25 March 2022 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  March 25, 2022


Strenghth and Resilience At Home and Abroad

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by Dana Burl, Director, MDVA Outreach & Advocacy Program

Across the nation each March, we celebrate Women’s History Month.  It is a time set aside to recognize the historical contributions made by women and especially in the Department of Veterans Affairs, to highlight women in military service.  Women have served in the military as far back as the Revolutionary War and now serve today in combat roles.  For civilians who have not served in the uniformed services it may be difficult to fully understand the strength and resiliency required to serve.

In recent weeks, it’s been all but impossible to escape international news on the war in Ukraine.  Although there are no US combat boots on the ground, I cannot help but analogize the civilian Ukrainian women who are bearing the burdens of war to women in US military service.  It is difficult for me to conceptualize what it must be like, as a mother, a professional, a homeowner, and a daughter, to flee your home with nothing but a backpack and the clothes on your back.  I’ve wondered in the last few days if I’d be brave enough.

According to the United Nations, it is estimated that 54% of people in need of assistance from the ongoing crisis are women.  The numbers are expected to increase as women and children continue to flee to other countries.  Considering Women’s History Month, I imagine the courage being displayed by the women in Ukraine parallels that of the courage displayed by the thousands of women who have served in our US military.

During the Revolutionary War women mended clothes and nursed wounds.  They cooked and cleaned.  Continuing in these roles during the Civil War, more than 3,000 women serving as nurses.  During World War I the Navy enlisted women as yeomanettes, allowing them to serve as clerks, telephone operators and translators.  Not long thereafter, during World War II, almost 350,00 women served in uniform.  Just as the women in Ukraine, women in military service have withstood risk and overcome trials faced before them.

Women would go on to serve in the Korean War (120,000 women) and in Vietnam (11,000 women).  Of significance in 2013 the ban on women in combat was lifted.  More than 50 women have now graduated from Army Ranger School.  They will continue making history and pave the way for women who will come after them.

As we move forward through the balance of Women’s History Month and beyond, let us pause to reflect on the accomplishments of our women in military service.  In addition, let us continue to pray for the courageous women in Ukraine.

For more information on resources for women who have served in the military, please visit: Women Veterans/Inclusion Program (maryland.gov)

For resources to help cope with the current events in Ukraine, please visit: Coping with Current Events in Ukraine – PTSD: National Center for PTSD (va.gov)

MDVA Website

Women Veteran's event

MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program

MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program Focus Group Survey

Charlotte Hall photo

Recently some of the Veterans who reside at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home visited American Legion Post #206 in Chesapeake Beach for Steak Night.  In this photo are, from left to right: Ms. Clarissa Choux assisting with the dinner, Mr. Michael Bonds, Commissioner Gloria J. Larman, Maryland Home Commission who also volunteered and Mr. Frank Welch.

News from Charlotte Hall Veterans Home:

March 2022 Newsletter


American Legion National Commander

MDVA Secretary George Owings on the right, presents a Proclamation from Governor Hogan to Paul E. Dillard, National Commander of the American Legion at the National Commander's Banquet.  The event was held at American Legion Post #22 in Towson.

Vietnam Veteran pinning photo

From left to right are: MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, Mr. Ron P. Feltz and MDVA Secretary George Owings.  Mr. Feltz was pinned by Secretary Owings with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.

In Maryland, Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is observed on March 30th.  The legislation creating the observance was the first legislation signed into law by Governor Hogan in his first term as Governor.  Article by Afro News, March 30, 2015

State Partner News

Spotlight on Education: Morgan State University

On Thursday, April 28, 2022, there will be a One-Day Virtual Summit from 8AM to 4:30PM EST hosted by the Women Veteran Entrepreneurs (WVE) Initiative under the Women Owned & Managed Enterprise Network (WOMEN) platform of the Morgan State University (MSU) Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC where YOU will learn how to become a Business Triple Threat by securing the Three Cs: Contracts, Contacts, and Capital.

This event will be jam-packed with amazing speakers, valuable content and the opportunity to network with multiple government agency liaisons. What's even better? The cost of this event is FREE and VIRTUAL.

