5 June 2020 MDVA News & Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  June 5, 2020


2020 is the Year of the Woman in Maryland


Penny Collins Photo

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


MDVA has been highlighting the dedicated women in Maryland who volunteer to serve on state commissions which support Maryland Veterans in previous editions of the e-newsletter.

To continue this series, Penny Collins who serves on the Maryland Veterans Commission is featured.  Penny provided the following information:

Commissioner Penny Collins serves on the Maryland Veterans Commission.  She was appointed by Gov. Hogan in 2017 and represents the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) on the Commission.  Penny also works on the Commission’s subcommittees on Incarcerated Veterans and Use of Opioids by Veterans and their Treatment.

As a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve for 34 years, Penny participated in both active duty and reserve assignments including developing the Coast Guard’s Homeland Security Outreach Program, “America’s Waterway Watch” for the boating public.  As a Yeoman Chief Petty Officer, Penny supervised and managed several reserve teams who performed administrative functions for reservists and active duty members.  She received several military awards including the Meritorious Service Medal with 1/Gold Star, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 1/Gold Hour Glass, just to name a few.  She retired from the Coast Guard Reserve on September 1, 2007.   

From 2007 to 2017, Penny served as the Director-Membership Development for FRA managing all membership programs including recruiting, retention and outreach. Penny previously worked for Raytheon Company and GE/Lockheed-Martin in the Washington metro area providing human resources management and development services.  She is a native Washingtonian and a graduate of, Howard and Bowie State Universities.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education and a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Development, respectively.

Penny is a member of several organizations, which focuses on membership, veteran’s issues and community service.  In FRA, she is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of Annapolis Branch 24.  Penny is a Life Member, Past President-Branch 024, and Past Chairman, Central Liaison Committee (CLC).  She also served as the FRA Regional President East Coast representing over 7,000 sea service shipmates on FRA’s National Board of Directors.  Other leadership roles include Past Senior Regent, Women of the Moose Chapter 661, Annapolis, MD, United States Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association (CPOA)-Washington, DC Chapter, Life Member of American Legion and a member of Post 108-Cheverly, MD,  The Red Hat Society, Bowie, MD; National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Washington, DC Chapter; and Life Member, Blacks in Government (BIG), Coast Guard Chapter.  She is a Chapter Service Officer for Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 7, Bowie, MD and assists veterans with filing their VA disability Claims.  Penny volunteers for activities supporting veterans, youth and senior citizens. Penny is a resident of Bowie, MD.  

Commissioner Mike Moore and Mr. Cox

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Michael Moore presents a Proclamation from Governor Hogan to Robert Lee Cox who celebrated his 105th birthday on Wednesday.  MSgt. Cox served with the Sixth United States Army in the Pacific during World War II.  He continued his active duty career after the war serving in Japan and Korea. He retired in 1962 with the rank of Master Sergeant.  MSgt. Cox loves jazz music, listening to the news on his radio and he really enjoys it when someone reads the Bible to him. Commissioner Moore said, "It was an honor to meet MSgt. Cox and to thank him for his service".

MDVA Technology Updates

For the MDVA Outreach & Advocacy program led by Director Dana Burl, teleworking has been a big change for the program.  Currently, we are not providing Resource Tables at community events or in-person briefings to groups.  Participation in meetings and providing benefits briefings has transitioned to on-line for now.  However, the additional time in front of our computers has allowed time for some updates.  Check out:

Redesigned MDVA website

New MDVA Blog

Virtual Remembrance Wall

MDVA YouTube Channel

MDVA Twitter feed

MDVA Website

Charlotte Hall Donation

A generous donation of KN-95 masks was made this week to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  From left to right are: Mr. Robert Sharps, former MDVA Outreach Director, Mr. William Forbes, former MDVA Deputy Secretary, his Granddaughter Bella and wife, Mrs. Forbes.  It was good to see you and thank you for making the delivery.  We appreciate the donation and your ongoing support of MDVA and Charlotte Hall. 

Memorial Day 2020

As you know, most Memorial Day Observances were held virtually and in our hearts this year.  Preparing for observances involved many of us working with "new to us" technologies, practicing social distancing in person and being creative.

Please scroll to the Community Partner Section to see some photos and videos of Memorial Day Observances this year.

State Partner News

D-Day 2019

75th D-Day Observance: Omaha Beach, France at dawn, June 6, 2019

Photo Credit: Denise Nooe

Preservation Maryland: D-Day + 76 Years


Join Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Redding and WWII historian and scholar Jared Frederick for a discussion on the history, significance, and impact of D-Day.

The conversation will take place 76 years to the moment that paratroopers landed in the fields of Normandy starting the greatest amphibious assault in world history.

