18 June 2021 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  June 18, 2021


Governor Hogan Announces New Initiative to

Support Women Veterans

Proclaims June 12 as Women Veterans Day in Maryland

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Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed June 12 as Women Veterans Day in Maryland and announced the establishment of the Women Veterans Inclusion Program to support women veterans. This year marks the 73rd anniversary of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on June 12, 1948.

“This new initiative will increase outreach and raise awareness of programs for women veterans as well as other underserved veterans in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “By extending outreach, we are ensuring more veterans have access to the resources and important benefits they deserve.” 

Through the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, the new Women Veterans Inclusion Program will collaborate with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, state and local governments, and community organizations to coordinate events to raise awareness of the needs of Maryland’s women, minority, and underserved veteran populations. A program manager will chair a statewide advisory council in order to identify resources to support and advocate on behalf of this group of veterans, and will participate in workgroups and serve as a subject matter expert regarding the needs of underserved veterans groups. 

“The establishment of this important program will enable the department to assess for gaps, identify challenges, and find solutions,” said Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary George Owings. “We are excited to bring this program to Maryland and to recruit a full-time program manager to the department.”

Women Veterans Day in Maryland honors the resilience and courage shown by the 52,000 women who have served in the United States Armed Forces and call this state home.

If you are interested in more information/applying for the newly created position of Women Veterans/Inclusion Program Manager, use this link.

For more information on the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, visit:

MDVA Website

MDVA Staff Member is Honored by AMVETS

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Director Receives Department of Maryland AMVETS Free State Award of Excellence

Outreach and Advocacy Deputy Director Denise Nooe Honored For Her Service To Veterans

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) Secretary George Owings congratulates Denise Nooe, Deputy Director of Outreach and Advocacy, for receiving the Department of Maryland American Veterans (AMVETS) 35th Annual Past National Commander A. Leo Anderson Memorial Free State Award of Excellence.  She joins the ranks of other esteemed leaders who have received this award to include Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and retired U. S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski.

“I could not be more proud of Denise for being the recipient of this year’s Free State Award of Excellence,” said George Owings, Secretary, Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs. “It is a sign of her commitment and dedication to public service and to the veteran community.  I’m incredibly honored that following her retirement from federal service she has continued to serve with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.”

“At its’ most recent annual convention on June 5, 2021 in Middletown, Maryland, the Department of Maryland AMVETS unanimously affirmed the selection of Ms. Denise Nooe as this year’s recipient of the Free State Award of Excellence,” said Andy Martel, Executive Director, Department of Maryland AMVETS.  “Awarded in part for outstanding public service while serving the needs of the veteran population, Ms. Nooe’s 30 plus years of public service more than qualify her as the 2021 selectee.”

“It has been my honor to work with and on behalf of veterans for my entire career,” said Denise.  “I am grateful to the AMVETS Department of Maryland for this recognition, and I thank the AMVETS membership for the work they do every day to assist veterans.”

Ms. Nooe joined the Department of Veterans Affairs as Deputy Director of Outreach and Advocacy in 2014.  In addition to outreach to veterans, she serves on a number of boards and workgroups and staffs the Maryland Veterans Commission.  She began a new career with the Department after retiring from 30 years in federal service.  Ms. Nooe served as Director of U.S. Senator Mikulski’s Annapolis office for 27 years with a portfolio including veteran and military issues, the Department of Education, Department of Transportation and independent agencies.  She also served as Senator Mikulski's liaison to the Maryland General Assembly and the Maryland Governor’s Office.

Fields for Valor photo

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Stan Seidel and Denise Nooe, MDVA Deputy Director for Outreach & Advocacy visited Fields 4 Valor in Brandywine, on a very rainy afternoon, so this photo was taken inside the greenhouse.  On the right, is Peter Scott, CEO and Founder of Fields 4 Valor. Pete is an Iraq veteran with a mission to serve veterans experiencing food insecurity.  Antoinette LaForce, another OIF veteran not pictured here, is the Fields 4 Valor Production Manager.

