12 January 2021 MDVA News & Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  January 12, 2021


MDVA Announces Two New Benefits Specialists to Serve You

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The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Service and Benefits Program provides assistance to the women and men who served in the Uniformed Services of the United States, their dependents, and survivors in obtaining benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, State of Maryland and other programs for veterans and their families.


More about the two newest MDVA Benefits Specialists:

Andrea Jones is a veteran of the United States Navy, serving four years on active duty. Andrea was stationed at the Naval Weapons Station in Concord, CA. Her career with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs began more than four years ago when she was hired as an Office Secretary for the Service Program office in Frederick. Her passion to serve Veterans, their dependents and survivors continued to grow and Andrea obtained the knowledge and skills necessary to be promoted to a Veterans Benefits Specialist. Andrea now works at the MDVA office located in the Motor Vehicle Administration Branch Office in Hagerstown. She hails from a family of veterans from all branches of the military. Andrea has been married to her high school sweetheart for 21 years and they have 3 children.

Andrea Jones

Willie Bordon Photo

Willie Borden, Jr. is the new MDVA Veterans Benefits Specialist  working at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home location. He served in the Army for 21 years, retiring in 2012. After leaving active duty, Willie continued to serve his fellow veterans by working with the Wounded Warrior Project and then the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Veteran’s Service headquarters in Washington.

Willie also volunteers with the Not Forgotten Foundation, and in the photo below Willie and other Not Forgotten volunteers donated items to the residents and staff at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. Willie serves as one of the organization's Ambassadors, as well as a Softball Team Coach participating in events across the United States. Not Forgotten Foundation

Not Forgotten Foundation

MDVA Website

Charlotte Hall Van

A new wheelchair accessible van was recently purchased to transport residents and is now in service at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Ft. Meade Volunteers at Cheltenham

On January 30th, a group of volunteers from Ft. George G. Meade, MD and some of their family members helped with a clean-up effort at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery, one of the five Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries.  We thank the volunteers for their help and support.

State Partner News

Governor's Office of Small, Minority and Women

Business Affairs

Mark Your Calendar:

In this environment of social distancing, today's seminars have become webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these virtual training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.

02/16/2021 - Mastering Finances for Black-Owned Businesses
02/23/2021 - Subcontracting in Maryland's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program
02/23/2021 - Prime Contracting in Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program
02/25/2021 - Making Your Business Work for You (And Not the Other Way Around)
03/02/2021 - MBE/DBE/SBE Application Assistance Webinar

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

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announces 45 Percent Increase in Maryland State Parks Attendance in 2020


Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced a 45 percent increase in final attendance for Maryland State Parks in 2020 compared to the previous record-setting visitation attendance in 2019. In 2020, Maryland State Parks welcomed 21.5 million visitors, compared to 14.9 million in 2019.  In addition, State Parks reported a record 292 capacity closures across 11 parks statewide last year.

By September, Maryland State Parks had already eclipsed the 2019 record. Beginning with a record turnout for First Day Hikes on Jan. 1, 2020, parks experienced continued high visitor turnout as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened in late winter and early spring. Records were broken despite pandemic-related temporary closures of campgrounds, cabins and popular beaches at state parks. Those closures were lifted before Memorial Day. 

Read More Here


Join the Maryland Veterans Conservation Corps

The mission of the Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC) is to empower veterans through the therapeutic value of the outdoors by leveraging their unique background and service ethic to address pressing conservation needs on public lands. The focus of the VCC is to develop veterans professionally through training and on the job experience within the Maryland Park Service and the Department of Natural Resources. These are full-time, paid, year-round positions.  Read More Here


Camping this Year? Reserve Your Campsite Now!

Start planning your camping trip to Maryland’s public lands this year. Reserve your space at nearly 40 Maryland public lands statewide - from backpack camping to RVs to cabins, beachfront to forest - using the Maryland Park Service online reservation system.

New this year, campers can use the online reservation system for 18 primitive sites at Savage River State Forest’s Big Run campground in Garrett County.


Now Hiring: Seasonal Positions Across Maryland

The Maryland Park Service is recruiting for many summer seasonal positions. Have you ever wanted to work at your local state park? Here is your chance.

Positions include park rangers, naturalists, contact station and visitor service attendants, trail technicians, and maintenance workers. To view a full listing of open positions and apply, visit the Maryland State Jobs website.

