2 December 2022 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  December 2, 2022


MDVA Cemetery & Memorials Program


The State of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) are honored to offer our veterans and their eligible dependents a final resting place at one of five MDVA state veterans cemeteries.

The MDVA State Veterans Cemetery Program is one of the largest state cemetery programs in the nation with locations in Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Dorchester County and Prince Georges County.

The Memorials program staff are responsible for several Maryland Memorials: the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Gold Star Families Monument.  MDVA has seen an increase in individuals and groups volunteering to help at the Memorials in the last year, including landscaping and clean-up activities.  We appreciate the many people who have volunteered to help us keep the Memorials in excellent condition.

For More Information on the MDVA Cemetery & Memorials Program

Travis Manion Foundation

On November 19th more than 100 people volunteered to clean and landscape the Gold Star Families Monument in Annapolis.  Thank you to the Travis Manion Foundation Operation Legacy Project for coordinating the effort.

Gold Star Monument

MDVA Website

State Partner News

Governor Hogan Welcomes ‘Hogan’ the VetDog to State House in Annapolis

Newest Service Dog-In-Training Named as Tribute to Governor’s Commitment to Helping Wounded Veterans
Governor Launched Major Expansion of Program to Reduce Backlog of Veterans Waiting For VetDogs

Governor Larry Hogan recently welcomed the newest member of the state of Maryland’s partnership with America’s VetDogs to the State House in Annapolis. Named as a surprise tribute to the state’s commitment to helping wounded veterans, ‘Hogan’ is currently being trained by incarcerated individuals at the Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown as part of an innovative partnership between America’s VetDogs and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). The newest VetDog-in-training will learn more than 100 commands in order to one day work as a service dog for a disabled veteran.

Read More Here and see video


Veterans and Gambling

News from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources


DNR Accepting Recipes for Wild Maryland: The Holiday Edition
Marylanders Encouraged to Submit Holiday Recipes

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is putting out a call to all wildlife and cooking enthusiasts to submit their favorite holiday recipes featuring Maryland species for its Wild Maryland online cookbook. Submissions will be accepted throughout the holiday season. Read more.


Marylanders Reminded to Hire Licensed Tree Experts
Make Sure Work is Legal, Safe, and Insured

Now that leaves are fallen, many Marylanders will prepare for winter by trimming live trees or removing dead trees. Homeowners should follow a few tips before hiring a contractor. Read more.

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

TMAP program

More Information

Governor Hogan, First Lady to Host Final Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 3

Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan invite all Marylanders and their families to join them for their final Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Government House in Annapolis. The event is free of charge, open to the public, and no reservations are required. 

“For the past eight years, it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your Governor and First Lady,” said Governor Hogan. “The First Lady and I look forward to welcoming Marylanders of all ages to Government House this holiday season for our final Holiday Open House.”

Refreshments will be distributed with an assortment of holiday cookies and brownies prepared by Government House chefs. Hot Wassail will also be available for guests. The decorations for the open house will include Christmas trees provided by Lowe’s Bayshore Nursery in Stevensville. 

The First Family asks that guests consider bringing unwrapped toys, which will be donated to those in need during this holiday season. The Maryland State Police will be collecting donations under a tent by the front gate for a local toy drive.

Holiday ornaments, designed by the First Lady and provided by the Foundation for the Preservation of Government House of Maryland, will be available for purchase. Proceeds will help support and maintain the historical significance of Government House with repairs, remodeling, and preservation.

Guests may park in the Bladen Street garage, which does not charge on weekends, or in other garages located on Main Street and West Street. Please click here for a detailed map showing more parking options in downtown Annapolis.

Consumer Alert: Home Warranty Scam Letters Sent to     Maryland Homeowners

The Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers about home warranty scam letters addressed to homeowners.

These letters urge Maryland homeowners to renew a home warranty by claiming the current home warranty “may be expiring or may have already expired.” Even homeowners who have never purchased a home warranty are receiving this deceptive letter. The letters also imply an affiliation with the homeowner’s actual mortgage company and the “county deed records” office. The scammers responsible for these letters are in no way affiliated with the homeowner’s mortgage company or any official deeds office.

These letters generally ask for a response to the notice by a certain date, often include language such as “final notice,” and threaten that failing to call may result in financial risk for the homeowner. In examples of such a letter sent to the Attorney General’s office, also included are a document that resembles a check, with the words “renewal fee voucher,” as well as an actual photo of the homeowner’s home on the return envelope.

Solicitations that use threatening language or unnecessary urgency are almost always a scam. Although they include the name of the homeowner’s mortgage company, scam letters like this rely on publicly available information to deceive the homeowner. To reiterate, the people sending these letters are not representing, nor have any affiliation with, mortgage companies. They use this information, as well as other seemingly “official” references, such as “record ID” numbers, to appear legitimate.

If you have a home warranty, check with the company through which you already purchased your warranty for expiration and renewal information. If you are interested in purchasing a home warranty with a legitimate company, conduct thorough research about potential businesses by reading reviews, checking with the Better Business Bureau, and contacting our office to see if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.

