13 January 2023 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  January 13, 2023


Farewell Message from Secretary George Owings

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As we enter the new year, we think of transitions, change and what we hope to personally accomplish.  As Veterans, our military training taught us to adapt to new situations and to work together to complete our mission. Therefore, I would like you to know that I have transitioned to the private sector.

When I think back over my years of service to the Veteran community of Maryland, some of my proudest moments concern MDVA.  As an elected official in the Maryland General Assembly for seventeen years, I was one of the lead co-sponsors of the legislation creating the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs in 1999.   After learning of Veterans who weren’t receiving final Honors at time of their interment, I was the lead co-sponsor of the legislation creating the Maryland National Guard Military Funeral Honors program.

After leaving the Maryland House of Delegates, I served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs for three Maryland Governors. I am grateful to Governor Ehrlich who first appointed me, Governor O’Malley who asked me to continue as Secretary for part of his administration and especially to Governor Larry Hogan, who asked me to come back to MDVA and who trusted me to serve for the full eight years while he was Governor.

It has also been a blessing to work with the dedicated team whom I refer to as family – the employees who work at MDVA.  I tell everyone that I consider MDVA to be the best Department in Maryland government.  It is a small team, but their efforts are mighty.

As I leave, I welcome Anthony Woods, selected by Governor-Elect Wes Moore as the new MDVA Secretary.  Major Woods is a graduate of West Point, and a well-qualified Army officer who will bring new energy to MDVA.

I will close by thanking each and every one of the Veteran Service Organizations, the VSO leadership, the MDVA Commissions and the Commission leadership, but most importantly I want to thank the Veterans of Maryland and their families who support them.  I have done my best to travel around the state and meet with so many of you.  You have shared your ideas, suggestions and concerns with me.  I have taken them all to heart and I believe that MDVA is reaching more and helping more Veterans than ever before.


George W. Owings III

Secretary Owings

Shown in this photo are: MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn, MDVA Procurement Officer Tom Johnson and departing MDVA Secretary George Owings.

Unaccompanied Burials Scheduled at three Maryland Veterans Cemeteries

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Cemetery Program will be hosting  dignified burial ceremonies to honor and pay respects to unaccompanied veterans. 

The ceremonies will take place on Friday, January 27, 2023 


Location: Crownsville Veterans Cemetery - 11:00 am

1122 Sunrise Beach Road

Crownsville, MD 21032

SP5 Walter Popko - Army - 8/12/1966-5/8/1969

PVT Isaac Jacobs - Army - 10/5/1955-10/2/1957

PVT2 Andrew Eaddy - Army - 1/1/1949-12/12/1952


Location: Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery - 11:00 am

687 East New Market Ellwood Road

Hurlock, MD 21643

SP4 Samuel Shinn - Army - 3/6/1968-12/6/1969

PV2 Terry Carper - Army - 2/9/1971-11/27-1972


Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery - 1:00 pm

11501 Garrison Forest Road

Owings Mills, MD 21117

SP4 William Stamper - Army - 6/12/1959-5/27/1961

SGT William Taylor - Air Force - 7/6/1972-7/5/1976

SGT John Hill - Army - 5/5/1966-5/27/1969

All are welcome to attend.  Event will include an Honor Guard and the playing of Taps.  The event will be standing room only with limited parking. 

Questions may be directed to the Cemetery Program at 410-923-6981.         


MDVA Cemetery & Memorials Program


2022 MDVA Annual Report Now Available

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs 2022 Annual Report is now available.  Highlights from the report include:

  • The Service Program submitted 3,715 disability compensation and pension claims for adjudication to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Maryland Veterans received 37 million dollars in new/increased and one-time monthly cash benefits with support from the Service Program
  • The average census for the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home reached 295
  • The Cemetery Program interred 3,470 veterans and dependents
  • The Maryland Veterans Trust Fund distributed approximately $246,000 in grants and loans to veterans in need
  • The Communications, Outreach, and Advocacy Program made 3.7 million contacts

2022 Annual Report


MDVA Website

Women's Monument Commission

Members of the Commission to Establish a Maryland Women Veterans Memorial

In the first row from left to right: Penny Collins, Administrator (Fleet Reserve), Elaine May Stem  (Catholic War Veterans),  Karen Calvert, Commission Chair (Veterans Commission), Lachrisha Parker (Veterans of Foreign Wars).

