21 June 2019 MDVA News and Announcements

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maryland department of veterans affairs

News and Announcements  -  June 21, 2019


MDVA Staff Attend D-Day 75th Anniversary on Omaha Beach


Several staff members from MDVA attended the ceremonies held at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.  Robert Finn, MDVA Deputy Secretary, Dana Burl, Director of the MDVA Outreach and Advocacy Program (O&A), and Denise Nooe, Deputy Director of O&A all had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the D-Day Anniversary observance held on June 6, 2019.

Colonel Robert Finn, USA (Ret), is a Vietnam Veteran and retired as the 3rd Brigade Commander of the 29th Infantry Division (Light). in 2003.  Dana's grandfather, John Joseph Burl was one of the members of the 29th Division who landed on D-Day, 75 years ago. Mr. Burl survived the War, but Dana's Great Uncle Jonas Harrell, who served as a Medic was KIA during World War II, and while in France, she had the opportunity to visit his grave at the American Cemetery in Epinal, France. Denise's Uncle Golden Summers, was a Tanker who was seriously injured during World War II, but he survived and returned home after several years in military and VA hospitals.

Dana was interviewed on WBAL Radio regarding her Grandfather, John Joseph Burl who landed on D-Day:  Read interview here.

Omaha Beach at Sunrise

Omaha Beach at sunrise on June 6, 2019 - the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  The photo includes a World War II Tank, which was driven to the beach by the crew of World War II reenactors.

Dana Burl at Epinal Cemetery

Dana Burl at the grave of her Great Uncle Jonas Harrell located at the American Cemetery in Epinal, France.  Rubbing sand from Omaha Beach into the letters on the headstone helps the name stand out.  

Patriot Day Observance Photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings (in the red shirt) attends the Patriots Day Observance at the Maryland Veterans Museum at Patriot Park in Newburg, Maryland. Also participating were the K-Kids from Dr. Higden Elementary School and Boy Scout Troop 1814.

Photo of Mr. John Paukstis

In this photo are MDVA Deputty Secretary Robert Finn, Mr. John Paukstis, President of Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, and MDVA Secretary George Owings.  Mr. Paukstis was just pinned with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin by Secretary Owings.

More MDVA News

Baltimore Jewish Times article, with photo of MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn and Maryland Veterans Commissioner Erwin Burtnick

State Partner News

2020 Census - Be Counted!

Every Maryland county and Baltimore City has established a point of contact for local census activities and 23 jurisdictions have set up, or are in the process of setting up, a local complete count committee. For details about the contacts and committees, go to the Maryland Census 2020 Partners page on the Census.Maryland.gov website.

The 2020 decennial census is required by law to count every person in the United States. Census information is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds for programs and services, reapportionment for Congress and local legislative districts, and for important local economic development and planning decisions.

Personal information is protected by federal law and cannot be shared by the Census Bureau with any other agency. Census Day is April 1, 2020 - the date where every person living in the U.S. is asked to complete the census by mail or for the first time ever, by phone or online.

The U.S. Census Bureau urges the formation of Complete Count Committees at the state, county, and municipal level to organize census efforts.

Statement from Governor Hogan on Supreme Court

Peace Cross Ruling


ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's 7-2 ruling to allow the Bladensburg Peace Cross to stand on public land:

“This is a great victory after we fought tirelessly to keep the Peace Cross standing in recognition of the valor, endurance, courage, and devotion of our World War I veterans. Today’s ruling ensures that this memorial—a dignified tribute to those who came before us and made the ultimate sacrifice—will stand tall and proud for the ages.

"I was honored to help lead this fight on behalf of our veterans, and I am proud that Marylanders and Americans will be able to visit the Peace Cross in Bladensburg for years to come."

Maryland Higher Education Commission GI Bill Celebration Photo

The Maryland Higher Education Commission hosted a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the G. I. Bill this week. In this photo from left to right:  Dr. James D. Fielder, Jr., Maryland Secretary of Higher Education, MDVA Secretary George Owings and Dr. John Yaeger, University Provost, National Defense University.  Dr. Yaeger also serves as a Commissioner on the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Spotlight on Education: University of Maryland University Collge Name Change

Effective July 1, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) will be renamed: University of Maryland Global College.

Read more in this Military Times article regarding UMUC's Veterans Assistance Fund.

Military Times Article

University of Maryland School of Medicine Research Program

Have you experienced a traumatic event in your life? Do thoughts about this experience affect you now? Do you use alcohol to get relief? We are conducting a research study of a medication that may help people who have experienced a traumatic event feel better and drink less. Traumatic events are things like physical or sexual assault, war zone exposure, serious accidents, and natural disasters. To learn more, go to: http://www.rethinkyourdrinking.org/, email us atrethinkyourdrinking@som.umaryland.edu, or contact us by phone (410) 402-6412.