In 2021, Pete hopes to almost double the veteran households provided with fresh vegetables and eggs by the 501(c)3 organization. More volunteers are needed to help with the increased production, including help with harvesting and other outside maintenance around the farm, drivers to deliver food to veterans and their families, someone to help the organization with social media/promotion and a CPA to help with an audit, so that Fields for Valor qualifies for more grant funding.  To volunteer in any of these roles, please contact Rina at rina@fields4valor.org


Check out more photos of Fields for Valor in the Community News section below.

Photo credit: Jason Marshall, Program Manager of Serving Together

DAV convention photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings attended the DAV State Convention and presents a Governor's Proclamation to outgoing DAV Auxiliary State Commander Teresa James.  Also in this photo are from left to right: DVA National Adjutant Marc Burgess, outgoing DAV State Commander Charles Clark (standing) and DAV Auxiliary National Commander Diane Franz (seated, right).

Charlotte hall Donation photo

Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Tom Rippon (not shown) chose Charlotte Hall as his Special Project for 2020-2021 VFW Year. In the picture from the left are: Mike Johnson, Special Project Chairman & Current Chief of Staff, Brian Sturgis, National Council Member, James Wade, 2021-2022 VFW State Commander, Maryland Veterans Commissioner Thomas V. Kimball Jr. and Sharon Murphy, Director of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The very generous donation will be used to purchase new furnishings for the residents.

American Legion Legacy Ride photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings (top, left in blue), joined the American Legion Riders, Maryland Gold Star Legacy Run at the Gold Star Families Monument in Annapolis. The Gold Star Families Monument is adjacent to the World War II Memorial.

Photo Credit: Maryland Gold Star Legacy Ride/Jeff Thorne Photography

Carroll County VIP Program

A ribbon-cutting was held at the Carroll County Veterans Independence Project (CCVIP) this week.  Shown in this photo are from left: SFC Michael Beard, Maryland Army National Guard 29th Military Police Company, Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, CCVIP Executive Eirector Jason Sidock, MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn and CCVIP Vice President Ed Cramer 

Photo credit: Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times

State Partner News

Governor's Proclamation - Women Veterans Day

Governor Hogan Declared June 12, 2021 as Women Veterans Day in Maryland

Maryland Department of Labor Veteran Programs

Virtual Veterans Kiosk

Virtual Veterans Career Club - Every Thursday

Federal Hiring Workshop - Every Fourth Tuesday and Wednesday

First Lady photo

Maryland's First Lady Yumi Hogan makes a presentation to COL Orville Hughes (USA, retired) on the occasion of his 100th birthday.  Col Hughes served in both World War II and Korea.  The birthday celebration was held at Wellspring of Life Farms.  A more detailed biography of COL Hughes may be found in the West Point Pointer View 

Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor  More Photos

University of Maryland Study Seeks Volunteers

A study is being conducted by the University of Maryland School of Nursing and funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to help explore and understand how training service dogs might affect PTSD and stress in veterans with PTSD. Partnered with Warrior Canine Connection, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans heal though the use of service dogs, we are conducting a clinical trial in Boyds, MD.

Eligible participants will be taught to train service dogs to help other veteran and their families. To accomplish this, participants will also be asked to partake in weekly sessions of a hands-on service dog training or weekly sessions of a service dog training education program over the course of 8 weeks. All participants will be assigned randomly and paid for their time.


June is Great Outdoors Month


June is Great Outdoors Month so the Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites you to join us in celebrating outdoor recreation in Maryland.

This month also marks Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week  (June 5th through the 13th) which fits in nicely given that this year’s theme is celebrating recreational opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Read more.


Natural Resource Photo Contest is Heating Up

Enter your Maryland photos in our official photo contest. Be sure to enter your photos of landscapes, weather, wildlife, insects, plants, and recreation before the contest closes on Aug. 5. Learn more and enter the contest here.


