28 August 2020 MDVA News and Announcements

View as a webpage.

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  August 28, 2020


Employment Assistance Information

Primary Logo

The following article was written by Maryland Veterans Commissioner Stan Seidel.  Commissioner Seidel is a Vietnam Veteran who spent his civilian career helping veterans seeking employment.  He retired as the Director of Veterans Employment and Training (DVET) assigned to the State of Maryland for the US Department of Labor. Stan continues to have an active volunteer career as an advocate for veterans:

Since 1978, I have worked employment and training programs for veterans at the local level, statewide as well as Federal.  Recently I volunteered to work with a private sector employer, as well as a Federal Agency devoted to working with disabled veterans.  We determined that currently there may be an estimated 230,000 disabled veterans on unemployment, so I have asked the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to allow me to contribute an article on tips to enhance career opportunities for Maryland's veterans.

If you or someone you know is seeking employment, the first step is to register for assistance with the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE)  mwejobs.maryland.gov

The Maryland Workforce Exchange has staff specifically dedicated to serve veterans with priority of service.  Currently, MWE is conducting business virtually and can assist veterans with their resumes as well as connecting them with employers via virtual job fairs.

Besides helping veterans craft a resume, there are programs to increase a veteran's opportunity to get an interview including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) that offers employers an incentive to hire veterans. Additionally, veterans may be eligible for on-the-job-training through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Further, service-connected disabled veterans may also be eligible for paid training through the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Readiness and Employment under Chapter 31.  The MWE has trained staff near you that can assist you in finding the right career. 

Also, there are nonprofit organizations who will also assist you in finding a career including the Veterans Staffing Network (VSN) which is part of Easter Seals.  VSN also has career coaches that will assist you with your resume as well as introduce you to employers who are looking to hire on a temporary basis with a possibility of permanent employment.  

There are more tips and I hope to continue this effort. For more information, contact me at stanseidel2@gmail.com

MDVA Website

Mike Cantrell photo

Mike Cantrell, a Benefits Specialist with the MDVA Service Program receives the prestigious Gold VA Pin Award from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  In this photo from left to right: MDVA Service Program Director Phil Munley, Michael Cantrell (Veteran Benefits Specialist - Bel Air MDVA office), Taryn Hope (Office Secretary - MDVA, Bel Air), Janet Thomas (MDVA Service Program Area Supervisor) and MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn

More Information on the Award

Colonel Nyland

MDVA Secretary George Owings was invited to the Garrison Change of Command at Fort George G. Meade.  In this photo are incoming Commander, Colonel Christopher Nyland, his wife, Colonel Christy Nyland, who serves in the Army G2, and Secretary Owings as he offers congratulations to the new Commander.

Not shown is outgoing Ft. Meade Garrison Commander Erich Spragg.  Colonel Spragg's next assignment will be Army Chair, at the Marine Corps War College in Quantico.  Secretary Owings who served in the Marine Corps, is confident that Colonel Spragg will appreciate his next assignment enjoying Marine hospitality at Quantico and thanks Colonel Spragg for his strong support of the service members, dependents, civilians and veterans at Ft. Meade during his tenure as Garrison Commander.

State Partner News

Census Deadline is September 30th

Census Banner
Self response to the 2020 Census continues through September 30. The Census can be completed online, by phone or by mail. Click here to take the Census now. 


Maryland Department of Planning Statement on Census 2020 and COVID-19

Maryland 211

Did you know that you may learn more about services and receive assistance by calling 211?


Read More about Maryland 211 Here

Federal Partner News

DAV Makes Large Donation to VA Maryland Health Care System

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Elton Stokes, who is the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) representative on the Maryland Veterans Commission shared that a $15,000 donation was made to the Maryland VA Health Care System.  Read More Here

DAV Announces Recipient of the 2020 NCA Employee of the Year Award

In other DAV news, it was announced that Mr. Michael Brophy, the former Director of the Historic Baltimore National Cemetery Complex was named the 2020 NCA Employee of the Year at the Disabled American Veteran and Auxiliary Virtual Salute on August 26, 2020. 

Mr. Lamarr Couser, DAV Supervisor in Baltimore stated, " we wanted everyone to know that Mr. Michael Brophy won our National Commanders Award this year. Under normal circumstances he would have been recognized at our Centennial National Convention in Dallas.  We are extremely appreciative of all his hard-work and dedication and glad that one of Maryland's own received this recognition."

