16 July 2021 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  July 16, 2021


MDVA Service & Benefits Program Serves Veterans

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The Maryland Fiscal Year ended on June 30th and the MDVA Service & Benefits Program staff produced some impressive numbers:

During fiscal year 2021, MDVA Veteran Benefits Specialists  were able to assist Maryland veterans in obtaining in excess of $30 million in new federal monetary payments.  The majority of these monetary benefits are ongoing, as veterans continue to receive these benefits permanently.

MDVA served approximately 129,576 veterans, dependents and survivors across the State in FY 21.

MDVA Benefits Specialists assisted in the submission of 2,798 claims for adjudication by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

MDVA accepted representation for 1,532 new veterans statewide.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs adjudicated 3,385 disability compensation and non-service connected pension claims submitted by MDVA during FY-21. Of those 3,058 claims were approvals and 327 were denied which calculates to a 90% approval rate for claims submitted by MDVA Benefits Specialists.

If you or a veteran you know would like help filing a claim or other veteran benefits information, please call the MDVA Benefits & Service Program on: 1-800-446-4926, or use this link to determine the MDVA office most convenient for you:  MDVA Service & Benefits Program


MDVA Website

Gold Star Families Monument

MDVA Secretary George Owings and volunteers work to clean and landscape at the Gold Star Families Monument in Annapolis.

Travis Manion Foundation Volunteers

Thank you to the Travis Manion Foundation volunteers for spending their Saturday to help clean the Gold Star Families Monument.

Ashley Randano photo

Please join MDVA in welcoming our newest co-worker: Ashley Radano, Contract Compliance Specialist.  Ashley started working at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home eleven years ago for the health care contractor at Charlotte Hall, and she has served as an Activity Aide, Unit Clerk, Quality Assurance Assistant, Director of Volunteer Services & Community Outreach and Director of Recreational Services, all before joining the MDVA staff. 

Ashley is a southern Maryland native. Her grandfather, Dr. Harold W. Sorrill, Jr., Captain, USN was a resident of Charlotte Hall during his final years.  Ashley states: "Being a part of the MDVA team is an exceptional honor. There is so much significance and meaning behind our role in the veteran community. I look forward to continuing my service to our veterans in this new role".

American Legion Generously Donates to Charlotte Hall

As Fiscal Year 2021 ended, it must be noted that donations to Charlotte Hall continued without interruption from many organizations and individual donors, despite the challenges everyone has faced. Each and every donation is appreciated and used to support the residents of Charlotte Hall. When visitors were restricted at the state veterans home; donations including snacks, clothing, TV's and monetary donations continued to arrive from generous Marylanders.

The American Legion Department of Maryland, individual American Legion Posts, the Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion - despite closed or reduced Post operations still gave combined donations of $53,906 to Charlotte Hall.  As the American Legion Department of Maryland 2021 Convention comes to a close, MDVA would like to give the American Legion members a special shout-out.

American Legion Convention

The American Legion, Department of Maryland Convention was held this week.  Attending and shown in this photo are: Edna W. Cummings, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), Army Reserve Ambassador-Maryland, MDVA Secretary George Owings and Master Sergeant Elizabeth Helm-Frazier, U.S. Army (Retired).

Colonel Cummings and Master Sergeant Helm-Frazier produced the Six Triple Eight Documentary

American Legion Convention

Another photo from the American Legion Department of Maryland Convention, held this week.  From left to right: MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Commander Earnest Hawkins, Jr., Post 29 in Caroline County, MDVA Secretary George Owings, and Mr. Joe Coaxum, Sergeant at Arms for Post 196 in Suitland.

Byron Phelps photo

World War II Navy Veteran Byron Phelps is holding a Citation from Governor Hogan for his 95th birthday celebration.  Denise Nooe, MDVA Deputy Director of Outreach made the presentation at a family picnic held in Mr. Phelp's honor.

State Partner News

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Assists MDVA

Maryland Flag Waiving
This summer, one of the most meaningful restorative justice projects designed to connect inmates not just to jobs, but to society, is playing out in of all places, cemeteries. It is all thanks to a unique partnership with the MD Department of Veterans Affairs.  Please click here to check out this project.

New Training & Resources Center for Veterans

Starting Businesses

The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. The SBA has 22 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC).

For More Information:

  • University of Maryland Veterans Business Outreach Center
    • Coverage: Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania
    • Address: Maryland Innovation Center, 6751 Columbia Gateway Dr, Suite 500, Columbia, MD 21046
    • Telephone: (301) 955-6328
    • Email: scolella@umd.edu

211 promotion

Looking for information or help?  In Maryland, call 211 for referrals to the assistance you need.

Fact Sheet 

Last year almost 3,000 calls were placed to 211 concerning veteran resources and benefits.  MDVA appreciates our partners at 211 who refer veterans to MDVA and other veteran services.

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 Conservation Corps Recruiting for 2021-22 Season

Young Adults Can Gain Practical Experience and Skills Training

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now recruiting members for the Maryland Conservation Corps, an award-winning AmeriCorps program that engages young adults aged 17-25 in extensive conservation, environmental, and natural resources management projects across the state. Read more.


Also, Volunteer Maryland Recruits AmeriCorps Members to Serve as Volunteer Coordinators

Read More Here

Federal Partner News

Save the Date:

Baltimore EDI event flier

Federal News

VA Benefits with 100% Service Connected Disability

VA Benefits with 90% Service Connected Disability

How to Enroll in VA Health Care

Free Veterinary Health Insurance with VA Health Care

VA: The most important job search strategy that you might not be using

Live Whole Health #78:  Moving to the Beat

Live Whole Health #79: Gratitude to Improve Your Life 

Extreme Heat: How to Stay cool, hydrated and informed

Tech Startups: A great next mission for veterans

Check out the Military Women's Memorial Calendar of Events

All Veterans are invited to join VA’s iRest™ Yoga Nidra Meditation phone-based classes to help you relax deeply, release stress, increase resiliency, and more.  VA’s War Related Illness and Injury Study Center offers this class every Tuesday at 5pm ET and every Thursday at 8pm ET.  Join as many classes as you wish. Learn more at Guided iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation Phone-based Class from Home (va.gov).

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

Save the Date: August 24, 2021

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 524 of Frederick, MD is seeking disabled veterans to participate in a unique experience learning to build an aircraft.  An open house will be held on Saturday, April 24th in Frederick.  Read More Here

Project Opportunity has scheduled a fall classes for Veteran Entrepreneurs:

Eastern Shore Orientation Class is scheduled for August 18, 2021: Flier

Baltimore City Orientation Class scheduled for August 19, 2021: Flier

Southern Maryland Orientation Class scheduled for August 24, 2021: Flier

Entrepreneur training for Spouses of Veterans, Active Duty and Guard/Reserve Personnel - Orientation Class August 30th in Annapolis: Flier

Community Calendar

July 17, 2021

VFW Veterans Resource Day, Morningside

July 20, 2021

TechExpo Cyber Security Virtual Hiring Event

July 21, 2021

Frederick County Veteran Recognition & Resource Day

July 27, 2021

Thank you to Korean War Veterans at Mission BBQ

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

August 19, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, Baltimore

August 24, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day, Waldorf

Experimental Aircraft Association Open House, Frederick

August 28, 2021

DAV Veterans Information & Benefits Clinic, Dundalk

August 30, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day for Spouses, Annapolis

September 1, 2012

Voices of Vets Free Summer Concert, Annapolis

I'm Still Standing Community Organization

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.