Maryland State Parks Prepare for Busy Summer Season

Maryland State Parks have surpassed visitation records the past two years, and 2021 is on track to meet or exceed these unprecedented numbers. Through a longstanding partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Inc. the Maryland Park Service will be educating visitors about several simple principles that will help them make responsible decisions to better minimize their impact, while maximizing their outdoor recreational experience. Read more.

State Plan On Aging Survey

We have extended the deadline to take our online survey through June 30, 2021 to inform us about your needs and preferences for services and programs. Please complete this brief survey to provide the Maryland Department of Aging with information that allows us to learn more about each jurisdiction and the state. Your comments will also inform our FY 2022-2025 State Plan on Aging. 

Click here or the button below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQDTVG2

Thank you for your time and valuable input.

Federal Partner News

Federal News

VA Blog: The Origin of Women Veterans Day

VA Center for Women Veterans

VA Invites Women Veterans to Join the Million Veterans Program

VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) released a new 30-second PSA and VAntage Point blog to engage more women into VA genetic research

June is PTSD Awareness Month: Make a Difference in the lives of Veterans in crisis

Gulf War Exposures and Health Concerns Class for Veterans - June 22, 2021

Martinsburg VA Medical Center: Program assists veterans with visual impairment

Rescheduling VA Compensation & Pension Exams

VBA celebrates all Veterans this Pride Month

Live Whole Health Episode #74: Improving your life with gratitude

Live Whole Health Episode #75: Go out and play, moving the body for fun

Fresh Focus #29: Malnutrition

VA Mindfulness Meditation Classes - by phone, no registration required

Best Veterans Benefits in All 50 States, MilitaryBenefits.info

Veterans can hike, bike and paddle across America with help from Warrior Expeditions

AARP Guide to 10 military museums and historic locations across the U.S.

SBA Announces Funding Competition to Organizations Providing Federal Procurement Training to Veteran Entrepreneurs


Community Partner News

More Fields 4 Valor photos

More photos of Fields 4 Valor.  The bottom left photo is of some of the bee hives on the property.  Apprentice farmers are taught bee keeping on site. Peter Scott, Founder and CEO leads a tour and explains the program.

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

Howard County Executive Announces Significant Funding to Launch Capital Campaign for Veterans Monument


Save the Date: for MCVET's 2021 Veterans Day Virtual Run and Walk, November 11, 2021

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Cynthia Macri announces a program sponsored by the Japanese American Veterans Association.  Any veteran can join JAVA free of charge - our mission is to preserve and promote the legacy of the 442nd.  As you know the late Senator Inouye was also a member of the 442nd.  Each year, JAVA distributes several thousand dollars of scholarships to descendants of the 442nd/100th Battalion and the MIS who served in WWII.

Please join us for the Day of Affirmation event on 15 July 2021, commemorating President Truman's affirmation of the role the segregated Japanese American units played in winning the second World War and in Truman's effort to integrate the US military, making it possible for all of us to serve together in defense of our nation in a fully integrated military.

Frederick County is holding virtual Veteran Recognition & Resource events in July: Wednesdays July 14, July 21 and July 28.  Flier

Project Opportunity has scheduled a fall class for Veteran Entrepreneurs on the Eastern Shore. Orientation Class is Scheduled for August 18, 2021. Flier

Women Veterans Participate in a Study Hosted by the University of Alabama

Are You a Woman who Served in the U.S. Military? Frustrated by assumptions about what #womenVets think & need? Take this nationwide survey and share your truth: https://bit.ly/38y975y  

Community Calendar

July 10, 2021

Maryland National Guard Community Fair, Silver Spring

Introduction to Hero Dogs

July 14, 2021

Frederick County Veteran Recognition & Resource Day

July 15, 2021

JAVA - Day of Affirmation

July 17, 2021

VFW Veterans Resource Day, Morningside

July 21, 2021

Frederick County Veteran Recognition & Resource Day

July 28, 2012

Frederick County Veteran Recognition & Resource Day

August 7, 2021

Purple Heart Recognition & Veterans Resource Fair, Newburg

August 18, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, Salisbury

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