18 November 2022 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  November 18, 2022


Charllotte Hall Veterans Home Welcomes a New Employee

Charlotte Hall logo

Please join us in welcoming the newest MDVA employee at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Ellen Underwood, Contract Compliance Manager.

Ellen was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Southern Maryland. She graduated from Towson University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications. While attending school, Ellen worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist for children with special needs. From there, she ventured into the residential real estate industry, where she supervised marketing for new construction and residential sales. A few years ago, Ellen joined Simon Property Group as the Marketing Coordinator for St. Charles Towne Center’s Mall Management Office. Ellen enjoys spending time with her family and attending local events. She has a passion for music and the outdoors and loves to travel. She is excited to serve those who have served at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Ellen photo

Ellen Underwood, new Contract Compliance Manager at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Charlotte Hall November Newsletter

Crusin' southern Maryland

Crusin' Southern Maryland held the annual event which benefits Charlotte Hall Veterans Home on November 12th and donated $25,000.  The total amount donated by Crusin' Southern Maryland over the years has reached $175,000!  We send out heartfelt thanks to Mr. John Parlett, President, Crusin' Southern Maryland, as well as all of the sponsors and participants for supporting the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Landing Zone Maryland


MDVA now provides information for Veterans and families moving to or retiring to Maryland: Landing Zone Maryland

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs welcomes you to Maryland.  Our state is home to approximately 360,000 veterans and another 100,000 active duty service members, Reservists, National Guard, and dependents.  Approximately 7.6% of adults who live in Maryland are veterans.  The majority of veterans are between the age of 35-54 and we are proud to be home to a more diverse veteran population than the national average.  Maryland is home to approximately 47,000 women veterans and the two counties with the largest overall veteran populations are Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County.  We invite you to visit the landing zones to learn more about Maryland and resources available to you and your family.  Read More Here

MDVA Website

Operation Green Light was a huge success!

Operation Green Light

More photos of organizations participating in Operation Green Light may be found on the    MDVA Facebook page.


MDVA has many photos from Veterans Day and other veteran-related events held recently.  Please enjoy a sampling of photos throughout this newsletter for events Secretary Owings, MDVA staff and Maryland Veterans Commissioners attended in the last few weeks:


Ft. Meade

Lt. Colonel Stephen P. Ward, the Deputy Garrison Commander at Fort George G. Meade was the keynote speaker at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery on Veterans Day.

Photo courtesy of Ft. Meade Garrison Public Affairs office.

Proclamation photo

MDVA Secretary George Owings presents a Proclamation from Governor Larry Hogan to Ms. Vickie Koutz, the National President of the American Legion Auxiliary when she visited Maryland.

TSA event

A Veterans Day ceremony was held for Veterans working for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)  and the Federal Air Marshalls Service at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.  MDVA and the U.S. VA Vet Center provided resource tables and information on benefits for those attending the event.  In this photo are: Grant Goodlett, TSA Deputy Federal Security Director,  Frank Colon, TSA/BWI, Denise Nooe, MDVA, Kristin Katz, TSA/BWI Stakeholder Manager and Steve Fyfe, United States VA Vet Center.

Stan Seidel - Proclamation

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Stan Seidel presents Governor Larry Hogan's Veterans Day Proclamation to Jeff Ballard, General Manager at Mission BBQ in Germantown.  Sergeant First Class Danielle Williams, Maryland Army National Guard sang the National Anthem for the veterans attending the Veterans Day ceremony there.

100th birthday

On November 13, 2022, Maryland Veterans Commissioner Mike Moore was honored to present a Citation from Governor Larry Hogan on the occasion of the 100th birthday of retired U.S. Air Force Veteran LTC Frank Elam. LTC Elam served in the military for 23 years as a decorated pilot and he was delighted to receive the recognition. The presentation was made at LTC Elam’s home at the Riderwood Retirement Community in Silver Spring.

Commissioner Hanson

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Robert Hanson presents the Governor's Veterans Day Proclamation to Marie Gilmore of the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at the Veterans Day ceremony held in Ocean Pines.

More photos are in the Community News section below.

State Partner News


New Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Podcast:

The first MVA podcast episode, Conversations with Chrissy features MVA Administration Chrissy Nizer talking with MDVA Director of Communications, Outreach and Advocacy, Dana Burl.

Use this link to view the podcast.

MCV job posting

Communications & Resource Coordinator and Strategic Partnerships and Resource Coordinator


Spotlight on Education: Morgan State University

More Information

MSU military Appreciation Day

Peace Cross

Rededication of Bladensburg Peace Cross Held on Veterans Day

To commemorate Veterans Day, Governor Larry Hogan joined the rededication ceremony for the restored Peace Cross in Bladensburg, the historic monument constructed and funded in 1925 by local families, businesses, and the American Legion to honor 49 Prince George’s County residents who lost their lives in service to the nation during World War I. The governor, who successfully led the fight to keep the Peace Cross standing in its current location, was joined for the event by Peter Shapiro, chairman of the Prince George’s County Planning Board, and local elected officials.