More Information:  Video and Flier

U of MD Study

Governor Hogan Announces Elimination of Four-Year Degree Requirement For Thousands of State Jobs

Maryland Launches First-in-the-Nation Initiative to Recruit Experienced,
Non-Degree Candidates

Governor Larry Hogan announced the launch of a multi-pronged, first-in-the-nation workforce development initiative to formally eliminate the four-year college degree requirement from thousands of state jobs. Spearheaded by the Maryland Department of Labor and the Maryland Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the state will work with partners to recruit and market these roles to job seekers who are “Skilled Through Alternative Routes” (STARs).

The governor was joined for today’s announcement by Secretary Tiffany Robinson of the Maryland Department of Labor and Byron Auguste, the CEO and co-founder of Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit workforce development organization that will work with DBM to specifically identify Maryland “STARs” in the IT, administrative, and customer service sectors.

“Through these efforts we are launching today, we are ensuring that qualified, non-degree candidates are regularly being considered for these career-changing opportunities,” said Governor Hogan. “This is exactly the kind of bold, bipartisan solution we need to continue leading the nation by giving even more Marylanders the opportunities they need to be successful.” 

The State of Maryland employs more than 38,000 individuals and DBM estimates that more than half of those jobs can substitute relevant experience, training, and/or community college education for a four-year degree. There are more than 300 currently open state government jobs that no longer require a four-year degree, all of which are now listed on “Stellarworx,”  Opportunity@Work’s innovative STARs talent marketplace. 

STARs are age 25 or older, active in the labor force, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have developed their skills through alternative routes such as community college, apprenticeships, military service, boot camps, and most commonly, on-the-job. Opportunity@Work estimates that there are currently more than 70 million STARs in the United States. 

“There are over 1 million Marylanders who do not have bachelor’s degrees, but do have skills for jobs that are in demand by both the State of Maryland and other employers," said Auguste. "These Maryland workers are STARs - Skilled Through Alternative Routes - such as community college, military service, workforce training, on-the-job learning and more. By launching this initiative and sourcing STARs talent on Stellarworx, Governor Hogan and his administration are making clear that Maryland values all the skills of its diverse workforce. This will enable more Marylanders to work, learn and earn to their fullest potential and is a promising model for other states and employers to follow.”

Of the 2,869,000 workers in Maryland today, more than 1.3 million, or 47%, are considered STARs. Nationally, 61% of Black workers, 55% of Hispanic workers, 66% of rural workers of all races, and 61% of veterans are STARs.

Senior Call Check

The Maryland Department of Disabilities, Assistive Technology Program (MDTAP) enhances the lives of all Marylanders with disabilities, older Marylanders, and their families by providing access to assistive technology (AT) devices and services. AT can include low tech devices, like tactile labels or handheld magnifiers, but also includes many high-tech devices such as adapted video gaming systems, smart home technology, eye gaze systems for the computer, communication devices for those who are non-verbal, and lots of other equipment.

MDTAP offers a variety of services including hosting 8 assistive technology libraries across the state, providing in-person and virtual AT demonstrations, equipment consultations, short-term device loans, running a high-tech AT Reuse Center (to access gently used equipment for free), AT trainings, webinars, and managing a low-interest financial loan program. We also provide one-on-one information & referral to help consumers find needed disability-related services. 

For more information or to request a service, visit us at www.mdtap.org or email MDTAP.General@maryland.gov

To catch a glimpse of our program at work, check out our short YouTube video exploring the Maryland AT Program

Attention Veteran Housing Providers and County Veterans Commissions:

The Maryland Department of Housing and Communty Development is holding a series of public hearings to develop its new draft Annual Plan update of the State's Consolidated Plan.  

The Consolidated Plan is a 5-Year planning document required by HUD that sets statewide goals and priorities for housing, community development, and economic development activities.  Special emphasis is given under the Plan to provide assistance for extremely low, low, and moderate-income persons.  In addition to being a planning document, the Consolidated Plan also serves as the State’s application to HUD for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity With AIDS (HOPWA) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF).  These funds are used primarily in the State’s rural areas, as many communities, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties, as well as the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown and Salisbury receive funding directly from HUD. 