Federal Partner News


Find Veterans You Served With: together we served.com

101 year old female World War II Veteran is the oldest person ever to compete at the National Veterans Golden Age Games

100% Service Connected Veterans May Fly Space-A

Veterans and transitioning military eligible for a free year of LinkedIn Premium

VA Has Maternity Care Coordinators

Nine Tips for Men's Health, Health.mil article

Building Better Caregivers

VA Maryland Health Care System Vision Rehab Team

Military Exposures: Agent Orange, Radiation, Burn Pits and More

Understanding PTSD

National Institutes of Health Report to the Nation: Overall, Cancer Mortality Continues to Decline


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: July 21, 2019 - Introduction to Hero Dogs, Registration Required. This presentation is for anyone who is interested in learning more about Hero Dogs, whether as a potential applicant, volunteer, donor, or other supporter.

To qualify for a dog:

* You must be a veteran of the U.S. Uniformed Services with an honorable or general (under honorable conditions) discharge. Discharges other than honorable will be considered on a case by case basis. First responders must have an equivalent, verifiable service record.
* You must be released from all military and reserve obligations.
* You must have a disability as defined by the ADA, i.e. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a history or record of such an impairment, or be perceived by others as having such an impairment. Note that your disability does not need to be service connected and we do not require any minimum VA disability rating.
* You must live within 50 miles or approximately one hour’s travel time of Hero Dogs (Brookeville, MD), and be able to provide your own transportation.
* If your disability includes PTSD or any other psychiatric disability, you must currently be in counseling, and must remain in mental health treatment for the duration of your matching and training with Hero Dogs.

If you meet these basic criteria, please visit our Applicants page to see the rest of the requirements and request an application. If you do NOT meet these eligibility criteria, please visit Assistance Dogs International, Inc. (ADI) to locate a service dog agency that places dogs in your area or nationally. ADI is a coalition of not-for-profit organizations that train and place service, guide, and hearing dogs.
Contact Hero Dogs, Inc. at 888-570-8653 or via e-mail to applicant@hero-dogs.org.

Save the Date: August 17, 2019 - Substance Misuse Prevention Training, Columbia


Dog Tag Inc. now accepting applications for the Fellowship Program


Global Good Fund Fellowship Accepting Applications


Charles County Sheriff's Office is hiring Police Officers, Correctional Officers, Cadets and Court Security Positions. Flier


Companies within the Maryland and D.C. Metro area are looking to hire / train and make long term investments in new employees due to a robust construction economy and many sheet metal professionals retiring at a rate faster than they can be replaced. Sheet metal workers are essential to the construction of buildings' environmental control systems. This sector is becoming extremely high-tech and a critical need exists now and for years to come. Excellent benefits and salary during the apprenticeship. Please contact Kurt Snyder (Navy veteran) at Kurt@smacnaatl.org for more information or visit www.choosebigger.com


VETMotorsports seeks participants.  More Information Next event, July 14th. Please email vetmotorsports@gmail.com for more information or to register for an event.


George Washington University and the University of Bath is conducting a study that is exploring post-9/11 Veterans’ stories and how their experiences, especially decisions those made in high stake situations, may impact their health behaviors and long term health. Read More Here.

Community Calendar

June 22, 2019

2019 Veterans Summer Claims Clinic, Waldorf

Hogs and Heroes - Ride to Keep Them Alive, Annapolis, Smyrna and Seaford

June 25, 2019

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans Eastern Region Conference, Cambridge

Frederick Veteran Support Network Meeting, Frederick

June 27, 2019

Veterans Job Club, Linthicum

Veteran Home Buying Seminar, Annapolis, The date for this home buying seminar is Thursday June 27 at 7pm.  It will be in the Berkshire Hathaway office in Annapolis (across from the mall) at 1997 Annapolis Exchange, Suite 101.

DAV/Recruit Military Greater Washington, DC Veterans Job Fair, FedEx Field

June 28, 2019

Ft. Meade Red, White and Blue Celebration

June 29, 2019

Veterans Benefit Seminar, Ft. Washington

Howard County Veterans Foundation, Groundbreaking Ceremony for Veterans Monument, Columbia

July 9, 2019

Mid Shore Veteran's Network Meeting, Easton

July 10, 2019

Veterans Resource & Recognition Day, Frederick

Lower Shore Veteran's Network Meeting, Salisbury