20 May 2022 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  May 20, 2022


MDVA Service & Benefits Staff attend a full day training

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The MDVA Service and Benefits staff, led by Director Phil Munley recently participated in a full day training retreat to ensure quality service to Maryland Veterans.

Training topics included: the Veteran Readiness & Employment program, Updated Agent Orange Regulations & Presumptives, Airborne Hazards & Burn Pit Registry, In-home Supportive Services and many more topics.

These ongoing training sessions designed by Director Munley, help MDVA staff remain best qualified and accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  The training included guest lecturers from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, who providing the most up to date information on programs and benefits.  The training supports our mission to better serve Maryland Veterans.

If you or a Veteran you know needs assistance with benefits and claims, please contact the MDVA Service and Benefits Program office near you or call 1-800-446-4926 ext. 6450 for more information.

MDVA Benefits staff

Mr. Bobby Norton, Assistant Service Center Manager for the Baltimore VA Regional Office leads a training session for the MDVA Benefits staff.

Presentation photo

Ms. Lisa Green, Assistant Director of the VA National Capital Region Benefits Office/Baltimore VA Regional Office presents Phil Munley, MDVA Director of the Service & Benefits program with a coin for his leadership.

MDVA Cemeteries & Memorials Program is featured in the Washington Post

MDVA and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections work together to transition and hire returning Veterans in the MDVA Cemetery & Memorial Program.  This partnership was highlighted by the Washington Post in this recent article: Veteran who served prison time gets second chance at Md. vet cemeteries

In Memorium: Maryland Veterans Commissioner Leonard Kirk

MDVA sadly reports the passing of Commissioner Leonard Kirk who represented the American Ex-Prisoners of War on the Maryland Veterans Commission.  MDVA Secretary George Owings stated, "Commissioner Kirk has served the American Ex-POWs well on the Commission.  He was someone we could count on to represent the Department and he will be truly missed.  His dedication and commitment to serving his fellow Veterans was exemplary.  Just a few weeks ago Commissioner Kirk let me know he was not going to apply for reappointment, but he was hoping to recruit a younger former POW to take his seat on the Commission".  The entire MDVA staff send sincere condolences to the Kirk family.


Memorial Day Observances

MDVA locations around Maryland will serve as host sites for Memorial Day ceremonies.  Below is the list of events at MDVA locations around the state. The public is invited to attend:


Monday, May 30, 2022

11:00 am:

Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery

(11501 Garrison Forest Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117)

Guest Speaker TBD

Crownsville Veterans Cemetery

(1122 Sunrise Beach Rd, Crownsville, MD 21032

Colonel Christopher Nyland, Garrison Commander, Ft. George G. Meade

World War II Memorial

(1920 Ritchie Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401)

Former Maryland Delegate Clarence Davis

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

(2825 South Hanover Street, Baltimore, MD 21225)

Colonel Fern Sumpter Winbush, USA (Ret) serving as the Principal Deputy Director for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

1:30 pm:

Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery

(6827 East New Market Ellwood Road, Hurlock, MD 21643)

Mr. Melvin Smullen, Past Department Commander, American Legion Department of Maryland

2:00 pm:

Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery

(14205 Pleasant Valley Road, NE, Flintstone, MD 21530) 

Mr. Ronald L. Holcombe, Maryland Veterans Commissioner and Senior Vice Commander, American Legion Department of Maryland


For more information on locations:

MDVA Cemetery and Memorials Program


*Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery in Prince George's County is undergoing an expansion and will not host a ceremony this year due to construction.  However, volunteers will place flags on graves throught the cemetery, as usual.


Note: Community Memorial Day events are listed below in the Community Partners section of this newsletter.


MDVA Website

1 June event

Women Veterans Virtual event

Registration for Day #1

Registration for Day #2

Delegate Mike Rogers donation

The donations gathered and organized by Maryland Delegate Mike Rogers and members of the Maryland Legislative Veterans Caucus and Black Caucus were delivered on a sunny day to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  Thank you for these very generous donations.