In the second row are:  Sgt. Kimberly Bell, (Maryland Capitol Police),  Denise Perry (National Association for Black Veterans), Mike Moore (Veterans Commission); Brigadier General Jori Robinson (MD Air National Guard) and Roslyn Jones (MDVA staff).

The Commission, established in 2022 will provide recommendations for the funding, design, construction, and placement of an appropriate memorial dedicated to Maryland Women Veterans. The Commission is seeking your input.  Read More Here

Women Veteran Focus Groups

Charlotte Hall photo

The Holiday Gift Shop at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Many of the donations to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home are used to stock the Holiday Gift Shop, which allows residents to shop for items they need and want.  Thank you to all of the organizations and individuals who donate to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home throughout the year.

Bernie Donation

Mr. Bernie Zempolich of American Legion Post 136 in Greenbelt, donated his entire collection of carved waterfowl decoys to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.  MDVA Secretary George Owings, Maryland Veterans Commissioner Mike Moore, who represents the American Legion and the MDVA staff at Charlotte Hall welcomed Bernie to the Veterans Home and showed him the collection is now displayed for the enjoyment of Charlotte Hall residents.

State Partner News

Veterans Crisis Line

What to expect when you call the Veterans Crisis Line

Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs

Networking & Training events:

01/17/2023 - Responding to Solicitations on eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA)

01/18/2023 - 2023 Economic Equity Tour & Academy:  Building Stronger Communities
01/19/2023 - Take Control of Business Contracts in 2023 & Beyond
01/20/2023 - Hello Small Business - Get Ready to Correctly Report Your 2022 Taxes
01/24/2023 - Build Revenue in Your Backyard:  Position to Win Federal Contracts
01/24/2023 - Increasing Your Visibility on eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA)
01/26/2023 - State Procurement 101
01/31/2023 - Managing Your Business Finances During Uncertain Times

Check out the full listing of small business events online at

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

2023 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Convened

The Maryland General Assembly is currently meeting in Annapolis for the 2023 Legislative Session.  As a service to the veteran community, information on proposed legislation of possible interest to veterans is provided below:

2023 Legislative Information

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

Maryland General Assembly Website

Federal Partner News

Mark your Calendars: May 11 - 13, 2023

Vietnam Commemoration

Welcome Home Vietnam War Commemoration - Spread the Word

Mark your calendars! Join us May 11-13, 2023 in Washington, D.C. as Americans gather to honor Vietnam veterans and embrace the enduring legacy of their service. Visit vietnamwar50th.com for details.

3.3 million who served between November 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, and their families, have been publicly thanked by friends and neighbors during more than 23 thousand ceremonies hosted by our dedicated Commemorative Partners … but there is still more to do!

We call on all Americans to thank the brave men and women who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War period, especially those who may be residing in care facilities, living alone or discounted by society.

Federal News

Women Veterans: We're here for you

Women's Heath, Health.Mil article

How to support LGBTQ+ Veterans in crisis

Quit smoking this New Year!

MOVE: VA Weight Management Program

The Veterans Health Library expands online presence

VA Whole Health Pathway

Mission: Taking Charge of your life and health

Live Whole Health #152: Intention setting

Live Whole Health #153: Relaxation and Balance

How you can help prevent human trafficking

Registration is Open for 2023 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

Defense Finance & Accounting Service: Proposed Open Season for Survivor Benefit Plan

New VA Life Insurance Program Now Available

Pro tip: How to read federal job announcements

January is Small Business Mentoring Month

Login.gov - Get Seamless Access to VA and Other Government Services

The Center for Women Veterans would like to share a heartfelt short documentary that encapsulates so many of the lived experiences we face as women Veterans: Millions Like Us: Women Veterans share their stories, offer hope - YouTube.

We’re proud to release this film in partnership with the Million Veteran Program, one of VA’s largest health research programs, which studies how genes, lifestyle, military experiences, and exposures affect our health and wellness as Veterans.

The documentary features one of our very own CWV trailblazers, Zaneta Adams, Army Veteran and former Director of Michigan Veterans Affairs, who shares her journey of hope and resilience after a debilitating service-related injury. You may see parts of your own story in hers, and that of her friend also featured in the film. We hope this film helps you feel seen, heard, and inspired.

