11 February 2022 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  February 11, 2022


Black History Month


Dana Burl, Director of the MDVA Outreach & Advocacy Program authored this blog,

Health and Wellness: Linking Black History and Heart Healthy Month.


MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program Advisory Group


The MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program is recruiting members for an Advisory Group.

Please see the attached informational video for more information:


Or contact:

Roslyn Jones

Women Veterans/Inclusion Program Manager

Outreach & Advocacy Program

Department of Veterans Affairs

16 Francis Street

Annapolis, MD 21401


(410) 260-3971


MDVA Website

Russ & Secretary Owings

On a cold and snowy day, Russell Ware, Director of the MDVA Cemetery and Memorials program and MDVA Secretary George Owings prepare for the ceremony for Unaccompanied Veterans at Crownsville Cemetery.

WMAR2News story

The photos below are also from the ceremony at Crownsville Veterans Ceremony.  1. Several hundred members of the public attended the ceremony.  2. Bugler, Keith Lippincott of Bugles Across America volunteered for the ceremony.  3. Members of the public lined up to pay their respects, despite the frigid temperatures.

Crownsville Veterans Cemetery ceremony

Garrison Forest ceremony

A ceremony for Unaccompanied Veterans was also held at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery located in Baltimore County the following week.

Coast Guard photo

One of the Unaccompanied Veterans served in the United States Coast Guard, and a group of active duty Coast Guard members attended the ceremony at Garrison Forest.

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Service Animal Program and Fund


The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs anticipates the availability of $65,000 for the FY 2022 Maryland Veterans Service Animal Grant Program. The Department anticipates making up to 10 awards not to exceed the total of $65,000 for a period of ten months (May 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023). The minimum amount an applicant should request for this project is $5,000 and the maximum amount is $10,000.

 Notice of Funding Availability Application The FY22 Notice of Funding Availability is now available.  The application and applications instructions are contained in this Notice. Important Dates: Applicant Technical Assistance Conference Call February 22, 2022 Deadline to submit an online application March 21, 2022 by 3:00pm EST Letter of intent/denial mailings April 7, 2022 Award start date May 1, 2022 Award end date February 28, 2023 Final report due March 30, 2023 (or 30 days from the completion of the program/project)


State Partner News

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans event

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans is proud to launch registration for our 2022 Virtual Military & Veteran Cultural Diversity Symposium. The symposium will be held on February 22nd and 23rd from 1pm to 5pm EST. You can register for both days or just one and still earn free CEUs. We will have three workshops that focus on Aging, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and Women veterans.  

February 22nd (Day 1) will have keynote speaker MCPO (Ret) Vince Patton with six 1-hour presentations to choose from. Register for Day 1 at:  https://bit.ly/34uy6Hc

February 23rd (Day 2) will have keynote speaker Lt. Col. Bree Fram with four 2-hour presentations to choose from. Register for Day 2 at: https://bit.ly/35EnXbz

Vax lottery graphic

Maryland has launched a VaxCash 2.0 lottery. If you’re a resident who received your COVID-19 vaccine in Maryland, get a booster by Monday to be in the first $500,000 drawing.

Already boosted? You’re automatically eligible to win.


2022 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Convened

The Maryland General Assembly is currently meeting in Annapolis for the 2022 Legislative Session.  As a service to the veteran community, information on proposed legislation of possible interest to veterans is provided below:

2022 Legislative Information

You may check the status of proposed legislation by visiting the:

Maryland General Assembly Website

Governor's office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs

Maryland Flag Waiving


Stay connected to the many opportunities for training, networking, and business development that are taking place across Maryland and on virtual platforms. Here is a highlight of some of the events coming up this month. 


