27 August 2021 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  August 27, 2021


MDVA Service & Benefits Program Stands Ready to Help You


Do you have questions about your benefits as a veteran?  Do you want to file a claim for compensation or pension?  Has your service-connected disability worsened over time and you want to file for an increase in your rating?

The MDVA Service and Benefits staff will help you with these questions and many more.  Please contact one of the MDVA Benefits Specialists for assistance. Information on MDVA office locations at the link below:

MDVA Benefits and Service Program


MDVA Website

Purple Heart event

Ed Holland, Tiffany Daniel, VFW Chaplain, Department of Maryland and MDVA Secretary George Owings attend the 1st Annual Charles County Veterans Purple Heart Recognition held at the Maryland Veterans Museum at Patriot Park in partnership with Vets N Transition.

Mr. Holland provided this additional information on Vets N Transition: our mission is to provide military veteran entrepreneurs a platform to share their knowledge, leadership and inspirational stories from their transition of serving our country to civilian leaders in their respective fields.  Our Veteran Initiative: Veterans N Transition (VNT) is a half hour television program that promotes the veteran community.  Each episode features a diverse group of veterans who share their stories of contributing to the community through business, government, non-profit and philanthropy.  VNT airs on PBS affiliate WHUT-TV, which serves over 2.2 million households - four million plus viewers in Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia. Feel free to follow us at - https://www.facebook.com/Vetsntransition.

Photo credit: Rodney Minor

State Partner News

MACO photo

Governor Larry Hogan stops by the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home booth at the Maryland Association of Counties meeting last week.  From left to right are: MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Governor Hogan, Lisa Donor, Charlotte Hall Service Officer and MDVA Secretary George Owings.

Maryland Commission for Women Survey of the Impact of COVID-19

The Maryland Commission for Women is conducting an online survey to
determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the women of our state, how
they experienced the pandemic, and what is needed to begin a “new normal".

We invite women from all walks of life and from every jurisdiction in the state who are at least 18 years old by July 1, 2021, to participate. The questionnaire is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and French and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. All responses will be completely anonymous. 


Take the Survey

Women’s Equality Celebration Aug. 28 at Sang Run State Park
Rededication of Restored 1872 Election House Part of Event

The Maryland Park Service joins with Garrett County organizations on Aug. 28 to host a Women’s Equality Day Celebration including a historic march reenactment and event at Sang Run State Park from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. The event will start with a community march to the historic Friends Store, located within the park. Read more.

Federal Partner News

Resources from the United State Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans from all eras are reacting to the events in Afghanistan, such as the U.S withdrawal and the takeover by the Taliban.

You are not alone.

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service. It’s normal to feel this way. Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services. Scroll down for a list common reactions and coping advice.

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Coping with current events in Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Resources available for PTSD

Afghanistan: How spouses, Caregivers can support Veterans with PTSD

CALL  877-WAR-VETS if you need someone to listen

9/11 Military Women's Memorial Flier


Military Women's Memorial 9/11 Walk to Remembrance Relay

What: 174-mile relay from September 5-11th. Teams of any size (12 people recommended) collectively walk, run, bike or swim (stationary bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, rowers count) 174 miles over the 7 days. 

Why: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks-the horrific acts of terrorism that changed America forever.  Since that fateful day and the attacks on our nation's foundations and freedoms, 174 servicewomen have died in combat zones.  They left behind families, loved ones, and most importantly, legacies of strength, sacrifice, bravery, and patriotism. The Military Women's Memorial will pay tribute to these women and those who were killed on 9/11 with a 174-mile Remembrance Relay from September 5-11th, 2021.

Where:  Your hometown! This event is a shadow relay held virtually. Your team can complete the 174 miles in almost any way - add all your distances together to make the 174 miles. The MWM team will complete the relay with a very small team going from the Flight 93 Memorial to the Military Women’s Memorial. This shadow relay is meant to accompany their efforts and allow more people to participate.

So far, we have had very little Maryland resident sign-ups for the FREE shadow teams despite that there have been 6 military women FROM MARYLAND killed in combat zones since 9/11. As we quickly approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I am requesting your assistance in garnering some Maryland support for the 9/11 Remembrance Relay 

Federal News

VA Women Leaders Join Women Veterans in Research

Martinsburg VA Medical Center: Takes its residents on virtual vacations

Washington, DC VA Medical Center: Specializing Care for Women

August is National Eye Exam Month

Are You Due Money from the VA? More Than $300M Could be Owed in GI Bill Refunds, Military.Com article

Highlights: 2021 National Veterans Golden Age Games at Home

Compensation & Pension Exams

Caregiver and Family Resource Fair coming to a location near you

AARP offers free resources for military caregivers grappling with stress, suicidal thoughts

Free Help at Home for Veterans from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Veterans can help survivors plan ahead

Live Whole Health #84: Hip Hinge to strengthen your lower back

Live Whole Health #85: Stillness in busy times with Yin meditation

Team RWB Old Glory Relay 2021: Participation Information

Never Forget: Visit a Sept.11 Memorial, Honoring 9/11, Military One Source Article

USPS is hiring nationwide, Veterans and family members get preference

Consider a rewarding nursing career at VA

News from Maryland VA Health Care System:

On Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine for certain people with weakened immune systems who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Currently, the third dose of the vaccine is only recommended for people with moderate to severe compromised immune systems who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. This includes those with organ transplants and those diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have a similar level of compromised immune system.