2021 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Convened

The Maryland General Assembly is currently meeting in Annapolis for the 2021 Legislative Session.  As a service to the veteran community, information on proposed legislation of possible interest to veterans is provided below:

2021 Legislative Information

You may check the status of proposed legislation by visiting the:

Maryland General Assembly Website

Maryland Department of Health COVID-19 Testing Task Force COVID-19 Testing Information for Maryland Veterans resource document: HERE

Federal Partner News

Military Women's Memorial


Military Women's Memorial

Did you know the National Military Women's Memorial is located at the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery?

Military Women's Memorial


If you are a female veteran did you know that you may register and preserve your story or HERstory online?


The US Census estimates there are currently 54,721 women veterans in Maryland.  Only 6,901 women veterans living in Maryland have registered to date.


The National Registration Campaign kicked off on January 12, 2021. Register now and join those who have already contributed to HERstory.

In observance of Black History Month, screenings of the film, The Six Triple Eight: No Mail, Low Morale will be held in February: Schedule

#Honoring Vets: 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion


Women's Memorial

Photo credit: womensmemorial.org

Federal News

VA Health Care Administration Marks 75 Years

February is Black History Month, Military.com article

A Message from VA Secretary Denis McDonough

National Veterans Summer Sport Clinic Registration Opens

VA Grants for Adaptive Sports Opportunities

Veterans May Shop Online at the Military Exchange

Live Whole Health #58: Mobility with Movement

Live Whole Health #59: Finding Stillness Through Yin Meditation

Live Whole Health: Joint Mobility

SBA Loan Information

DOD Announces Use of Masks, Other Public Health Measures, Health.mil article

Stay Informed About Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine at the VA

HIRE Vets Medallion Award

Starting Jan. 31, the US Department of Labor is accepting applications for the 2021 HIRE Vets Medallion Award, to recognize employers that meet standards for excellence in recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans.

Mental Health First Aid

Be sure to check us out on our blog and social media channels for daily information and tips, including TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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

Project Opportunity will be holding a new free, Entrepreneur Training Class for Spouses of Veterans, Active Duty and Guard/Reserve Personnel.  Held in Upper Marlboro, the Orientation Session will be on March 4, 2021.  More Information


The Cohen Clinic at Easterseals has many upcoming events of interest to veterans and family members: More information


Gilchrist’s 3rd Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration will be held:

VIRTUALLY on Sunday, March 28, 2021 starting at 3:00 p.m.


SANS Institute Provides CYBER-Security Training for Veterans


AMVETS and Lowes offer Skilled Trades Scholarships

Dog Tag, Inc.

Upcoming Event: Virtual Open House
Wednesday, February 24th at 4:00pm EST
This will be a unique opportunity for potential applicants to visit with Dog Tag staff and alumni and learn more about our innovative transition program, what we're looking for in our applicants, and what it's like to be a part of the Dog Tag community. Those interested may register here.

As a reminder, all Summer 2021 applications are due by March 15th.

Anne Arundel County Seeks Emergency Response Volunteers

Anne Arundel – Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team (AAACERT) is happy to announce that, after consultation with the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management and the Fire Training Academy, they are able to conduct in-person Basic CERT classes in March and April of this year. The March class will be held on March 19, 20, 21 and 28. The April class will be held on April 23, 24, 25, and May 2. For details and a link to register, visit the AAACERT webpage. The goal is to provide the same, high quality in-person class while being smart in this new COVID-19 environment. To see the precautions that are being taken, please visit the AAACERT webpage. If interested, you are encouraged to sign up soon because space is limited. What better time to get educated in emergency preparedness and response! Contact training@aaacert.org for more information.

Community Calendar

Every Monday: Virtual Veterans Employment Kiosk

Every Last Thursday of the Month: Virtual Veteran Career Club

February 18, 2021

Accenture Virtual Open House Hiring Event

February 23, 2021

Eastern Region Virtual Career Fair for Veterans

Anne Arundel Workforce Development Center Winter Hiring Event

February 26, 2021

Veterans Legal Clinic

February 27, 2021

Platoon 22 and SOLDIERFIT: Platoon Care Wellness Retreat

February 28, 2021

Introduction to Hero Dogs

March 29, 2021

Mission BBQ: National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Free Chow for Vietnam Vets

Message for New Subscribers:

Is this your first edition of the MDVA newsletter?  If so, welcome!  You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up to receive it from our website or you gave permission to an MDVA program, the MD Motor Vehicle Administration or MD Department of Labor to receive information on VA benefits and resources.  We at MDVA respect your privacy and DO NOT share your email address.  We hope you enjoy receiving our bi-weekly newsletter and find it both educational and engaging.  If you have questions about our Department, our Programs, or your VA benefits, please visit veterans.maryland.gov or call 410-260-3838.