Congratulations to Mr. Brophy, who recently accepted a new assignment with the National Cemetery Administration’s Central Office in Washington DC.

Baltimore National Cemetery

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held recently at the Baltimore National Cemetery’s new committal shelter. Pictured: Newly appointed Director Eric Solomon cuts the ribbon with former Director Michael Brophy.

Federal News

VA: Most Popular Veterans Monument in Your State

Postvention - VA offers support after suicide loss

VA Issues Grants to Local Organizations to Combat Veteran Homelessness, WMAR TV article

VA launches new mobile app for prescription refills

VA Women's Health Transition Training

Learn About GI Bill Benefits

VA Home Loan Information

VA DC Medical Center - Parking Upgrades Complete

Live Whole Health: Self-Care Episode # 44: Breathing Space

What to expect during a VA Virtual Career Fair

Best Benefits for Veterans in all 50 states, ClearanceJobs article

Memorandum of Agreement Signed for Re-Development of Armed Forces Retirement Home

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'S 25th Annual Race & Walk is Now Virtual - Register


Dog Tag Fellowship Program Recruiting for Winter Program


Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run


Assistance for Unemployed Workers in Anne Arundel County

Hello from VETOGA,

Suicide is a national public Mental Health challenge that causes tremendous pain for individuals, families and communities across the country.

  • On average, 132 Americans die by suicide each day accounting for 47,173 suicide deaths in 2017.
  • The number of Veteran suicides has exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008-2017.
  • Suicide is also the 10th leading cause of death among all ages and the 2nd leading cause of death among those ages 10-34 in the United States.

This September, we are excited to be teaming up with Amazon Global Military Affairs to host a 30-day Mental Health and Well-Being Yoga Challenge. Our intention behind this year's challenge is to have you help us bring awareness to Mental Health and Suicide Awareness in the United States.

What you can expect...
During the 30-day challenge, there will be daily meditation, pranayama (breathing), asana (movement), yoga Nidra (guided relaxation), and journaling. You will start off the first five days with 5-mins of each category and work your way up to 30-mins by the end of the challenge.

If you are joining the 30-Day challenge we are asking that you sign the PREVENTS Pledge to REACH to show our collective support to put an end to suicide in the United States.

By taking this pledge, you are making a commitment to increase awareness of mental health issues in general and prevent suicide for all Americans.

This will be a fun & challenging and we are excited to invite you into our family during the month of September to spread awareness for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Thank you & Namaste,
The VETOGA Family


Melwood Veterans Services’ Operation Tohidu® program has been nominated for two Vetty Awards by the members of the Academy of the United States Veterans in the Suffragette and PTSD Categories.

Through your support last year, we won the Suffragette award for our work with Military Sexual Trauma Survivors and we have high hopes for this year. We have also been nominated for our work in treating PTSD. For more on how we do this, feel free to take a look at this short video about our program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQgL4VZwuJY&t=4s

I'm asking that you take a moment to vote us in both categories and to share this with everyone... voting is open to the public through March 2021.

Suffragette Category Voting

PTSD Category Voting

Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. because of COVID-19 with no large gatherings, will hold its 9/11 Memorial Service on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 10 am in the yard of Dr. JoAnn Fisher, 646 Maury Avenue, Oxon Hill, MD  20745.  Social Distancing, wearing of gloves, and mask as well as hand sanitizer will be enforced.  The purpose of the Service is to remember the fire, rescue and law enforcement personnel who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 as well as the men and women of the Military, those serving and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Names will be read of those from Maryland who died during that time and will include the names of children.  We must always remember this day.  All are invited – FREE. Point of Contact:  Dr. JoAnn Fisher, CEO, WVUCI, 240-305-5516

Community Calendar

September 1, 2020

Recruit Military/DAV Virtual Career Fair

September 10, 2020

Military MOJO Career Conference

September 12, 2020

Voices of Vets Free Concert - Facebook Live Event

September 16, 2020

Recruit Military Global Career Fair

September 17, 2020

Communities Helping and Empowering Patriots (CHEP) Annual Golf Outing to benefit the Perry Point CHEP Housing Program for Homeless Veterans

September 24, 2020

Cyber Security Virtual Hiring Event

September 25, 2020

Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. Workshop (9/25 through 9/27), Heir to the Crown