30 August 2019 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  August 30, 2019


Spotlight on MDVA Staff - Peter Pantzer

Peter Pantzer Photo

Secretary George Owings has requested that MDVA staff be highlighted in upcoming editions of the MDVA e-newsletter, so you learn a little bit about us and our commitment to serving Maryland Veterans. Today, we focus on Peter Pantzer, MDVA Director of Finance & Administration.  Pete provided the following information:

"I am in my sixth year with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs since moving to Maryland from Minnesota with my family in 2014.  As Director of Finance and Administration, my responsibilities with our small fiscal team include budget, finance, procurement, human resources, and a host of other administrative duties.  Having moved into government service from a career in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, I love the mission focus of MDVA and appreciate the chance to serve the significant veteran community in Maryland.  While my team is not on the front lines serving veterans, our role is to empower those who are to do their job through responsive back-office administrative and fiscal support.  My job here, while challenging, has been among the most rewarding I've ever had.  I've also had the privilege to live and work cross-culturally with an NGO involved in rebuilding and development in Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the early 2000's.  I live in Baltimore with my wife Amy and four young sons and enjoy running, biking, writing, and the Boston Red Sox."

The MDVA Resource Guide for Veterans and Their Families has been updated on the MDVA website.  MDVA no longer publishes a paper copy of the Resource Guide, but the Resource Guide is available in an electronic version on the MDVA website, and you may print out a copy.

Union Bridge Road Dedication

A portion of MD Route 75 in Carroll County was recently dedicated to PFC Russell Milberry, who was Killed In Action in Vietnam.  In the photo above, taken at VFW Post 8806 in Union Bridge, Mr. Milberry's family and friends gather to honor and remember him.  MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn who attended the dedication, took this photo.

Voices of Vets Photo

Voices of Vets, Inc. has a mission to honor veterans through live performances . Members of the organization often perform at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home for the residents. This week, Voices of Vets performed a free, public concert at Elks Club Barrett in Annapolis.  The photo above was taken by MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn who attended the concert.  Thank you to Voices of Vets for all of your support of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

State Partner News

Affordable Internet Access Coming to 225,000 Rural Residents in Maryland

Governor Larry Hogan has announced $9.9 million in available funding as part of the first wave of a five-year plan to provide 225,000 Marylanders in rural communities with reliable, affordable internet access.

“Maryland is ranked number one in America for having the fastest internet and we have been working hard to provide high-speed internet to every county in the state,” Governor Hogan said. “Today I’m announcing that we will provide an additional $10 million this year as the first installment of a five-year $100 million initiative that will finally provide another 225,000 Marylanders in rural communities with access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet services.”  Read More Here

Federal Partner News


National Cemetery Administration's Veterans Legacy Memorial, Video

VA Implements Smoke Free Policy

DoD to Begin Next Phase of Consolidating Military Hospitals, Health.mil article

Study Edge Announces Free Semester to all Veterans

VA Updates Some Disability Rating Schedules

Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance

The health of female and male Gulf War veterans study

9/11: Carry the Load, A National Day of Service

Download the DOD 2019 Caregiver Resource Directory

Join Carry The Load, in partnership with the National Cemetery Administration, for a day of service at National Cemeteries across the country on September 11th. Please see the following video for the NCA/CTL partnership. NCA 9/11 Video  

Volunteer to beautify the cemetery grounds and clean the headstones of our fallen heroes. Closed toe shoes are required and work gloves are encouraged. Work supplies are provided. 

We will be hosting two volunteer events at Baltimore and Annapolis National Cemeteries, Wednesday, Sept. 11th 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM 

Go to www.carrytheload.org to register for the event at either site. 

Contact the cemetery at 410-644-9696 or Katie Schexnayder at katie.schexnayder@carrytheload.org with your questions.

 Michael D. Brophy


Historic Baltimore National Cemetery Complex

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

Secretary Owings with 9/11 Run Poster

MDVA Secretary George Owings holds a poster for the Travis Manion Foundation, 9/11 Heroes Run Runs are scheduled in Annapolis and Baltimore.


September is Suicide Prevention Month - Calendar of Events


Baltimore Station, Multiple Upcoming Events


Save the Date: September 28, 2019: Veteran's Homebuyer Bootcamp, 10-1130AM. The Jennie Melvin Group of Compass. 24 Annapolis St., Annapolis, MD 21401


The Global Good Fund and The Smithfield Foundation are teaming up for the third year in a row to support veteran entrepreneurs. We are now accepting applications for our third cohort of veteran Fellows. If you're a United States veteran turned entrepreneur, apply now through October 14.


