20 November 2020 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  November 20, 2020


In Memorium: Former Director Clarence Bacon

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Message from Secretary George Owings:

It is with deep sadness I report the passing of Mr. Clarence M. Bacon, who helped veterans and their families, throughout not only Maryland, but the nation.

When reading his obituary, you will learn that he was a World War II Navy Veteran and that he served two United States Presidents aboard the Presidential Yacht.  After leaving active duty, he continued his service in the American Legion for 68 years, where he rose through the ranks to become a National Commander (1985-85).

Clarence directed this agency, then called the Maryland Veterans Commission before it was raised to a Cabinet-Level Department with an appointed Secretary.  Many of the programs he established as Director are still in place today here at the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

Personally, I considered Clarence a mentor and a friend.  When I was first appointed as the MDVA Secretary in 2004, Clarence was one of the first people to reach out to me, offering his support and his wise counsel.  Over the years, Clarence and I talked often about improving benefits and services for veterans in Maryland.  

Clarence will be laid to rest during a private ceremony this afternoon at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery. He will be missed by his family, his friends and his fellow veterans.

American Legion Article       Clarence Bacon Video


Governor's Office Photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings, Joy Ashcraft, Director, Maryland's Commitment to Veterans, Dana Burl, MDVA Outreach & Advocacy Director, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, and Chairman KT Tyler, Maryland Veterans Commission at the Governor's Challenge Briefing and Ask the Question Campaign Launch.


Maryland Launches “Ask the Question” 

Campaign to Identify and Connect More Service Members, Veterans and Families to Programs

Governor's Video Message

Annapolis, MD — Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford joined the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) for a discussion on efforts to prevent suicide and to launch the “Ask the Question” Campaign. 

The “Ask the Question” Campaign is one suicide prevention strategy which encourages human services professionals, state and local government, and community providers to ask people whether they or a loved one have served in the military.  Asking this question promotes the opportunity to educate and connect more people to valuable military/veteran related programs, thereby improving overall well-being of our service members, veterans and families. 

The campaign is part of the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans and Families, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department for Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  

The Maryland Challenge Team — headed by MDVA and MDH’s Maryland Commitment to Veterans Office — has developed an action plan which utilizes a public health approach, community-based prevention strategies, and evidence-based clinical interventions to empower action and support service members and veterans.  

The initiative will be promoted through several public service announcements, including from leadership of the Maryland National Guard and Governor Larry Hogan.  "I'm proud to announce the launch of the 'Ask the Question' campaign to help connect members of our military community with the critical resources our state has to offer," said Governor Hogan. "Our service members and veterans never stopped fighting for us, and we will never stop fighting for them."

"Our veterans have given more to this nation than many of us can ever fully know," said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. "So many throughout our history have made the ultimate sacrifice—and countless more bear visible and invisible wounds that may never truly heal. I am proud to support the Ask a Question campaign as I continue my commitment to improving Maryland's mental health care delivery system, so that we may better serve our veterans and anyone who may be struggling."

“MDVA and MDH are working hard to end service member and veteran suicide by engaging a wide range of partners from different sectors,” said MDVA Secretary George Owings. “Today’s campaign launch will raise awareness of suicide prevention resources in our community, educate professionals on military culture, and improve the lives of our military service members and veterans.”

“Connecting more Marylanders to care — especially when we’re talking about our nation’s heroes and their families — is critical to our mission,” said MDH Secretary Robert. R. Neall. “This campaign will help open doors to ensure they get the support and services they need.”

For more information on this initiative, please visit veterans.maryland.gov or email Joy Ashcraft, Challenge Team Lead, joy.ashcraft@maryland.gov or Dana Burl, Challenge Team Co-Lead, dana.burl@maryland.gov

Service members or Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a service member or Veteran in crisis, can call the Military and Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

Elks Presentation photo

Representatives presented a check in the amount of $7.500 from the Elks National Freedom Grant Program to construct an outside Bocce Ball Court at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Back Row left to right: David Marchyshyn - Exalted Ruler Calvert Elks Lodge, John A. Curran - Past District Deputy Calvert Elks Lodge Veterans Chairman, Walter E. Benson Sr. - Exalted Ruler Camp Springs Elks Lodge, Pat Miller Esquire - Waldorf Elks Lodge

Seated Front Row Left to Right: Kelley Randolph - Past District Deputy Camp Springs Lodge Treasurer, Mary Cardinal-Vogt - Past District Deputy, Past State President, Calvert Lodge Treasurer, Sharon Murphy – Director, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Renee' Rivituso - Past District Deputy, Exalted Ruler Waldorf Elks Lodge, Peggy Miller - Waldorf Elks Lodge Tiler

More Information from the South West District Elks

MDVA Website

Crownsville Veterans Day Ceremony

Veterans Day Ceremony at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery:  MDVA Secretary George Owings, CDR Jennifer Rigdon Teter, USNR (Retired), and Delegate Mike Rogers. CDR Teter provided the Keynote Address at the Ceremony.  CDR Teter's bio

MDVA Cemetery and Memorials Program Updates

Capacity for the indoor shelters at MDVA Veteran Cemeteries have been adjusted to follow current COVID-19 guidance.  Capacity for the shelters is currently:

·         Cheltenham – No more than 35 persons

·         Crownsville – No more than 24 persons

·         Eastern Shore – No More than 30 persons

·         Garrison Forest – No more than 30 persons

·         Rocky Gap – No more than 27 persons

Read More Here


Update Regarding the National Personnel Records Center:

Please note that the National Personnel Records Center has reduced operations due to COVID-19 and delays have been reported in receiving requested documents. Making final arrangements are stressful on families. Please take the time to locate your DD-214 before it is needed.