Read More Here

Federal Partner News

Federal News

March 29th: National Vietnam Veterans Day

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration

March 29-30: Small Business Administration Women's Virtual Business Summit

What women Veteran-owned business entrepreneurs need to know

Recording of Women Veterans Public Health Forum held March 9, 2022

Join VA's phone-based mindfulness meditation

Live Whole Health #114: Tai Chi seated cloud hands

Live Whole Health #15: Mobility with Movement

Live Whole Health: Gratitude Practice

Live Whole Health: Three Minute Breathing-Space

Free Legal Services for Veterans in the DC area

Federal Executive Board Campus Series for those seeking federal jobs

VA: Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program

Eligible Veterans can shop at Defense Commissaries 

VA: Veteran Access to Voting

The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses subcommittee is holding two Veteran Engagement Sessions on April 6 and 7. Details to participate are included in the flier.  Please note the log-in details are unique for each day.


On April 27, 2022 VA is offering a Virtual Welcome2VA program for all Post 9/11 Veterans

Read More Here

Million Veteran Program

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.

Vietnam Veteran Programs and Salutes:

March 29th: Southern Maryland Vietnam War Veteran 50th Anniversary Salute, Chesapeake Beach.  The event organizers are accepting award requests: Award Registration


March 29th: Carroll County Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Westminster


March 29th: Ft. Detrick Commemoration at Commissary, Flier


March 29th: Free Chow at Mission BBQ


The Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs is honoring dozens of Montgomery County Vietnam War Era veterans with detailed tributes displayed on a special website created by the commission. Read more here


Gilchrist Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran event

This photo was taken at Gilchrist's Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day celebration held on March 20th.  Former Maryland State Senator John Astle, a Vietnam Veteran who served as a helicopter pilot is at the podium.  MDVA Secretary George Owings and Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, both Vietnam Veterans also attended the ceremony. WMAR2 News story

Photo courtesy of gilchristcares.org 

Community News


Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will also be starting its next acting class exclusively for military veterans in April. CSC’s classes encourage veterans to use William Shakespeare’s plays as inspiration to reflect on their personal experiences, in the military and in their return to civilian life. CSC Director of Education Ron Heneghan and CSC teaching artists lead classes in-person at the downtown Baltimore theater. CSC started the veterans programming in 2017 and 26 veterans have participated so far. Visit the website or contact Director of Education Ron Heneghan directly at heneghan@chesapeakeshakespeare.com or 410.244.8571, ext. 113

Annapolis Film Festival Announces Military Focus Films

March 31 - April 3

More information on Military Focus Films

Annapolis Film Festival Website


Film Guide 


How to Fest


Upcoming Events at the Cohen Clinic at Easterseals


The Partnership for a Healthier Carroll County & Walk Carroll: A Walk in the Park

ServingTogether offers service members, veterans and their families access to a class-leading continuum of providers that runs the gamut from superior mental health, housing, and emergency service providers to employment, financial capabilities, education, volunteering, recreation and fitness, and more! We are able to track client progress, communicate with providers and ensure the veterans are truly getting what they need all free of charge.  

 Serving Together has been immensely successful in building a dynamic team that is truly devoted to the mission of the organization. This team has tangible, personal connections to our veterans and genuine concern for their best outcomes. ServingTogether provides peer navigation, collaboratives, guides, education, and training. Please visit our Website for more information.  


Community Calendar

March 25, 2022 - TODAY

NABVETS Claims Clinic, Baltimore

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company: Veterans' Ensemble to present 'To be a Soldier', perfomance also on March 26th, tickets free for Active-Duty & Veterans

March 29, 2022

Southern Maryland Vietnam War Veteran 50th Anniversary Salute, Chesapeake Beach

Vietnam War Commemoration, Ft. Detrick Commissary

April 26 - 28, 2022

University of Maryland Global Campus Operation College Promise with free Military & Veteran Entrepreneur Fair on April 28th

April 27, 2022

Virtual Welcome2VA for Post 9/11 Veterans

May 15, 2022

Carroll County Veterans Celebration, Westminster

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.