8 May 2020 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  May 8, 2020


2020 is the Year of the Woman in Maryland

Dana Allen-Few photo

Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed 2020 to be the Year of the Woman in Maryland.


MDVA will be highlighting the dedicated women in Maryland who volunteer to serve on state commissions which support Maryland Veterans in this and future editions of the e-newsletter.

To continue this series, Dena Allen-Few who serves on the Maryland College Collaboration for Student Veterans Commission is featured.  Dena provided the following information:

Dena Allen-Few served in the Army Reserves from 1999 to 2006, activated for a deployment to Iraq in 2002. When pursuing higher education Towson University was an obvious choice, due to the military-friendly culture on campus. Dena graduated with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources in May 2019. She will begin pursuing her MBA at the University of Maryland Global Campus in July.

While attending Towson University as a full-time student utilizing the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Dena started her career in Higher Education. She is the Program Management Specialist/School Certifying Official within the Towson University Military and Veterans Center. Dena acts as an education liaison between Veterans Affairs and Towson University. She has been recognized across the Towson University campus for the work she does for military-affiliated students.

Dena is happily married to Troy Few for over 8 years. They have two dogs together, Paquito Allen-Few and Emma. When she is not busy with work or school, she has a wonderful social life.

MDVA Builds Virtual Remembrance Wall In Advance of

Memorial Day

"Flanders Fields", authored by Lt. Col. John McCrae, is a poem written during some of the most fierce battles of World War I.  It was written from the perspective of the fallen and directs survivors to keep living.  

Because of this directive, MDVA is launching a virtual remembrance wall.  The fallen tell us in the poem, “to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high”.  

MVDA is seeking stories of our fallen, reflections on their lives and narratives on what our fallen would have us know about the torch they wish us to hold high.

Remembrances will be shared on our website, in our electronic newsletter, and on social media.  Please consider also sharing photos.  We will include their stories in a virtual Memorial Day message at 11:00AM on May 23, 2020.  Throughout the year, we will add to the wall. 

If you would like to share a remembrance message about a friend or family member, please email remembrance.wall@maryland.gov and provide the following information (feel free to copy and paste the text below in to your email).

MDVA Virtual Remembrance Wall Information

Your name: (please confirm if OK to publically share your name)
Your email:

Your relation to the service member:
Service members name:
Branch of service:
Years of service:
In what era did they serve (World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War to Present, Other):
Brief narrative of their service:
What would they would want the living to know:
By sending this email, the sender agrees to have the information contained therein shared on the MDVA website and other MDVA social media channels. 

Thank you for supporting the MDVA and for honoring the fallen in this manner.

Questions regarding the Remembrance Wall can be directed to remembrance.wall@maryland.gov

MDVA Cemetery Visitation Hours

Adjustments will be made to the public visitation hours at MDVA Cemeteries effective Saturday, May 9, 2020: More Information Here

Effective Saturday, May 9, 2020 all five state veteran cemeteries will be open to visitors, with adjustments to hours.  Administrative buildings, shelters, and restrooms will remain closed.  To locate a grave in advance of visiting, please visit the Nationwide Gravesite Locator.

If you plan to visit one of the MDVA cemeteries, please follow guidance from the CDC and Maryland Governor by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Cemetery Program Hours:

Visiting            Monday-Friday                        1:00PM - 4:45PM
                        Saturday-Sunday                     8:00AM - 4:45PM

Burials             Monday-Friday                        9:00AM - 12:00PM

For more information on the cemetery program visit: MDVA Cemetery and Memorial Program

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time.

MDVA Service and Benefits Program Update 

While MDVA Service offices may be closed to the public at this time, MDVA Veterans Benefits Specialists (VBS) remain available to assist veterans and dependents with filing VA Claims for benefits.  Please contact your local service office to leave a message for a VBS.

What can you expect when you contact your local office?  Customers will receive a call back within 48 hours after a message is left.  Please leave a detailed message with your name, phone number and email, if available.  Veteran Benefits Specialists continue to provide updates on pending claims and to consult on the preparation and submission of new claims.

Learn more about the MDVA Service Program here.

Learn more about State and Federal VA benefits here.

For updates on all MDVA Operations Status, please check the MDVA website:

MDVA Website

Charlotte Hall Donation

On Monday, May 4th - members of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and the Maryland Veterans Caucus delivered over $5,000 of toiletries and personal care items for the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home (CHVH).  This effort was organized by Delegate Mike Rogers of Anne Arundel County. 

