beginning at 2:00 pm.  Performers have entered the competition in categories such as instrumental and vocal music, dance and drama.

This event is open to the public.  A donation of $10 per ticket to support the National and local Veteran’s Creative Arts projects is requested for those attending the stage show.  However, complimentary tickets are available for ROTC/JROTC members who come in uniform and active duty military.

For  information:  Rusty Beeg 301-602-7214 or rbeeg5908@gmail.com  Flier



Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training

Save the Date: Sunday June 9th, 24th Annual MCVET 5K/10K Run/Walk

BI&A 4th Annual Golf Tournament benefiting MCVET


Volunteer to be a Mentor with the Anne Arundel Veterans Docket

Coastal Hospice Receives Honors for Veterans's Program, Dorchester Banner article

Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Events in March and April

Friday, March 29, 2019, Hospice of the Chesapeake's 5th Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Linthicum

Friday, March 29, 2019 Mission BBQ, Free Chow for Vietnam Veterans

Saturday, March 30, 2019, Gilchrist's 2nd Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration, Baltimore County, Video of last year's event

Saturday, March 30, 2019, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Easton

Sunday, April 28, 2019, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans and Vietnam Era Veterans, Indian Head


Community Calendar

March 16, 2019

Career Workshop, Lanham

March 17, 2019

Community Clergy Training to Support Veterans Mental Health, Ft. Washington

March 23, 2019

VA Open House & Enrollment Fair, Rosedale

March 24, 2019

Maryland Veteran Creative Arts Festival, Bowie, Flier

March 26, 2019

Access to Capital for Women Owned Businesses, Three-Day Workshop, Baltimore

March 27, 2019

WOSB/EDWOSB Certification Workshop, Baltimore

March 28, 2019

Blind Veterans Association, Light Up the Darkness Concert, Falls Church, VA

Small Business, Developing a Loan Package for a Lender, Germantown

March 30, 2019

The American Legion, Randolph Furey Post 170, 100th Birthday Celebration, Accokeek

April 3, 2019

Seniors on the Go, Aging and Disabilities Expo, Westminster, Note: Charlotte Hall staff will be providing information at a Resource Table at this event

April 6, 2019

Lattes with Lambs, Accokeek, Veterans' Resource Table at event

April 8, 2019

2019 Year of the Veteran Celebration and Resource Fair, Columbia