From left to right in this photo are: 

Rodney Jones, Deputy Director, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home (CHVH), Angela Quade, Fiscal Compliance Manager, CHVH, Maryland Senator Jack Bailey, Gloria Dent, Founder of iCommunity Connection Services, MDVA Secretary George Owings, Michelle Cariaso, Director, CHVH, Maryland Delegate Mike Rogers, and Cathy Attick, Quality Assurance Manager, CHVH


Charlotte Hall Veterans Home has published the May Newsletter.

Photos from the Veteran Service Organization Conventions and Special Events are in the Community News section.

State Partner News

GOSBA event

In celebration of Military Appreciation Month, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford delivered the keynote address to nearly 75 veteran entrepreneurs during the 2022 Military Small Business Appreciation Breakfast. The event, hosted by the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, was held at the Maryland Innovation Center in Columbia.

Read more here

From left to right are: Jimmy Rhee, Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Enrique Young, FEBA Security Services, Inc., Phillip Scott, J.E.T. Seal Services, LLC,  Howard County Executive Calvin B. Ball III, Dana Burl, Director, MDVA Outreach & Advocacy, and Jimmy Maldonado, Helios Defense Solutions, LLC.

Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor

Federal Partner News

Federal News

Memorial Day Interviews for Library of Congress Veterans History Project

Sign in to My HealtheVet changing soon - here's what to expect

Disability Housing Grants for Veterans

Preventing Stroke: Many are at risk and don't know it

Two Programs, one mission for Veterans' caregivers

VA supports parents and expecting mothers across America

Women Veterans: Relief is available for pelvic pain

Older Women Veterans: How You Can Improve Their Health & Financial Security, National Council on Aging article

Resources help Veterans with education, employment opportunities

Make your diet Mediterranean

Live Whole Health #122: Connecting Mind & Body Session 2

VA National Cemetery Administration launches new "Find a Cemetery" map

Team RWB Old Glory Relay

FCC programs offers affordable, low-cost internet access to eligible households

VA Maryland Health Care System Food Pantry at the Communit Resource & Referral Center

News from the Social Security Administration:

Ten years ago this May, we launched my Social Security. It started with letting people see future benefit estimates or current benefits. Over the decade, we’ve added and upgraded features to turn my Social Security into a powerful suite of online services that make your clients’ lives easier when doing business with us online. 

More than 69 million people have signed up and benefited firsthand from the many secure and convenient self-service options. And they’ve used their account more than 1.1 billion times to get what they need quickly and securely without needing to speak with a representative by phone or in an office. 

my Social Security account provides personalized tools for everyone, whether your clients receive benefits or not. Those not currently receiving benefits can:

  • Estimate their future benefits and compare different dates or ages to begin receiving benefits.
  • Get instant status of their Social Security application.
  • Review their work history.
  • Request a replacement Social Security card (in most states). And if your client can’t request a card online, now they can begin the application online and save time visiting an office.

Those receiving benefits can use a personal my Social Security account to:

  • Get their instant benefit verification or proof of income letter for Social Security, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Check their information and benefit amount.
  • Start or change their direct deposit.
  • Change their address and telephone number.
  • Request a replacement Medicare card.
  • Get an instant Social Security 1099 form (SSA-1099) or SSA-1042S.
  • Report their wages if they work and receive disability benefits and SSI.

Please encourage your friends, family, and clients to visit our my Social Security webpage and securely create their account today!

Social Security May Newsletter

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

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals has many upcoming events: Read More Here


Community Memorial Day Events

This is not a complete list of community events. These events were sent to MDVA in time for the publication of this newsletter:

Howard County Veteran Service Organizations have multiple Memorial Day observances scheduled:

  • May 28th - Ellicott City Courthouse
  • May 29th - St. John's Episcopal Church Memorial Day Ceremony
  • May 30th - Harriet Tubman Memorial Day Ceremony

Multiple events sponsored by the Women Veterans United Committee, Inc.