We have done our best to identify individuals in this photo, but with everyone wearing masks and socially distancing - please forgive any errors, as they are unintentional.  From left to right:  Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield, Delegate Darryl Barnes, Delegate Brian Crosby, CHVH Director of Housekeeping Julia Thomas, Delegate Mike Rogers, CHVH Administrator Russell Keogler, Delegate Pat Young, CHVH Director of Nursing Jimiere Smith, CHVH Director of Recreational Services Ashley Radano, MDVA Inventory Compliance Specialist Tom Johnson, MDVA Deputy Director Rodney Jones, CHVH Assistant Administrator Kristopher Brown, MDVA Secretary George Owings, CHVH Lifetime Volunteer John Curran.  More photos of these very generous donations may be found by scrolling to the end of this newsletter. 

Southern Maryland News article

Thank you to all who participated in this effort to support the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

State Partner News

Governor Hogan and Maryland National Guard

Governor Hogan Addresses Maryland National Guard Soldiers Ahead of  Middle East Deployment

Maryland National Guard Supports Critical Missions At Home and Abroad

Governor Larry Hogan visited BWI Marshall Airport to express his support and gratitude for more than 130 members of the Maryland Army National Guard’s 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade and the 629th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion as they prepared for deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. 

Soldiers from the 58th and 629th will provide intelligence capabilities during their deployment in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, and represent the first National Guard Military Intelligence Brigade to deploy in support of combat operations.

“Countless times I have been impressed to see first-hand the leadership, self-sacrifice, and bravery of our National Guard soldiers and airmen, including in our current battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “In times of war and peace, both at home and around the world, the members of our National Guard stand bravely on the front lines. You are always ready, you always step up when you are called upon, and today, we want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for bravely and selflessly doing so once again.”

Governor Hogan and Maryland National Guard II

Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans (MCV) Operation Roll Call

How MCV Roll Call works:

Veterans and/or Veteran’s family members (with the veteran’s written or verbal consent to the MCV Regional Resource Coordinator {RRC}) can be a part of the MCV Roll Call by calling the MCV 24/7 Hotline at 1/877-770-4801 to register for a once a week or bi-weekly call or as we say “Roll Call” check-in.

       Who Qualifies for MCV Roll Call:

To be a part of the MCV Roll Call, you must have served in the military and reside within the State of Maryland.

       What is needed to be a part of the MCV Roll Call:

The veteran must have a working cell phone and/or land line. The veteran will also need an alternate person (family member, friend, neighbor, etc…) who will agree to check on the veteran if the RRC is unable to reach them after three call attempts.

       How does the veteran register:

The veteran will need to call the MCV 24/7 Hotline at 1/877-770-4801 to request to be a part of MCV Operation Roll Call. The call information will then be directed to their local RRC. The RRC will then reach out to the veteran to obtain the information needed to place them in the MCV Operation Roll Call program. Once the veteran has completed registration, the RRC will call to check in on the veteran once a week or once every two weeks (whichever the veteran chooses). A copy of the form can be mailed/emailed to the veteran upon their request.

       What else should the veteran know:

If the veteran does not respond after at least 3 attempts, the RRC will then call the alternate contact to have the contact check on the status of the veteran. This is a voluntary program which the veteran may opt out of at any time. None of the veteran’s information will be shared with any other organizations.

Small Business Trainings - Mark Your Calendar

In this new environment of social distancing, everyone is adapting. Today's seminars are webinars, zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Hangouts, and more. If you have a smart phone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these valuable training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.

05/13/2020 - 8(a) HUBZone Certification & Contracting Opportunities During/After COVID-19
05/14/2020 - Elevate the Visibility of Your Businesses While Being Sheltered in Place
05/15/2020 - Market Your Business on a Budget
06/02/2020 - Certification Application Assistance Workshop

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

Recommended Links for Trusted Information - provided by Maryland Public Television

Maryland Department of Health

Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rumor Control

Maryland Unites

Maryland business resources

Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps

Maryland Executive Orders

Maryland Health Connection Special Enrollment Period

Maryland's Best "Buy Local During Stay at Home Order" map

Maryland Family Network's LOCATE: Child Care

University of Maryland Medical System

Federal Partner News

Historic Baltimore National Cemetery Complex Update

VA Logo1


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the NCA has decided it will not host public Memorial Day events or ceremonies this year. I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support of the Memorial Day activities at Baltimore, Loudon Park & Annapolis National Cemeteries and look forward to seeing you at next year’s We Remember/Flags In events and Memorial Day Ceremonies.