02/15/2022 - Grow Your Brand by Becoming a Self-Published Author
02/22/2022 - Keys to a Successful Black Owned Business Start-Up
02/22/2022 - Negotiation Skills to Win More Contracts & Build Relationships
02/24/2022 - Subcontracting in Maryland's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program
02/28/2022 - 7 Steps to Become More Effective at Business Finance
03/01/2022 - MBE/DBE/ACDBE/SBE Application Assistance Workshop

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

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) announced that applications for the 2022 Homeowners’ and Renters’ Tax Credit programs, which saved Marylanders more than $64.5 million in FY21, are available online. The quickest and easiest way to determine eligibility for these credits, and to submit an application, is by accessing the department’s innovative online tax credit application system, which strengthens SDAT’s ability to continue processing all tax credit applications in an accurate and timely manner. The deadline to file for both tax credits is October 1, 2022.

The Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program provides tax relief for eligible homeowners by setting a limit on the amount of property taxes owed based on their income. Applications received and approved by May 1 will be included on the initial July tax bill. If a resident has already paid their property taxes and applies by October 1, any tax credit that the homeowner may be eligible for will be refunded by their county finance office. In FY21, 42,272 eligible homeowners received an average of $1,451 in tax relief.

The Renters’ Property Tax Credit Program similarly provides tax relief for eligible renters who pay high monthly rent relative to their total income. The majority of recipients of this credit are Marylanders aged 60 or older, but the program is also available to the 100% disabled and renters under age 60 with at least one dependent child. This credit is issued in the form of a direct check payment of up to $1,000 a year. In FY21, 7,525 eligible renters received an average of $446 in tax relief.

All Marylanders who received a Homeowners’ or Renters’ Tax Credit in 2021 will be mailed a complimentary 2022 application to their home address. To determine whether you are eligible to receive a tax credit, please visit SDAT’s online tax credit system. To receive an application, please email sdat.taxcreditapp@maryland.gov or call 410-767-4433. While completing your tax credit application, please read the instructions carefully, provide all required documentation, and review your application to ensure that all fields have been completed before submitting it to the department.

Homeowners may also be eligible to receive a Homestead Tax Credit to limit taxable assessment increases on their principal residence. To determine eligibility, homeowners may complete a one-time application online, which is available to complete all year. 

Many counties and municipalities also offer additional residential tax credits. If a resident is approved to receive the state homeowners’ credit, they may automatically receive local supplemental homeowners’ credits for which they are eligible.

To ensure that eligible tax credit recipients submit their applications by the required deadline, SDAT strongly encourages all homeowners and renters in Maryland to sign up for our email distribution list to receive timely reminders and general news updates.


Maryland Insurance Administration

Feb. 16th: Join the MIA for an informative presentation to learn about a new federal law – the No Surprises Act. During this presentation, you will learn what you can do if you receive an unexpected balance bill after you receive emergency care from an out-of-network provider, or from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility, such as a hospital.  https://insurance.maryland.gov/Consumer/Documents/agencyhearings/Lunch-with-MIA-NSA-2162022.pdf

Federal Partner News

Federal News

VA: Black History Month

Black Army Veterans historical stand paves way for changes

Board of Veterans Appeals Delayed Notifications

Connect with Women Veterans, learn about available veteran and women-centered health care resources

Feb. 16th: Student loans, how to pay off your debt

Feb. 17th: VA Virtual Outreach Symposium for Minority Veterans

Feb. 17th: Arthritis Foundation - Veterans Navigating Agricultural Careers and Arthritis

Feb. 24th: Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Class - What you need to know.

Feb. 24th: VA Virtual Faith-Based Outreach Symposium

VA Vets First Podcasts

VA Disability and Social Security Disability Income

Can Veterans Use Marijuana?