For those of you who saw an earlier version in a pre-screening event in October, we thank you for the valuable feedback you shared and did our best to incorporate it into the final version.

It’s easier than ever for Veterans to apply for and receive medical debt relief.

If you are concerned about your medical copayment debt and want to seek relief, you can now apply online at VA’s new online debt access page: https://www.va.gov/manage-va-debt/.

VA has simplified and streamlined the application process to allow Veterans better access to the help they might need. Simply click the link, log into your VA.gov account, and follow the application instructions.

There, you can also:

  • Check the amount and status of your VA debt related to VA disability compensation, non-service-connected pension, or education benefits;
  • Check the amount and status of copay bills at each VA health facility where you receive care;
  • Find out how to make payments or request help;
  • Download billing statements, debt notices, and collection letters.

Objective income threshold criteria are used for the processing and consideration of debt relief, and supplemental documents to support requests are no longer recommended for submission of applications. An application can still be made in a facility revenue office or by calling the Health Resource Center.

Information on these programs can be found online, in VA medical center facility revenue offices and via phone:

Remember, patient statements are mailed monthly or can be viewed online:  https://eauth.va.gov/accessva/ or https://www.va.gov/manage-va-debt/.

Debt relief resources

Please share this email with Veterans who could benefit from the information provided.

Thank you.

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

Salute to Veterans concert

For More Information

Odenton Library

Odenton Library Focus Group Registration Now Open

To expand our understanding of the needs of military veterans and their families, the Odenton branch of Anne Arundel County Public Library will host focus group sessions in January. There will be two sessions held on January 23 at the Odenton Library meeting room. Light refreshments will be available. The focus groups are supported by Blue Star Families and the regional Vet Center.

This event will be hybrid, with options to join in person or virtual. Registration is required.


Monday, January 23, 2023: Open to veterans, spouses/dependents, caregivers

2:00pm to 3:00pm

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Odenton Public Library

1325 Odenton Road 

Odenton MD 21113

For more information, contact Sharon Lanasa at 410-222-6277.

Project Opportunity Announces Spring Classes - Free Entrepreneurial Training for Veterans

Prince George's County Orientation on March 8, 2023, Classes begin March 22nd

Montgomery County Orientation on February 27, 2023, Classes begin March 13th

Military Spouse Orientation on March 15, 2023. Classes begin on March 29th

Save the Date: March 25, 2023

Gilchrist's 5th Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration, Baltimore

Save the Date - April 18, 2023

Military Officers & Spouses Job Fair: Flier and More Information, Arlington, VA

Community Calendar

January 14, 2023

Care Coordination & Claims Clinic, Halethorpe

January 18, 2023

Blue Star Families Starbucks Coffee Connections, NAS Patuxent River

START Family Book Program, Lexington Park, More Information

January 19, 2023

Blue Star Families Starbucks Coffee Connections, Hanover

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans training: Nutrition and Neuroscience: A Discussion on Optimizing Brain Health , Virtual

Creative Writing Workshop for Military, Veterans, Caregivers & Spouses, Virtual

January 20, 2023

NABVETS Veterans Claims Clinic, Largo

Blue Star Families Starbucks Coffee Connections, Annapolis

January 21, 2023

4 Mile Run/Walk/Ruck, Bel Air supporting a member of the 1-175th Association

January 23, 2023

Military Veterans Focus Group at the Odenton Library - two sessions, Odenton

January 25, 2023

Volunteers needed for Montgomery County Point in Time Count, Register by January 20th

January 30, 2023

Military Spouses Focus Group at the Severn Library, two sessions, Severn

February 2, 2023

MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program Focus GroupRegistration

February 4, 2023

Essential Resources Day and Free Expungement Clinic, Howard Community College

February 5, 2023

Howard County Veterans Book Club, online

February 7, 2023

Veterans Curation Program employs recently separated Veterans to rehabilitate archeological collections, Alexandria, VA 

February 18, 2023

NABVETS 23rd Annual Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Banquet, Baltimore

February 23, 2023

Free Hearing Screening for Veterans, American Legion Post 82, La Plata

Eichelberger marker

Story from Denise Robinson

Denise is a dedicated volunteer who ensured that a Veteran’s grave did not remain unmarked.

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.