9 April 2021 MDVA News and Announcements

View as a webpage.

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  April 9, 2021


National Former POW Recognition Day


Charlotte Hall Receives a large VFW Donation


Charlotte Hall logo

MDVA Secretary George Owings and Charlotte Hall Director Sharon Murphy were very surprised to receive a check for $40,000 from Veterans of Foreign Wars Jacksonville Memorial Post # 10080.  The Post is located in Pylesville, MD. MDVA was not contacted in advance of the donation, and the check arrived by mail with only a simple note.

MDVA staff contacted a Post representative and learned that the Post is being dissolved and the Charter returned to the VFW national organization, due to decreasing active membership.  While many of the current members are Life Members, and there are some younger active duty service members who are deployed - there aren't enough active members available to maintain the Post.  Current members have the option of joining another Post or becoming Members at Large of the national VFW.

Commander Erwin Cook, longtime Commander of the Post and his wife who formerly served as President of the Post Auxiliary told us Post #10080 was started by Mr. Cook's Stepfather, and Mr. Cook continued the tradition of service when he became Commander.  Mr. and Mrs. Cook, as well as other members of the Post often visited the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC to bring comfort to hospitalized veterans.

The Post members decided to make large donations to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, as well as the VFW National Home for Children.  Additional donations were made to several other organizations.

MDVA thanks all the members of VFW Jacksonville Memorial Post #10080.  We greatly appreciate your very generous donation which will benefit the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Maryland State Senator Jack Bailey (District 29) Provided this Update:

On Wednesday, March 31st - Governor Hogan introduced a supplemental budget that includes funding for several significant projects in District 29.  This supplemental budget includes $200,000 to purchase an ambulance for Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  The ambulance will help ensure that the veterans who reside at the home continue to receive the best care possible.  This resource will also benefit residents who are served by the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, as this ambulance will respond to calls from the Veterans Home that are currently being handled by the Rescue Squad.  Senator Bailey has worked with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and other State agencies to address this issue that is critical to the health, well-being and overall safety of our veterans.

MDVA Website

Aaron Clark photo


MDVA Cumberland office relocates:

The Cumberland MDVA Service & Benefits Program office has relocated.  It is now co-located inside the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration office.  In the photo above, Veterans Benefits Specialist Aaron Clark is shown at his desk in the new office location.  Aaron is an Army veteran and served two tours in Iraq as a Combat Engineer.  Aaron describes himself as being passionate about serving his fellow veterans.

New address and phone number:

13300 Winchester Road, SW

Cumberland, MD 21502


Please call to make an appointment, before visiting the office.

Garrison Forest photo

While installing a project to divert and direct groundwater flow at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery, the staff was able to accomplish the goal by also creating a beautification project. Congratulations and thank you for your ingenuity! 


Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans:

The last edition of the MDVA e-newsletter was published just before annual observance to Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans.  Please scroll down to the Community News section below for information and links on events held in March to honor Vietnam Veterans.

State Partner News

Governor's Office of Small, Minority and Women Owned Business Affairs

Maryland Flag Waiving

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.

04/09/2021 - GovCon "Live Q&A" Café:  Teaming Agreements
04/13/2021 - Government Contract Cost Price Analysis: Level 1
04/15/2021 - Doing Business with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
04/16/2021 - PR 101 for Small Businesses
04/21/2021 - Can you Feel the Pulse of Your Business
04/27/2021 - Writing a Proposal 1 - Reading a Solicitation
04/27/2021 - Writing a Proposal 2 - Developing an Outline
04/29/2021 - QuickBooks Basics for Small Businesses

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

University of Maryland Study Seeking Veterans:

Have you experienced a traumatic event in your life? Do thoughts about this experience affect you now? Do you use alcohol to get relief? We are conducting a research study of a medication that may help people who have experienced a traumatic event feel better and drink less. Traumatic events are things like physical or sexual assault, war zone exposure, serious accidents, and natural disasters. To learn more, go to: http://www.rethinkyourdrinking.org/, email us at rethinkyourdrinking@som.umaryland.edu, or contact us by phone (410) 402-6412.