Save the Date: October 30, 2019 Baltimore County Power of Age Expo (Includes a Veterans Muster)


Hiring Our Heroes and Military Corps Career Connect:

The Town of Indian Head is having it’s Annual 9/11 Memorial Service, 1 pm to 3 pm on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at the Pavilion in Indian Head, MD.  Directions:  The Pavilion, at the Village Green at Indian Head, located in Charles County, Maryland is at the end of Route 210 (Indian Head Highway) just outside the gate of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head, MD  20640.  We are recognizing our First Responders as well as the children and Charles County Residents killed during the 9/11 attack.  Children killed in 9/11 - Christine Lee Hanson, 2, Groton, Mass; David Brandhorst, 3, Los Angeles, Calif; Juliana McCourt, 4, New London, Conn; Bernard Brown II, 11, Washington, D.C.; Asia Cottom, 11, Washington, D.C.; Rodney Dickens, 11, Washington, D.C.; Dana Falkenberg, 3, University Park, MD; and Zoe Falkenberg, 8, University Park, MD  Charles County Residents Killed in 9/11 - Kris Romeo Bishundat, 23, from Waldorf; Donna Bowen, 42, from Waldorf; Sharon A. Carver, 38, civilian employee for the United States Army; Angela M. Houtz, 27, of La Plata; Shelley A. Marshall, 27, of Marbury; John D. Yamnicky Sr., 71, from Waldorf.  All are invited to attend.  If you would like to place a wreath in memory of anyone please come.  Everyone is invited as well as representation of our Maryland Veteran Organizations.  We must remember 9/11.  Point of Contact:  Dr. JoAnn Fisher, Chair, Town of Indian Head,  9/11 Memorial Service Committee, 240-305-5516.

Community Calendar

September 6, 2019

VA Disability Claim Service, Annapolis

September 11, 2019

Governor's Office of Community Initiatives 2019 Day to Serve Kick-Off, Annapolis: One Mile Walk and 5K Run

Understanding Suicide & Suicide Prevention, Annapolis

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 17, 2019

Veteran Owned Business Forum, Perryville

September 18, 2019

Community Job Fair, Ft. George G. Meade

September 19, 2019

TechExpo Top Secret Hiring Event, Linthicum

September 21, 2019

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

Military Spouse Networking Reception, Ft. George G. Meade

September 22, 2019

Travis Manion Foundation, 9/11 Heroes Run, Run Locations in Annapolis and Baltimore

September 29, 2019

Blue Mass, Sponsored by Maryland Catholic War Veterans, Baltimore

October 3, 2019

How to Have an Awesome First Appointment, Project Opportunity, Salisbury

October 5, 2019

Veterans Resource Fair, Prince Frederick


Veterans Tribute Wall ceremony brings stories of love and patriotism

Article provided by Hospice of the Chesapeake:

Storytelling took the spotlight as the military service of 21 men and women were celebrated at the sixth annual Unveiling of the Veterans Tribute Wall held Aug. 8 on the Hospice of the Chesapeake’s John & Cathy Belcher Campus in Pasadena. 

Each of these veterans is now represented on the Veterans Tribute Wall which hangs in the Chesapeake Bay Room in the administrative building on the campus. The wall features photos of veteran patients during their Honor Salutes, a ceremony recognizing and thanking them for their service to our country. It is a rare treat that a living veteran is able to participate in the unveiling of his own Honor Salute photo during the event, but this year, there were two such honorees: World War II Army Veteran John Hennen of Pasadena and Korean War Navy Veteran Raymond Poole of Bowie.

            During the event, guests first enjoyed dinner donated by Cafe Mezzanotte, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Harris Teeter, Mission BBQ and Safeway followed by a moving ceremony that included Honor Salutes from active duty service members led by Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin “Jake” Higginbotham, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s command senior enlisted leader at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Higginbotham also reflected on his own experience performing dozens of Honor Salutes, saying that the largest impact he felt through the program was his perspective on life, changing the way he views both life and death. “It has taught me that the end can be just as emotional and beautiful as the beginning.”

There also were messages from retired Navy Chaplain Wayne Bumbry, President and CEO Ben Marcantonio and the evening’s master of ceremonies, retired Navy Capt. Bill Malicki. Haley Marcussen, a member of the nonprofit performance group, the Voices of Vets, Inc., sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

Most moving of all, though, were the words of love and pride that came from the family members who attended the event, as they remembered their loved ones and shared poignant stories of how their parent, sibling or spouse had served.  The unveiled photos will replace the photos that have been on display since last year. The photos from 2018 will be given to the family of each of the honored veterans.

Hospice of the Chesapeake

Photo of Patrick Griffin

Mr. Patrick Griffen visited the MDVA office in Annapolis, and while there, MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn presented him with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.  Mr. Griffin served in the United States Army from 1966-1969.

MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, on the right, presents Mr. Lanny Elliott with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.  Mr. Elliott served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 1972.

Photo of Mr. Lanny Elliott