I encourage all of you to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NatCemBaltimore. Despite not holding a public ceremony, NCA will uphold its long-standing tradition of observing Memorial Day at national cemeteries. My staff will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony to officially commemorate Memorial Day.  While we cannot extend an invitation to the public to attend due to health and safety concerns, we will invite the public to join us virtually. We will post photos and possibly a “Live stream” of the ceremonies.

All our National Cemeteries remain open to the public. If you decide to visit the cemetery we ask that you follow the guidance from the CDC and the Governor on the wearing of masks and social distancing.

To find a gravesite please make use of the online National Gravesite Locator at  https://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact me or my staff at 410-644-9696.


Mike Brophy

Michael D. Brophy


Historic Baltimore National Cemetery Complex

Federal News

Washington, DC VA Medical Center Participating in COVID-19 Study  If You Have Recovered, Consider Donating Plasma

Military Appreciation Month Discounts - 2020, Militarybenefits.info

Ft. Meade Agent Shopping Program for Those in Need of Shopping Assistance

Department of Justice - Radiation Compensation Exposure Act - Note, claims must be filed by July 10, 2022.

H. R. 6322 - Sudent Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 becomes law

VA Caregiver Support During COVID-19

Video Message from Dr. Adam Robinson, Maryland VA Health Care System

Thank you to Volunteers from the VA Maryland Health Care System - Video

Now, More Than Ever: A week to Honor VA Nurses

May is Mental Health Month - VA Encourages Veterans to Make Mental Health a Priority

VA Study: Can Community Engagement Prevent Veteran Suicides?

Military Exposures and Your Health Newsletter

Army Veterinarians Post FAQ for Pet-Owners, Health.Mil article

VA Live Whole Health Self-Care episode #10 - Chair Yoga

VA Live Whole Health Self-care episode #11 - Progressive Muscle Relaxation & Sleep

VA Live Whole Health Self-care episode #12 - Body Scan

VA Live Whole Health Self-care episode #13 - Breathing Practice

VA Live Whole Health Self-care episode #14 - Joint Mobility

VA Live Whole Health Self-care episode #15 - Loving Kindness Meditation

VA Live Whole Health Self-care episode #16 - Visualization

US Department of Agriculture Support for Veterans

Amazon Helping Veterans Start Their Own Delivery Business

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


MCVET 5K/10K Postponed

With respect to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, and after much deliberation, the 25th Annual MCVET 5k 10k Race has been POSTPONED.

Current planning is underway to hold this fundraiser later in the year as a virtual race, with more detailed information to follow.

We apologize for any inconvenience this postponement may have caused, but believe with social distancing norms that reformatting our race will allow us to provide a more proficient and safe event.

The MCVET Students, Staff, and Board of Directors continues to appreciate your support; and we look forward to weathering this storm, and reemerging as a much stronger community and nation.

Thank You and Please Be Safe.  


Jeffery L. Kendrick USAF (Ret)

Executive Director

Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET), Inc

Carry the Load - 2020 Memorial May Virtual National Relay


Blue Star Families - COVID-19 Military Support Initiative 


Virtual Women Veterans on the Move 2020 Retreat  - May Sessions


DAV establishes COVID-19 Relief Fund


VFW's Unmet Needs Grant Program


Team RiverRunner - VConnections Summer Kayaking Series

Due to COVID-19, we have suspended the start of this season's series of kayaking adventures but we hope to start up on June 6th. This activity presented by VConnections and Team River Runner Southern Maryland has become one of our most popular summer initiatives in the southern Maryland region. It's an activity that allows the whole family to participate! We have active-duty military, veterans, families, and supporters out on Maryland waters enjoying the wonders of mother nature and the camaraderie. Facebook     Schedule

Mission BBQ Flier

Community Calendar

May 9, 2020

Veteran Pop-Up Food Pantry, New Windsor

May 14, 2020 

Ready, Set, Go - The Nuts & Bolts in Starting a New Business

Virtual Top-Secret Hiring Event

May 19, 2020

JobZone Patuxent River Job Fair and May 28 Andrews Air Force Base Job Fair are now Virtual Job Fairs

May 28, 2020

Virtual Military-Friendly Career Fair

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Donations from the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and the Maryland Veterans Caucus

Donations included: Body wash, shampoo, deodorant, oral care items, lotions, shaving supplies, and other toiletry items. Wireless headphones, electric razors, and clothing were included in the donation, as well.

Charlotte Hall 1

Members of the Maryland General Assembly

Delegate Mike Rogers

Delegate Mike Rogers, who organized the donation.

Charlotte Hall Donations