26 March 2021 News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  March 26, 2021


A Message from Secretary George Owings:

Why is Vietnam Veterans Day observed on two different dates?

On March 29, 1974 for the first time, Vietnam Veterans Day was declared by Presidential Order. March 29th was chosen because one year earlier on March 29,1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam.

House Resolutions were introduced in many subsequent Congressional sessions designating March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day.  Here is a link to one Resolution.  However, it wasn’t until 2017 that The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was finally signed into law making the observance a permanent one.  For even more information, check out the Vietnam War Commemoration Website. It is interesting here to note, that in 2011, a similar Resolution was introduced in the United States Senate designating March 30th as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, which may be why two different dates are now associated with recognizing Vietnam Veterans.

In Maryland during the 2015 Session of the Maryland General Assembly, legislation passed which was co-sponsored by Senator John Astle, a Vietnam Veteran and Delegate C.T. Wilson, a veteran of the Persian Gulf & Bosnia. In the bill, titled Commemorative Days – Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day (Chapter 1),  March 30th was designated the Day of Observance. Governor Larry Hogan immediately signed the legislation into law on the same day, March 30, 2015.  It was the first piece of legislation he signed as Governor of Maryland.

While there has been much debate over which day is correct or appropriate, and I mention here that Maryland is not the only state to observe March 30th as the day to Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans – I am of the opinion that we Vietnam Veterans did not receive recognition and appreciation when we came home.  If we are now welcomed home and thanked on BOTH March 29th and March 30th, well that is just fine with me.

I hope you will join with me in recognizing and thanking those who served.

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Employees Recognized During the

Month of March

Charlotte Hall logo


MDVA staff, as well as Secretary Owings helped hand out appreciation gifts during March to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home employees to recognize their hard work and dedication.  From left to right: Michelle Cariaso, Quality Assurance RN, Tom Johnson, Property Manager, Sharon Murphy, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home Director, MDVA Secretary George Owings, Angela Quade, Contract Compliance Assistant, and Rodney Jones, Deputy Director prepare to distribute goodie bags to the staff.

Charlotte Hall Employee Appreciation Photo

MDVA Website

In the last edition of the MDVA newsletter, we highlighted two members of the MDVA Service and Benefits program for Women's History Month, but neglected to include their photos.  Apologies to Andrea and Michelle for the oversight!

Andrea Jones

Andrea Jones, Hagerstown Office

Michelle Licata

Michelle Licata, Salisbury Office


The MDVA Service & Benefits program office in Gaithersburg, co-located inside the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration office is open for appointments.  Read Press Release Here

State Partner News


Governor Hogan Proclaims Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Maryland, March 30, 2021


Governor's Proclamation - Vietnam Veteran's Day

Women's Veteran Conference


Registration is now open for Maryland's Commitment to Veterans one-day virtual Women Veterans Conference:

to educate clinicians and service providers about the unique needs of women who are serving or have served in the U.S. military. Speakers will be sharing stories of challenges and triumphs, as well as, providing insight into best practices and opportunities for serving our military and veteran women. We hope you find this event enlightening and that it empowers you to serve women who have answered the call to military service in a meaningful way. 6.5 FREE CEUs will be provided to those participating in the full day event.

Register at https://bit.ly/30UuRUp. (link is case sensitive)

All registrants providing a mailing address will be receiving a FREE kit that will include a book and additional materials following the conference. Please provide an address where mail can be received.

More Upcoming Programs:

7, 21, 28 APR - Military Child Education Coalition Series - We will be hosting 3 day long workshops in April to promote the learning of most current and effective ways to assist our constantly transitioning military-connected children and youth. The virtual workshops will be held from 9 am to 4 pm Wednesday April 7, 21, and 28. The purpose is to enhance the current capabilities, competency and awareness of professionals who serve and support military-connected children and youth. These trainings are intended for K-12 school teachers and staff (CEU's available for minimal cost), as well as, professionals working with military-connected school age children. 

MilKid 101: Military Student Foundations

NGR 101: We Serve Too

VetC 201: School Transitions

Spotlight on Education: Bowie State University

Bowie State University is beginning a new program for veterans designed for them to complete a degree in Computer Science or Computer Technology in 36 months.   The program allows students to use their previous studies, military, personal and professional experiences to help satisfy academic requirements utilizing our Portfolio process.

This program will provide a service to provide our veterans with the skills and academic background for the jobs in this high demand and lucrative technology field.  With support from the Military Resource Center and other offices on our campus, we will provide the support needed for our students to confidently progress towards their degree in the 36 months. 

More Information

Maryland Department of Commerce News:

Commerce Logo

The Maryland Department of Commerce has additional details about the new economic relief funding made available through the bipartisan RELIEF Act of 2021. This information is  available on the Commerce website.

Commerce will provide funding through six new programs targeting specific groups of businesses. Three of these programs will be administered by Commerce, which expects to accept applications from March 30, 2021 to April 6, 2021. 