“The people of this county first put up this Peace Cross, the people fought to keep it up, and now—thanks to the efforts of so many—it will forever be a permanent landmark and memorial,” said Governor Hogan. “Just as our veterans serve as a reminder every single day of the immeasurable cost of war and of the immense price of freedom, this Peace Cross reminds us of the enduring principles these young men fought to defend, and it serves as a lasting tribute of a grateful nation.” Read More Here

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs
Celebrates Veteran Entrepreneurs

The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs commemorated Veteran’s Day by hosting the 2022 Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise Appreciation Luncheon at Maryland Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover. The inaugural event celebrated the achievements of local veteran entrepreneurs, with five men and women receiving governor’s citations. Read More Here

On December 6th the Ready, Set, Grow Procurement Connections Webinar will be held. Register

VSBE award program

From left to right: Dana Burl, MDVA, Patty Arnn on behalf of Tom Dvorak - Dvorak, LLC, Carl Neimeyer - Bernward Mechanical, LLC, Angela McCullough - Tri-Logistics, LLC, Scott Thompson - DuraBante, LLC, Major General Linda Singh (keynote speaker) - Kaleidoscope Affect, LLC, Maryland Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee, Danielle Davis, Maryland VSBE Compliance Manager

MCV December Program

Federal Partner News

Federal News

Tomorrow, November 19th: Walk-In COVID-19 Booster & Flu Shot Clinic, Baltimore

The National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC was dedicated on Veterans Day. Website

#Honoring Vets: Native American Veterans

SBA Small Business Week - submit a nomination for 2023 awards

Accredited Representatives for your VA claims

Instant Loan Approval for insurance loans

How to get a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility

Veterans Technology Education Courses

VA Resources help Veterans transition to civilian life

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 40th Anniversary, NBC video

Veterans Legacy Memorial honors the many who have served

Fast facts about new toxic exposure screening for Veterans

Live Whole Health #145: Tai Chi fundamentals: Standing side support

AARP, Blue Star Families team up to help female Veterans, military spouses find employment

Commissary to provide increased benefit, savings to shoppers

VA Southeast Veterans Service Center in Washington, DC is accepting donations for Thanksgiving Dinners for formerly homeless Veterans

More information on the new lifetime pass available to Military Veterans and Gold Star Families to access public lands:

Free lifetime park pass

More Information

Hospitalized Veterans Holiday Gift Program

Each year, there are hundreds of Veterans that will spend their holidays at one of three medical centers throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Many of these hospitalized Veterans may not have an opportunity to see their family members or friends during this very important time of the year. You can probably imagine how it can become a very lonely and discouraging time of year for these Veterans. This holiday season you can help by making a donation to the Veterans Holiday Gift Program, which was established to recognize the hospitalized Veterans at the Baltimore, Loch Raven and Perry Point VA Medical Centers during the December holidays.

Your donation will go toward the purchase of a holiday gift bag valued at $70 for each Veteran inpatient throughout the health care system. In late December, the holiday gift bags will be distributed to all hospitalized Veterans to remind them that their service in the U.S. Armed Forces has not been forgotten. You can’t begin to imagine the joy the Veterans express as they open their presents.

Your donation, no matter what amount, will make a difference. If you would like to support the Veterans Holiday Gift Program, please visit https://www.pay.gov/public/form/start/46400615/, click on “Continue to the Form,” select “VA Maryland Health Care System” under the “Facility” dropdown menu, complete the form, select “VA Maryland Holiday Account” under the “Program Donation” dropdown menu, click on “Continue,” and follow the instructions provided.

For questions, please call 410-642-2411, ext. 25409.

Thank you for supporting Maryland’s hospitalized Veterans this holiday season.

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

Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is offering a virtual Veterans Health & Wellness Summit January 19-20, 2023.  Registration


Platoon 22 Turkey Give Away, Frederick


Toy Drive for Maryland Army National Guard Families

Myerberg Senior Center

A Veterans Day observance was held at the Myerberg Senior Center.  In this photo, Kassie Sandacz, CEO of Voices of Vets is dancing with Charles Sandler, Commander of Jewish War Veterans Maryland Freestate Post 167. Voices of Vets provided the entertainment for the event. Use this link for the videos from Voices of Vets Veterans Day Commemorative Concert.

Community Calendar

November 19, 2022

Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Cleanup, sponsored by the Travis Manion Foundation, Annapolis

Adaptive Hike on Road River Trail, Arbutus

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Virtual

Financial Resilience: Recreating your Paycheck, Greenbelt

VA Walk-In COVID-19 and Flu Shot Clinic, Baltimore

Military Appreciation Day at Morgan State University

November 22, 2022

Platoon 22 Turkey Give Away, Frederick

Mike Moore - 100th proclamation

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Mike Moore was delighted to present the Governor’s Proclamation for Veterans Day, to Bernie Zempolich, a community leader at the Wilshire Estates Retirement Community in Silver Spring on Thursday, November 10th. Commissioner Moore also presented personal letters of appreciation from MDVA Secretary George W. Owings III to WWII US Navy Veterans Al Zeman and Lou Platter. Former US Marine Sergeant Bernie Zempolich reminded the audience of 50 retirees that November 10th was the 247th Birthday of his beloved Corps. 

Cohen clinic

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Stan Seidel attended the 5th anniversary of The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals and presented a Veteran’s Day Proclamation from the Governor.  Joining Commissioner Seidel is Mallary Lass, USAF Ret., Outreach Manager, and Anneke Vanderbroek, PH.D, US Army veteran, Clinic Director & Senior Vice President. The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals provides culturally competent evidence-based counseling services for veterans, service members, and their families.  Services are provided throughout the State of Maryland as well as in DC, Virginia, and West Virginia onsite or through Telehealth virtual services. To start services or for more information call 240-847-7500 or visit their website at eseal.org 

Vehicles for Change

In the photo above, Maryland Veterans Commissioner Erwin Burtnick (on the right) presented car keys to Gary Green.  Mr. Green served in the Army National Guard for six years as a diesel truck technician.

Photo courtesy of WBAL-TV, Baltimore


Maryland Veterans Commissioner Stan Seidel spoke at the Veterans Day ceremony in Bethesda.

Honor Guard

The Color Guard from John F. Kennedy High School Jr. ROTC program performed the flag services at the Veterans Day Ceremony held at Wilshire Estates.

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.