VA, Bombas, Veterans United provide 50,000 pairs of socks to homeless Veterans, see Project PLASE/Baltimore mention

Introducing the Whole Health for Veterans with Chronic Pain Podcast

Live Whole Health #108: Seated Sun Salutations

Live Whole Health #109: Setting an Intention from the Heart

VA Educational Benefits for Veterans' Children

Navy Raises Enlistment Bonus: Up to $50K, FED week article

AARP, Others offer free tax preparation help to Veterans, military and families

AARP: Free resources help Veterans, military spouses find jobs

Department of Labor HIRE Vets Medallion Program

Department of Labor - Employment Resources for Justice Involved Veterans

VA Education program started during the pandemic to retrain unemployed Veterans goes mostly unused, Stars and Stripes article

COVID-19 Testing at Home

Get free, at home COVID-19 test kits

VA: Women Veterans NOT using your earned VA Benefits & Services, we would love to hear from you. Please take our survey, it takes 5 minutes and is anonymous. https://survey.voice.va.gov/?cwv-women-veterans

When Support is Needed at Home or Close to Home

VA offers a wide range of Home and Community Services for older Veterans and those with extended care needs. Visit va.gov/Geriatrics to learn about these services:

United States Department of Labor Women's Bureau:

In honor of Black History Month, the Women's Bureau invites you to a screening of "Invisible Warriors," a documentary by historian and retired professor Gregory Cooke about the 600,000 African-American "Rosie the Riveters" who worked at factories and shipyards during World War II, but whose contributions were largely unrecognized. The film is a powerful conversation with the women who helped shaped American history and who are now sharing previously untold stories about life during World War II. A fireside chat with the filmmaker will follow the screening.

  • Date:  Monday, February 14
  • Time: 2–3:30 p.m. ET
  • Register to attend(password: Welcome!24) 

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

Voices of Vets: Free Concert - Part I


Angel Wings for Veterans, Transportation assistance


April 23rd fundraiser for Baltimore Station


The Mission Continues: Senior Leadership Corps Applications Open


March 2022 Morgan State University Women Business Owner Boot Camp

News from Blue Star Families:

Family Day in Honor of Black History Month with Blue Star Families

Saturday, February 19th

10 AM to 1 PM ET

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park

16501 Norwood Road

Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Gather the whole family and join Blue Star Families for a self-guided exploration of Montgomery County's Black history at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park. Check-in at the visitor center for take-home activities (for ages 5-12, while supplies last) and trail maps to explore the Underground Railroad Experience Trail at your leisure.

This drop-in event is free and family-friendly to offer you the chance to connect, learn, and get exercise.

Below is the link for membership to Blue Star Families which is free - the Baltimore/Chesapeake Chapter covers the state of Maryland with the exception of Prince Georges and Montgomery counties.  


Project Opportunity

Free entrepreneurial training for Veterans

Spring Training Class on Eastern Shore

Spring Training Class in Prince George's County

Training for Spouses of Veterans, Active Duty and Guard/Reserve Personnel

Baltimore County Public Library Veterans Book Club:

Back for a seventh year, the popular Veterans Book Group is seeking participants for its monthly book discussions. The group, which aims to bring veterans of all eras together, will read varied pieces of literature—including memoirs, novels, poetry, short stories and essays—and discuss the readings. Led by Dr. Karen Arnold—independent scholar, poet and former visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy—this book group is open to current service members and veterans from all eras.  Participants should plan to attend all five meetings, held via Zoom on the fourth Monday of every month through May. Registration is required. To register, contact the Adult and Community Engagement department by emailing ace@bcpl.net or calling 410-887-0238

February 28

"The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior" by Robert O’Neill  In "The Operator," Robert O’Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana, his impulsive decision to join the SEALs, the arduous evaluation and training process and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEAL’s most elite unit. After officially becoming a SEAL, O’Neill would spend more than a decade in the most intense counterterror effort in U.S. history. For extended periods, not a night passed without him and his small team recording multiple enemy kills—and though he was lucky enough to survive, several of the SEALs he’d trained with and fought beside never made it home. 

The Summer 2022 Dog Tag Fellowship Program application is now open:

We are particularly looking for applicants in the Midwest or Mid-Atlantic region of the US, but encourage all to apply! Program information, eligibility requirements, application instructions, and the application link can all be found at dogtaginc.org/apply.

Community Calendar

February 16, 2022

2022 Military Veteran Suicide Prevention Panel

February 17, 2022

TechExpo Top Secret Virtual Hiring Event

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.