16 August 2019 News and Announcements

View as a webpage.

maryland department of veterans affairs

News and Announcements  -  August 16, 2019


MDVA bids farewell to some special staff members

Dinah Photo with Secretary

Ms. Dinah Sigmon retired from Charlotte Hall Veterans Home after 20 years of service to the State of Maryland.  Shown in this photo are: Commissioner Larry Weckbaugh, Brigadier General Warner I. Sumpter, who is chair of the Maryland Home Commission, Dinah Sigmon, Sharon Murphy, Charlotte Hall Director, MDVA Secretary George Owings, Commissioner John Wood and MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn.  MDVA bids a fond farewell to Dinah and wishes her well in her retirement.

McKisset dedication Photo

Mr. Kenneth McKisset also recently retired from MDVA, and a dedication ceremony was held at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery to recognize him for his 30 years of service.  Mr. McKisset is on the left, and on the right is Russell Ware, Director of the MDVA Cemetery & Memorials program. Semper Fi, Kenny.

Ewa Farewell photo

Ewaoluwa Ogundana completed her summer internship at MDVA and Secretary Owings presented her with a Secretary's Citation.  Ewa was selected for the Governor's Intern Leadership Program and will return to her college studies in the fall. Shown in this photo are: Dana Burl, Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Katie Sonntag, Ewa, Secretary George Owings, Laurie Pinson and Stacey Crawford.

NASDVA Conference photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings attended the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs Conference this week.  In this photo are staff from HMR Veterans Services Heyward Hilliard, Joleen Osman, Sheri Biggs and MDVA Secretary Owings.

Fabric Bash Quilt Photo

While at the Conference, Secretary Owings met Ms. Cathy Thayer of Fabric Bash, a family owned quilting supply store.  Fabric Bash supports Quilts of Valor and Quilts for Veterans.  For the Conference, a small individual quilted hanging was made for each state which included the state seal.  Shown in this photo are Jacob Whalen, Secretary George Owings, Cathy Thayer and Maggie Thayer.

State Partner News

Maryland Census 2020 - Be Counted

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of every person living in the United States every 10 years, mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2.  The data collected by the decennial census determines the number of seats Maryland has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to its local communities. 
  • It's Important
  • It's Easy
  • It's Safe
  • It's Right Around the Corner - April 1, 2020

The law requires the Census Bureau to keep all information confidential and use it only to
produce statistics.  For More Information

University of Maryland 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 at rethinkyourdrinking@som.umaryland.edu, or contact us by phone (410) 402-6412.

Mark Your Calendar - Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs

Most training and business development programs take 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:

08/19/2019 - The Power Conference: Women Doing Business
08/20/2019 - SAM 101: Business Registration for Beginners (Webinar)
08/26/2019 - Tax Planning: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
08/27/2019 - How to Conduct Free Marketing Research
08/27/2019 - MBE Rights & Responsibilities
09/03/2019 - MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop
09/05/2019 - Economic Equity Tour

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


Opportunity MDOT

The Maryland Department of Transportation has launched a first-of-its kind program to empower businesses throughout the state. Opportunity MDOT is designed to help connect small businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans with new opportunities related to the I-491 and I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) project. With an estimated investment of up to $11 billion, this P3 project strives to provide travelers with congestion relief. The Opportunity MDOT program will dynamically increase access to opportunity for minority and women works and business owners alike. 

Opportunity MDOT


2020-2021 Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest Open
Entries Judged at Easton Waterfowl Festival

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites artists to submit their original works for the 46th Annual Migratory Game Bird stamp design contest by Nov. 1. The winning entry will appear on the 2020-2021 Migratory Game Bird Stamp hunters purchase to hunt migratory game birds in Maryland. Read more

Federal Partner News

Legion Act Update, provided by the American Legion

TogetherWe Served.com offers digital shadow box

Urgent Care vs Emergency Room

VetTix - Free Concerts, Sporting Events & Activities

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

Melwood Veterans Services

Operation Tohidu® is a free, 5-day experiential retreat program for veterans or service members that have been diagnosed with or are self-identifying post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, moral injury or military sexual trauma. The program is open to veterans from across the country, from all eras and most discharge statuses.

“Tohidu” is a Cherokee word meaning peace of mind, body, and spirit and Operation Tohidu® retreats continue to promote “Peace with the past through power in the Present” for hundreds of veterans each year. More Information

Save the date: September 4, 2019. We need volunteers to help prepare the Melwood Recreation Center in Nanjemoy, MD for the retreats this fall. If you are interested, please email Travis Rahill at trahill@melwood.org

The VA Way is currently accepting applications for scholarships for the Mental First Aid Class for Youth Instructor Training held on September 23 -27 2019, Monday- Friday 8:30am-5pm.​

Up to 25 applicants will be awarded full scholarship ($1500 value). See flyer below for details.

Who is a good candidate? Adults who currently work with youth and families, schools, school organizations, military and veteran family organizations. Prior experience with Mental Health First Aid is NOT necessary. Click here to learn more about Mental Health First Aid, and click here to read the MHFA of Maryland's September Newsletter

To apply:

Fill out the MHFA instructor application

Email your completed application and/or any questions to JohnWay@theVAWay.us

Flier   and More Information

Baltimore Station, serving Homeless Veterans schedules upcoming fund-raisers:

9/7/19 - 5th Annual Veterans Benefit Concert, Timonium

11/2/19 - Stars, Stripes and Chow, Chili Edition

Community Calendar

August 18, 2019

Military/Veterans Benefits & Services Symposium, Baltimore

VetMotorsports Driving Event, Landover

August 20, 2019

Ready, Set, Grow Business Development, Westminster

August 21, 2019

Women Veterans Career & Transitioning Seminar and Networking Reception, Washington, DC

August 24, 2019

Fleet Reserve Club Open House, Annapolis

Veteran Homebuyers Bootcamp, Edgewood

Introduction to Hero Dogs

August 26, 2019

Veterans Needed to Train Service Dogs, Warrior Canine Connections, Silver Spring

August 27, 2019

Voices of Vets Free Outdoor Concert, Annapolis

August 29, 2019

Open House for Veterans, Annapolis

August 31, 2019

International Overdose Awareness Day, Ellicott City

September 6, 2019

VA Disability Claim Service, Annapolis

September 11, 2019

Governor's Office of Community Initiatives 2019 Day to Serve Kick-Off, Annapolis: Volunteer for Quiet Waters Park Beautification & Clean-Up Project or Register to Run, Walk Volunteer or Support

September 12, 2019

Veterans Claims Clinic & Resource Fair, Stevensville

September 13, 2019

Security and Protective Services Job Fair, Ellicott City

September 15, 2019

Introduction to Hero Dogs

September 18, 2019

Community Job Fair, Ft. George G. Meade

September 21, 2019

Southern Maryland Slam to benefit Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Bushwood

Other Photos from Around the State

Post 29 Photo

American Legion Post 29 Installation of Officers Ceremony.  From left to right: MDVA Secretary George Owings, Linda L. Green, Department of Maryland Auxiliary President, Dave Johnson, Past Department of Maryland Commander and Earnest Hawkins. Commander Post 29.

Gunpowder Military Reservation in Glen Arm, Maryland was recently renamed in honor of LTG (Ret) H. Steven Blum.  General Blum's Bio

General Blum photo
World War II memorial in Annapolis

World War II Memorial in Annapolis