Maryland Department of Aging Invitation:

The Maryland Department of Aging, in partnership with Story Tapestries (a local non-profit), is pleased to provide Share Your Life Stories, an initiative designed to address the issue of social isolation many older adults are experiencing as a result of COVID-19.  Share Your Life Stories is designed to give older adults throughout the state a chance to engage and connect with others in a safe and creative environment.

Share Your Life Stories is a series of virtual presentations and workshops where participants listen, learn the art of storytelling, and share their life stories.  For those without smart phones and computers, there is telephone access to all events.  There are two types of events 1) Storytelling Broadcasts and 2) Story Circles. The Storytelling Broadcasts offer participants a chance to log on or dial in to hear award winning storytellers. The "Story Circles" events are interactive and give participants a chance to log in or dial in and be a part of small groups to learn the art of storytelling, and share their stories.  All events are free of charge for Marylanders 60 and older. Registration is required and available on a first come basis.

We hope you will join us and please share this invitation with friends, family, program participants, colleagues, and partner organizations.  

Read More Here

Wildfire Danger Increases in Spring - Marylanders Urged to Take Precautions

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources urges residents across the state to prepare and help prevent wildfires, which occur most in the spring and fall when forest fuels are the driest and weather conditions are warm, dry, and windy. Read more.

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

Federal Partner News

SBA Announces Veterans Business Outreach Center Funding Opportunity

SBA Logo

Washington, March 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Private organizations, colleges and universities, private sector firms, nonprofit organizations and state, local or tribal governmental agencies across Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Northern California, and Nevada are eligible to apply for funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide training and counseling to aspiring and existing veteran small business owners as a Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC).

The grant awardees will provide training to service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business entrepreneurship training program, which is part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. Additionally, applicants will provide counseling, technical and financial skill development, comprehensive business assessments, and mentoring services to veterans, transitioning and active-duty service members, Reserve, National Guard, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.Each award is made for a base project period of 12 months, with four 12-month option periods, starting May 1, 2021. Additional information about the funding opportunity, including specific coverage areas and instructions on how to apply, can be found by heading to www.grants.gov and searching “SB-OVVB-21-001” or GrantSolutions.  

Applications submitted via other media, including SBA’s website, will be rejected and will not be evaluated. Applications must be submitted via grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 4, 2021.

SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development will host information sessions about the funding opportunity via this Microsoft Teams link or this call-in number (202-765-1264; access code: 318 430 466#) at the following times:

  • Friday, March 26: 12-1 p.m. EDT
  • Monday, March 29: 4-5 p.m. EDT
  • Friday, April 2: 12-1 p.m. EDT 

Direct any questions about the VBOC funding opportunity to Sandra Wells at sandra.wells@sba.gov.

For issues with grants.gov, please call the Grants.gov Support Line at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov.

Vietnam War Commemoration Logo


Federal News

March 29th: National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Women on "The Wall"

Help Requested: Virtual Wall of Faces Almost Complete, Some Photos Still Needed

SAVE LIVES Act allows VA to soon provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans, their spouses and caregivers

VA: Co-Payment Debt - Refunds, Forgiveness

Wounded Warrior Project - Women Warriors Initiative Survey & Roundtable Findings

2021 Women Veterans Center Trailblazers

Women have a long history of serving our nation

Women Veterans Bravely Served During Vietnam War

Coming Home as a Vietnam Veteran Nurse

Martinsburg VA Medical Center Honor Social Work

Free Captioned Telephone Service for Those with Hearing Loss

Live Whole Health #63: Sit Proud-Healthy Posture

Live Whole Health #64: Gratitude gives you power over mind

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Together We Served Helps Reunite Veterans

FEMA: COVID-19 Related Funeral Assistance


Martinsburg VA Medical Center and the VA Caregiver Support Program will host a caregiver and family resource fair on April 10, 9am to 11am. The event will be via Web Ex. To register contact Andrea Aberegg, Caregiver Support Services Coordinator, 304-263-0811, ext 2821 by April 15.

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


Stephen A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals: Upcoming Events


The Purple Heart Foundation has teamed up with Century 21 to help make your spring cleaning even easier! At these events, you'll be able to have your papers shredded, junk hauled away, and donate your clothing and small household items for FREE

Saturday, April 3rd:

Century 21 - Annapolis
1730 West St #200,
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-266-9005


The Wall That Heals is coming to Maryland April 22nd through April 25th.  Read More Here

Community Calendar

March 28, 2021

Gilchrist's 3rd Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

March 29, 2021

Vietnam Veteran Town Hall

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

March 31, 2021

Maryland Women Veterans Conference

April 10, 2020

Introduction to Hero Dogs

April 17, 2021

Fundraiser for Bladensburg Peace Cross (also on April 18th)

April 20, 2021

Virtual Veterans Resource Fair

JobZone Virtual Job Fair, Pax River

April 22, 2021

JobZone Job Fair, Joint Base Andrews

The Wall That Heals (through April 25th)

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.