Maryland Insurance Administration Offers Consumer Workshops

Each Wednesday during the month of April, the Maryland Insurance Administration will be hosting a series of presentations to help consumers learn steps that they can take to become more financially sound.  The presentations will include:
  • information on how to improve your credit;
  • programs that will help you purchase your first home;
  • how to save money on your automobile insurance;
  • information to help you plan for retirement;
  • why you should maintain your homeowners policy;
  • what you need to know about reverse mortgages; and so much more.

 Read More Here


Also a reminder from the Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane, that you cannot be billed for the COVID-19 vaccine.  Read More Here

Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine does not imperil life insurance benefits: Read More Here

The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Offers Trainings

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or an existing business owner in Maryland… the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers FREE individualized consulting, from start up to established businesses. We also offer comprehensive training programs, from those just thinking about starting a business to executive training, with most classes at low to no cost. The Maryland SBDC Network provides Maryland small business owners with access to trusted business advisors who have experience in starting and growing businesses. We offer expertise and keen insights essential to helping you manage your concerns today, and design solid, long-range plans to secure your vision for tomorrow.

Read More Here

Federal Partner News

Appointments Available Saturday and Sunday for COVID-19 Vaccination.  Call Today for an Appointment:

The VA Maryland Health Care System is excited to announce that we are now administering the COVID-19 vaccine to all enrolled Veteran patients, regardless of their age. The COVID-19 vaccinations are available Monday – Friday by appointment at all VA Maryland Health Care System locations throughout the state.

If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccination, I encourage you to schedule an appointment by calling our COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Line at 410-605-7740 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Additionally, we are holding two COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics this weekend (by appointment only) on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Baltimore VA Medical Center for all Veterans enrolled in the VA Maryland Health Care System, regardless of their age. To schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine on April 10 or 11, call our COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Line at 410-605-7740 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

On April 10, we will be administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which requires a second dose 21 days later. On April 11, we will be administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which is a single dose vaccination.

Whichever way you choose to receive the vaccine from us, you must schedule an appointment by calling our COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Line at 410-605-7740 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Also: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Unenrolled Veterans & Veteran Spouses

Unenrolled Veterans, Veteran spouses and caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients can get their COVID-19 vaccination at the Baltimore VA Medical Center on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a walk-in basis. To expedite the registration process, you can register online prior to this weekend’s COVID-19 vaccine event by visiting Sign up to get a vaccine | Veterans Affairs.   

On April 10, we will be administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which requires a second dose 21 days later. On April 11, we will be administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which is a single-dose vaccination.

Please bring a valid government issued photo ID so you can register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, please wear a short sleeve shirt to make it easier to administer your vaccination.

The SAVE LIVES Act authorizes VA to provide COVID-19 vaccine to all Veterans, even if you’ve never used VA before, along with spouses and caregivers.

There is free parking available in the parking garage at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, which is located at 10 North Greene Street in Baltimore, MD 21201. For directions, please visit https://www.maryland.va.gov/locations/Baltimore_VA_Medical_Center.asp#directions.


Federal News:

April 9th is National Former POW Recognition Day, which remembers the 1942 surrender and beginning of the 85-mile Bataan Death March where thousands of American and Filipino troops died. Read More Here


VA extends debt relief for veterans

April 29th: Veteran Career and Education Symposium

VA Benefits Administration: Appointments at Baltimore Regional Office

VA Benefits Administration: Appointments at National Capital Regional Office

Paralyzed Veterans of America: Women Veterans Empowerment Retreat

National Assessment Aims to Assist Needs of Women Veterans

VICTORS: Caring for Veterans with Significant Visual Impairment

Disabled Veterans, Active Duty May be Eligible for Adaptive Equipment for Automobiles