To learn more about MDVA Veterans Cemeteries and completing a Pre-Application, visit our website:  https://veterans.maryland.gov/cemetery-and-memorial-program/


Deputy Sec Bob Finn at Frederick event

MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn attended the Veterans Day Ceremony at the American Legion Francis Scott Key Post 11 in Frederick and presented copies of Governor Hogan's Veterans Day Proclamation.

From left to right are: Post 11 Commander Curtis Jones, Deputy Secretary Finn, Brigadier General Michael J. Talley, Commander of the U. S. Army Medical Research and Development Command at Ft. Detrick and Frederick City Mayor Michael O’Connor

Frederick News Post Article

Spotlight on the Maryland Veterans Commission

Dr. Macri at Linthicum Memorial

Dr. Cynthia Macri, a Commissioner on the Maryland Veterans Commission was the keynote speaker at the Veterans Day Observance held at the Linthicum Veterans Memorial.

City Hall

Although the annual ceremony at the War Memorial Building in Baltimore was cancelled, Commissioner Rick Lane of the Maryland Veterans Commission  placed a wreath at the statue which stands in front of Baltimore City Hall on Veterans Day to honor all those who served our country.  

More Veterans Day Messages were added from our community partners after the November 6th edition of the MDVA e-newsletter.  View Here

There are additional Veterans Day photos and videos from the community shared in the Community News section below.

State Partner News

Lt. Governor Photo

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford (fourth from right), participated in the flag laying ceremony on Veterans Day in Leonardtown.

Photo Credit: Executive Office of the Governor

Leonardtown Virtual Veterans Day Video, Southern Maryland Chronicle Article

Cleaning the World War II Memorial in Annapolis

WWII Memorial

A clean-up of the World War II Memorial in Annapolis on Saturday, November 7th was coordinated by Senator Sarah Elfreth, Delegate Shaneka Henson, Delegate Dana Jones and Delegate Seth Howard in partnership with MDVA.  We appreciate the efforts and hard work of the District 30 Delegation and all the volunteers who came out to help. 

Russ Ware, Director of the MDVA Cemetery and Memorials program said the extensive cleanup generated 1,420 lbs. of  leaves, grass clippings and brush.

Capital Gazette Article

Senator & Delegate

On the left: Delegate Dana Jones holding the Proclamation, Senator Sarah Elfreth in the Navy sweatshirt and Delegate Shaneka Henson are shown here with just a few of the volunteers who worked to clean the World War II Memorial.

Federal Partner News

Federal News

Maryland VA Health Care System Seeking Volunteers for Coronavirus Research

Flier for Coronavirus Research Volunteers

Census: Post 9/11 Veterans More Likely to be Employed, Than Non-Veterans

Stay Safe from Scammers: Tips from the Better Business Bureau

VA, Labor Team Up to Support Veteran Employment

Free Customer Service Experience Certificate for Veterans and Families

Maryland VA Health Care System Veterans Day Tribute: Video

Meditation May Help Veterans with PTSD

US Small Business Administration: Resources for Veteran Entrepreneurs Video

VA Releases 2020 National Veterans Suicide Prevention Annual Report

Operation S.A.V.E. - VA Suicide Prevention Program

VA Debt Management Center to Resume Sending Notification Letters to Veterans in January

November 30th - VA Community Town Hall

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Center for Minority Veterans (CMV) in partnership with VA Office of Small & Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Presents:

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm EST

Location: Virtual Event in MS Teams- You have 2 options to join the event:

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: Interview with 98 Rock Radio and  WBAL TV

Home Depot Donation to MCVET, WBAL TV

Veterans Launching Ventures Winter 2020 Course

Community Calendar

November 21, 2020

Free Thanksgiving Baskets to Recovering Service Members, Veterans and Gold Star Families, Odenton

December 3, 2020

TechExpo Top Secret+ Hiring Event

Community Veterans Day Observances and Messages

Voices of Vets - Veterans Day Concert 2020

Virtual Veterans Day from Gilchrist: Video

Veterans Day Video from Calvert Hospice: Video

Hospice of the Chesapeake Veterans Day Message: Video

Commissioner Macri

Dr. Cynthia Macri, a Commissioner on the Maryland Veterans Commission was the keynote speaker at the Veterans Memorial in Linthicum Heights,  Dr. Macri on the right, is presenting Governor Hogan's Veterans Day Proclamation to Mr. John Brennan, a member of the Linthicum Veterans Memorial Board of Directors.

Clean-up at WWII Memorial photo

Volunteers clean up the World War II Memorial in Annapolis