  • May 25th - Memorial Day of Remembrance, Washington, DC
  • May 29th - Vietnam Veterans Memorial & Women's Memorial, Washington, DC
  • May 29th - Memorial Day Luncheon, Washington, DC
  • May 30th - Bowie Memorial Park, Bowie

May 26th:Prince George's County Veteran Appreciation Ceremony, Upper Marlboro 

May 28th: Memorial Day Program at the Women Veterans Memorial, sponsored by the Women Veterans United Committee, Inc., Chesapeake Travel Center, North East

May 29th: 6th Annual Memorial Day Program, sponsored by the Greenberg-Lerner Jewish War Veterans Post 692, Rockville

May 30th: Memorial Day Parade, Annapolis, What's Up Media article


News from Community Building Art Works (CBAW):

As you know, Memorial Day and the days leading to it can be difficult for many who served. CBAW wanted to make sure something was available for those who may need a little extra support from their community that day:  "We Remember: A Veteran Poetry Reading on Memorial Day". This virtual event is Free and will include the unveiling of the Collaborative Painting that the visual arts program participants have been working on. Registration is required:  https://cbawmemorialday2022.eventbrite.com/

Event: We Remember: A Veteran Poetry Reading on Memorial Day

Date: Monday, May 30th - Memorial Day

Time: 12pm EST

Location: Virtual via Zoom

This Free event is open to All.

More information from CBAW: Programs, Events Calendar, Memorial Day Program Flier

DAV Convention

MDVA Secretary Owings attended the Disabled American Veterans Convention this week.

From left to right: MDVA Secretary George Owings, Katina Barnes, DAV Department of Maryland Officer of the Day and Chair, DAV Department of Maryland Women's Veterans Committee, Mattie Whitfield, DAV Department of Maryland 2nd Junior Vice Commander, Marguerite C. Stubbs, Commander, DAV PFC John C. Demarr Jr. Chapter 36, Lachrisha Parker, Community Engagement Manager, Military Women's Memorial, Antoine Waller, Executive Director, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration, Baltimore Regional Office/National Capital Region Benefits Office, Betty Brown-Minus, Past Department Commander DAV Department of Maryland and Adjutant, DAV Auxiliary GEN Melvin J. Maas Unit 17, Rosalind Robinson-Ambrose, Adjutant, DAV Paul L. Thompson Memorial Chapter 1, Georgia A. Eaves, Adjutant, DAV GEN Melvin J. Maas Memorial Chapter 17 and Chapter Service Officer, Nicole Bost-Dunn, Commander, Glen Burnie Chapter 13, Deborah Rider, DAV M.R. Sarge Warehime Chapter 33

Photo credit: Oscar W. Mardis, Commander, GEN Melvin J. Maas Memorial Chapter 17, Camp Springs

Marine Corps League

May 6, 2022: MDVA Secretary George Owings III was presented with the Marine Corps League Distinguished Citizen Award-Silver by Department Commandant Howard Koontz at the Department of Maryland's Annual Convention in Ocean City, MD.  Secretary Owings spoke about the changes in the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to a packed audience of Marines and FMF Navy Personnel along with Auxiliary members of the Marine Corps League. At the podium is Craig Reeling, Master of Ceremonies.

Photo credit: Paul R. Gunther HMC(SW/FMF) USN Retired, District 4 Vice Commandant - Marine Corps League

Commissioner Azama

Commissioner Rod Azama, of the Maryland Veterans Home Commission attended the JROTC award ceremony at the Kahaku High School in Hawaii. LTC Azama, USA (Ret) is the second from the right in this photo.  He and the other two gentleman in green shirts are members of the Hawaii Special Forces Association Chapter.

SAR photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings spoke at the spring luncheon of the Sons of the American Revolution held in Solomons.

Community Calendar

May 24, 2022

SBDC Annual Women's Business Conference-A New Day, A New Era-Moving Beyond the Pandemic

May 26, 2022

Prince George's County Veteran Appreciation Ceremony, Upper Marlboro

May 28, 2022

Memorial Day Program at the Women Veterans Memorial, sponsored by the Women Veterans United Committee, Inc., Chesapeake Travel Center, North East

June 1, 2022

VFW Women Veterans Committee Presents: Stepping Into Leadership, Ocean City

June 7, 2022

Veterans VA Claims Clinic and Health & Resource Fair, Eldersburg, Flier

June 17, 2022

Veterans Legal Assistance Conference & Training, Baltimore

June 24, 2022

United States Department of Labor Virtual Career Fair

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