The VA Maryland Health Care System will start offering the third dose of the vaccine to Veteran patients with a compromised immune system beginning the week of Aug. 30. Please note that Veteran patients with a compromised immune system will be provided instructions on how to schedule an appointment to receive a third dose of the vaccine.  

We anticipate the third dose of the vaccine will be made available to additional people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines later in September 2021. Veterans do not need to call and request the third dose of the vaccine since they will receive instructions on how to schedule an appointment when it is available. To receive the latest updates about the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit www.maryland.va.gov and enter your email address under “Connect with the VA Maryland Health Care System.”

Naturalization flier

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.

Bastard's Road Flier

Women Veterans United Committee

MDVA Secretary George Owings is shown here with the Directors of the Women Veterans United Committee, Inc.: Tiffany Daniel, Dr. JoAnn Fisher, Karen Holmes and Lashunda Amoo. The event was the 2021 Men's Mental Health Seminar.

Community News

Save the Date: November 13, 2021 DAV Information and Claims Clinic, Newburg, MD


FYI: American Veterans Chamber of Commerce


News from the Maryland Center for Veterans Employment & Training (MCVET)

5th Annual Golf Outing to Benefit MCVET

Sponsor MCVET's Virtual Veterans Day 5K, 10K

Register for MCVET's Virtual Veterans Day 5K/10K

100% Scholarship Based Virtual Accelerated Cybersecurity Training Program for Maryland Residents

Did you know there are over 76,703 open cybersecurity roles in the DC/VA/MD Metro region alone?

If you like solving puzzles, tinkering with computers or have a passion for problem solving, consider applying to a SANS Scholarship program and learning the skills and techniques that are in-demand by the region’s employers.

Existing cyber professionals can upskill at no cost to them to accelerate their careers and move into more advanced positions.

SANS Cyber Workforce Maryland- Programs offered entirely online and many individuals have completed the program while working or continuing to meet family obligations.

  • Reskilling Academy – 6 month program for individuals with no prior paid experience in cybersecurity to earn up to 3 SANS courses and the associated GIAC Certifications
  • Upskilling Academy – experienced cybersecurity professionals with no advanced level certifications (ex. OSCP) receive up to 2 SANS courses and the affiliated GIAC certifications depending on their selected are of interest

Both programs offer the best cybersecurity training available taught by world class cybersecurity practitioners virtually, with labs that help hone and apply your skills in a virtualized environment. If selected, you will also have access to technical mentors, career assistance, and the ability to network with likeminded peers. All books, course materials, 2 practice exams and final exam attempt are provided via scholarship which means no cost to you.


Dog Tag Fellowship Program

Interested in learning about business, building a strong community, and rediscovering purpose for moving forward? The Dog Tag Fellowship Program is a 5-month fellowship program that combines equal parts classroom, bakery, community, and wellbeing. Dog Tag Fellows earn a Georgetown University certificate of business administration in our classroom space; bring their coursework to life by learning the ins and outs of running a successful business in the bakery; build community with each other; and enhance their wellbeing by committing time to introspection and personal growth.

The program is open to post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities, military spouses, and military caregivers. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend to help cover living costs as they complete the program. The program dates are Jan 18-May 27, and the application deadline is September 15th. Apply here: https://bit.ly/dt-winter2022
Learn more about the program and register for upcoming recruitment events on their website: https://www.dogtaginc.org/fellowship

Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run

This year, we’re coming together in unity to honor 20 years since the 9/11 attacks on our nation. With recent news of turmoil overseas, our mission to honor those who served and sacrificed on 9/11 and in the wars since is as relevant and essential now as ever before.

Regardless of our personal connection to these heroes, understanding their stories and honoring them is paramount. Join us this September to run, walk, or ruck in their honor for the 9/11 Heroes Run. Register as a virtual participant here to complete the event wherever you are or find an in-person race at the button below. 

Find a 9/11 Heroes Run Near You

Community Calendar

August 28, 2021

Fleet Reserve Association Open House, Annapolis

DAV Veterans Information & Benefits Clinic, Dundalk

August 29, 2021

Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. hosts: Veteran Baby Shower

August 30, 2021

Project Opportunity Orientation Day for Spouses, Annapolis

September 1, 2021

Voices of Vets Free Summer Concert, Annapolis

September 3, 2021

Military and First Responders Appreciation Day at State Fair

Timonium State Fairgrounds Event

MACO photo

MDVA and Charlotte Hall Veterans Home at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) meeting last week:  In this photo are MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Lisa Murphy, LSWA, Charlotte Hall Admissions Director, MDVA Secretary George Owings and Lisa Donor, Charlotte Hall Veterans Service Officer.

Senator Mary Beth Carozza photo

MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Maryland State Senator Mary Beth Carozza and MDVA Secretary George Owings at MACO.

University of Maryland at MACO

Another photo from MACO at the University of Maryland Institute for Governmental Service & Research booth: MDVA Secretary George Owings, Sharon Gibbs Cooper, Toni Jennings and MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn.

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.