This virtual live event will take place on the Preservation Maryland Facebook page and there will be opportunity to ask questions and join the conversation.

Jared Frederick, a Penn State Instructor and author of "Dispatches of D-Day: A People's History of the Normandy Invasion" will explore the human toll and impact of the famous battle and provide insight into the Marylanders present for the assault.


Virtual Event
Facebook Live


  • Just click over to our Facebook page at 7PM on Friday evening.
  • Share this invitation. All are welcome.
  • Bring your questions and feel free to join the conversation.


This Friday
June 5, 2020




While closed to the public, the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum opened its doors to the Southern Maryland Agile Response Team to provide a large safe place for PPE assembly and sterilization work. The volunteers have 3D printed, assembled, donated, and shipped out hundreds of ear savers and face shields.

 Reprinted from the Preservation Maryland E-Newsletter

Update From Maryland's Office of People's Counsel

The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides bill assistance to low-income households in the State of Maryland to make their energy costs more affordable and to help with the prevention of loss and restoration of home energy service. A household can apply for assistance once per program year. June 3rd is the first day of the 2021 OHEP program year.  

Use link for the new OHEP application in English and in Spanish

For more information, please visit our website.

Small Business Trainings

06/09/2020 - Simple Ways to Boost Your Productivity While Working Remotely
06/09/2020 - Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Threats
06/17/2020 - Hensel Phelps Small Business Webinar
06/17/2020 - Economic Inclusions & Virtual Global Business Opportunity Fair 
06/30/2020 - LinkedIn: Building Social Media Content
07/07/2020 - MBE Application Assistance Workshop

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

Federal Partner News


SBA Announces First Online Veteran-Owned Small Business Entrepreneurial Training Program



The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the first online Veteran Entrepreneurial Training and Resource Network Streetwise MBA program to provide virtual training for veteran small business owners and their immediate families beginning in August 2020.

Read More Here

Federal News

June is PTSD Awareness Month, Learn More

VA has posted June schedule for Live Tele-Town Halls: Link Here

Maryland VA Health Care Message from Dr. Robinson

VA COVID-19 Weekly Update

Ft. Meade Agent Shopping Program for those in need of shopping assistance

Paralyzed Veterans of America Offer Virtual Employment Services to Veterans, Caregivers and Military Spouses

VA Chaplains add new Mission: tech support to keep veterans connected

Live Whole Health: Self-care Episode #23 - Guided Relaxation Through Poetry

Live Whole Health: Self-care Episode #24 - Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Live Whole Health: Self-care Episode #25 - One Minute Mindfulness

Live Whole Health Self-care Episode #26 - Lower Body Chair Exercise

Live Whole Health Self-care Episode #27 - Relaxation for headache

The Last Person to Receive a Civil War Pension Dies, Wall Street Journal Article

Free LinkedIn for Veterans and Caregivers

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 Veteran's Day Virtual Run & Walk

Veterans Moving Forward

Veterans Moving Forward’s mission is to “Provide service, emotional support, therapy or skilled companion dogs for veterans with physical and/or mental health challenges.”  Our vision is to become “The premier, national, not-for-profit organization improving the lives of veterans needing service, emotional support, facility or skilled companion dogs at no cost to the veterans.”  Through our services, VMF makes a meaningful difference in the lives of disabled veterans by facilitating their recovery and increasing their safety and independence within their homes and communities. Check Out the New Updated Website

Farmer Veteran Coalition Chapter Forming

A Maryland Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition is now forming.  If you are interested in joining or have questions, please contact: marylandfvc@gmail.com     Flier

Community Calendar

June 9, 2020

Virtual Polygraph-Only Hiring Event

Ready Set Go! The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Business

Tuesday Talks: Virtual Employment Workshops

June 18, 2020

Leidos Military Veteran/Spouse Employment Chat

June 23, 2020

Women's Entrepreneur Conference


Memorial Day Observances From Around the State

MDVA Memorial Day Message

Ft. Meade Memorial Day Message

City of Greenbelt Memorial Day Message from American Legion Post 136

Memorial Day Greetings from the American Legion Auxiliary of Maryland

Anne Arundel Veterans Affairs Commission Presented a Lone Bugler

Ft. McHenry

President and Mrs. Trump attended a ceremony at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore.  MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn was invited by the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) and attended as the representative for Maryland.

Photo Credit: Robert Finn

Glen Burnie Improvements Association

The Glen Burnie Improvement Association held a ceremony on Memorial Day.

Parkville Cemetery

Memorial Day, Parkwood Cemetery in Parkville.  Photo Credit: Peter Pantzer