New VA Mobile App: Beyond MST

VA Benefits News now on YouTube

Buy Your Home Using Your VA Home Loan Benefits

How the American Rescue Plan Aids VA in Helping Veterans

GI Bill, Compare Colleges with VA

Using VA Benefits to Pay for Grad School, MilitaryBenefits article

Train for a Tech Career

The fourth issue of Military Exposures & Your Health, a biannual newsletter for Veterans with service from 1990 to the present, is now online 

Live Whole Heath #65: Checking in With Your Body

Live Whole Health # 66: Lower Body Chair Yoga Practice

Live Whole Health Archives

Gardening Can Lead to Healthier Lives

Veteran Discounts

United States Senator Chris Van Hollen on the

American Rescue Plan:

Senator Van Hollen sent the following message to MDVA -

VA Fact Sheet: How the American Rescue Plan Helps Veterans

The American Rescue Plan provided funding to enhance the Department of Veterans Affairs ability to deliver world class services to veterans and their families.  The plan will help ease thousands of veterans’ worries by forgiving some accumulated debt, speed up VA compensation claims, and provide much-needed funding to retrain veterans for high-demand jobs.

The American Rescue Plan will help veterans and provide:

o  Expanded health care access to veterans who may have delayed care or more complex health care needs as a result of the pandemic, with $14.5 billion to support COVID-19 related health care and support VA information technology and facilities.

o  Resources for veterans currently receiving housing support, including the estimated 37,000 veterans experiencing homelessness.

o  Forgive debt with $1 billion to support copayments and other cost sharing that veterans use to pay for VA health care.

o  Construction grants and payments totaling $1 billion to state homes, improving the living conditions of our most vulnerable veterans.

o   $386 million in funding to create a COVID–19 Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program that provides up to 12 months of training and employment assistance for unemployed veterans to enter high demand jobs.

o  $262 million to reduce the backlog of compensation and pension claims, enabling the Veterans Benefits Administration to reduce the claims backlog to around 100,000 by September 2022.

o $80 million to establish the Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Leave Fund, which provides funds for paid leave for COVID-19 related causes.

o  And it will close the "90/10" loophole to protect the integrity of the GI Bill and Veterans in receipt of their well-earned education benefits, and it will help veteran-owned small businesses.

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

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


Veteran Volunteers Needed to Train Service Dogs


Veterans Moving Forward Assisting Veterans with Service Dogs April Update


TALMAR: Sustainable Agricultural Training for Veterans

Annual Plant Sale Orders Start April 9th


The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Project is offering a Virtual Wills and Estates Clinic on Friday, April 16, 2021


Save the Date: May 8, 2021 DAV Veterans Information and Benefits Clinic held at Dundalk Vet Center

Soldiers to Sidelines Webinar April 13, 2021 at 8:30 pm: 

Please join Legendary Basketball Coach John Beilein and American Hero Matt Eversmann for a night with our Tribe of Soldier Coaches, Team RWB, and supporters; 

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) will be hosting a Grab and Go event on Thursday, April 29th, 2021 at the Knights of Columbus, Silver Spring MD. Veterans will receive free groceries, hygiene kits, face masks, gift cards, a hot meal and a Veteran’s Resource Directory.


Note: Proof of status would be appreciated, Veteran ID or DD214.

Community Calendar

April 10, 2020

Introduction to Hero Dogs

April 16, 2021

Virtual Estates and Wills Clinic

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)

April 27, 2021

Eastern Region Virtual Job Fair with Recruit Military

Virtual Workshop for Survivors of Suicide Loss

April 29, 2021

DHS Veteran Career and Education Symposium

Veterans Only Grab and Go Event

May 8, 2021

DAV Veterans Information and Benefits Clinic, Baltimore County

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Events & Information


Governor's Proclamation

The Proclamation issued by Governor Hogan to Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans,

March 30, 2021

Voices of Vets:  Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Concert

Hospice of the Chesapeake Salute to Vietnam Veterans:

Gilchrist's Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration, benefitting the We Honor Veterans program.  If you missed it, you can still watch the video here

Jan Scruggs: The story behind The Wall

VBA Salutes Vietnam Veterans

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.