As for these scam letters, we recommend that you report them to our office at consumer@oag.state.md.us, and then discard them. Do not call any numbers listed on the solicitation, or respond to them in any way.


Federal Partner News

VA Benefits Fair


Ft. Meade Resiliency Center

The November 17, 2022 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Fort George G. Meade’s newly renovated Education and Resiliency Center at Kuhn Hall ended an 11-year journey of perseverance and earmarked a new season of help and healing. The Fort Meade Alliance Foundation, the Fort Meade Alliance and the Fort Meade Garrison welcomed more than 300 attendees including U.S. Army, Congressional, State and County officials to celebrate the transformation of historic Kuhn Hall into the new state-of-the-art Fort Meade Education and Resiliency Center. More Information

Photo and text courtesy of the Ft. George G. Meade Garrison, the Ft. Meade Alliance Foundation and the Ft. Meade Alliance.

Washington, DC Benefits Fair

FBI Warns of Holiday Scams:


During the holiday season, scammers become more creative and bold while preying on the unsuspecting consumer.  To mitigate your chances of being victimized by an online scam the FBI Baltimore Field Office encourages consumers to treat online shopping as you would walking into a physical location – be aware, be alert and safeguard your personal information and finances.​


Be proactive:

  • Do not click on emails/texts from unknown senders.
  • Independently verify the legitimacy of websites before providing personal and financial information.
  • Conduct a business inquiry on the Better Business Bureau’s website (www.bbb.org) of the online retailer.
  • Steer clear of unfamiliar sites or ads that offer items at unrealistic discounted prices—if a deal from an unknown seller seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.
  • Be wary of online retailers who use a free e-mail service instead of a company e-mail address.
  • Beware of purchases or services that require payment with gift cards, cryptocurrency or wire transfers.
  • Secure all financial accounts with strong passwords or passphrases.
  • Thoroughly check credit card statements; and if possible, consider setting up credit card transaction auto alerts.
  • Never make purchases using public Wi-Fi.
  • Always get a tracking number for items purchased online, and track orders through your original confirmation e-mail.
  • Purchase gift cards directly from a trusted merchant.
  • Ensure the anti-virus/malware software is up to date on your computer and block pop-up windows.
  • The two most prevalent holiday shopping scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes. 
    • In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received. 
    • Conversely, a non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid. 
    • According to the FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a combined 108,869 complaints of non-delivery/non-payment crimes in 2021, totaling over $337 million in losses to victims.

And remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  More Information 

Federal News

VA to host town halls for Veterans, families during 'PACT Act Week of Action'

2023 Veterans disability compensation rates

From evaluation to treatment, what Veterans should know about toxic exposure

All about updated COVID-19 booster vaccines

Live Whole Health #146: Welcoming your guests - all of them

Live Whole Health #147: Connecting Mind and Body, session 8

Make the Connection: Tips for Managing Stress Around the Holidays

Discover how to spot pension poaching scams and report financial fraud

Protect your loved ones with VA life insurance

VA will launch new life insurance program in January, making life insurance available to more Veterans than ever before

December Social Security Newsletter

VA and FCC make it easier for Veterans to get internet access

VA Caregiver Support:

Managing the Holidays: Finding Comfort in the Gifts of the Season

Join December’s VA Caregiver Support Line (CSL) call for Managing the Holidays: Finding Comfort in the Gifts of the Season. Calls will be held on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, December 6, 2022at 10 a.m. ET
  • Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 7 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 3 p.m. ET

Caregivers must register to join the CSL monthly education call. To register, call 1-855-260-3274. Caregivers unable to attend the calls can access presentations on the CSL’s webpage

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

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.  


Catch A Lift Fund offers granted fitness programs to combat injured Veterans who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan


Amazon is offering military hiring events

Veterans Moving Forward receives large donation: Read More Here

Veterans Moving Forward

"Small", named in memory of Sergeant Major Paul Eugene Cyr, Retired, whose nickname was Small.  She will be trained over the next 2 years to be a Service Dog for a deserving veteran dealing with physical and/or mental challenges at no cost to the veteran or their family.

Community Calendar

December 6, 2022

Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Workshop

December 10, 2022

PACT Act Awareness Town Hall, Oxon Hill

December 12, 2022

VETS NITE, Washington, DC

December 13, 2022

Prime Contracting in Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) program

December 14, 2022

PACT Act Veterans Claims Clinic & Health Care Enrollment Fair, Perry Point

December 15, 2022

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans presents: Grief in Veterans: An Unexplored Consequence of Combat Deployment

Insights into Doing Business with the State of Maryland: Know Your Customer

December 17, 2022

Ugly Sweater Get-Together, American Legion, Laurel

Bridge Dedication

A bridge was recently dedicated in honor of TSGT Joseph A. Farinholt, a Marylander and a World War II Veteran who earned four Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, Belgium's Croix de Guerre as well as a Purple Heart.  This Baltimore Sun article published in 2002 provides more information about Mr. Farinholt's heroic military career.

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