5 May 2023 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  May 5, 2023


May Is Military Appreciation Month: Kids Serve Too.


by Dana Burl, MDVA Director of Communications, Outreach & Advocacy

If you’ve noticed the weather lately, April’s showers have continued into May.  The good news is that with showers come flowers.  One particular flower, the dandelion, symbolizes a military child’s experience.  While most see the dandelion as a weed, it is actually a flower with incredible resilience, many healing qualities, and has the ability to grow just about anywhere.  When you think about the flower from this perspective, it’s easy to see why the dandelion is symbolic of the millions of children living in US veteran households.   And did you know, April was Month of the Military Child.  So it’s poignant that the focus of this MDVA update is on our military and veteran connected children.

As the parent of two veteran connected children, I strongly believe that kids serve, too.  So, it’s not a surprise that as co-lead to Maryland’s participation in the VA/SAMHSA Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and Families, I pay particular attention to ‘Families’.  And why should we know about veteran kids?  According to the US Census and National Child Traumatic Stress Network 13% of veterans live with children in the home and in the post 9/11 cohort, 44% of veterans live with children in the home.  Approximately 2.3 million children under the age of 18 are living with a veteran who is disabled.  A recent study found that for veterans seeking treatment for mental health they felt distant from their children.  But there are resources to help and to improve relationships between these children and their parents.

Each month, Governor’s Challenge states and territories come together for team lead calls.  These calls provide opportunities for education and networking.  Last weeks’ call focused on resources for veteran families with children.  The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has published some great resources and fact sheets for families, providers, and educators on the importance of becoming military informed and trauma informed when raising or working with children and youth.  I encourage anyone who is interested in suicide prevention work and empowering resilience in military and veteran connected kids to please visit these resources.  And the next time you see a dandelion, be reminded that kids serve, too and help that flower grow.

Resources for supporting military and veteran connected children:

MDVA Suicide Prevention Initiatives: Direct link to national and local initiatives and free training portal

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Direct link to resources for parents, providers, and educators of military and veteran connected children

Understanding Child Trauma and Resilience: For Military Parents and Caregivers

Offers military parents and caregivers information and checklists about child trauma and resilience. https://www.nctsn.org/resources/understanding-child-trauma-and-resilience-for-military-parents-and-caregivers 

Understanding Child Suicide: For Military Parents

Offers military parents information about military youth suicide. This fact sheet includes information about suicide and military youth, how to talk to your child about suicide, warning signs that your child may be experiencing suicidal thoughts and helpful responses by age group, as well as evidence-based treatments for suicidal youth, and how to address your needs as a parent.


Public Notice: Limited Vehicle Access at Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery during week of June 12, 2023

On Monday, June 12, 2023, contractors will begin paving work at the Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery. This project will necessitate limited vehicular access through the original sections of the cemetery for several days until paving is completed. Visitors will be able to park in the front lots of the cemetery, but will have to walk from the main entrance to visit graves in Sections B and C of the cemetery. The access roadway to Section A of the cemetery will remain open. Should visitors require additional information they may contact the cemetery office at 301-777-2185. 

MDVA Cemetery & Memorials Program

MDVA Website

Women Veterans Recognition Day

HB 370

MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods joined Governor Wes Moore, members of the Maryland General Assembly and guests for the signing of HB 370, now Chapter 312 which proclaims March 9th as 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Day in Maryland.  More information on the 6888th.

Photo courtesy of Michael McCoy

Maryland College Collaboration for Student Veterans Commission

Secretary Woods attended a meeting of the Maryland College Collaboration for Student Veterans Commission held at Frostburg State University.  He is shown here with the Officers of the Commission: Kristin Byerly, Secretary, Josiah Guthland, Vice Chair and Dena Allen-Few, Chair.

Howard County Claims Clinic

MDVA participated in the Veterans Claims Clinic held in Howard County this week.  In this photo, Secretary Woods is talking with Phil Munley, Director of the MDVA Service and Benefits Program. Eight MDVA Service & Benefits staff helped Veterans filing claims and staff from the MDVA Communications, Outreach & Advocacy program provided an onsite resource table to assist those attending the event.

CRAB photo

Secretary Woods attended the ribbon cutting for the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) new adaptive boating center.

Diversity Month Event

A Diversity Month event was hosted by the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities at the Westminster Senior Center in April. Shown in this photo are: Jeremy Browning, Governor's Office of Community Initiatives, COL Edna Cummings, USA Ret. Army Reserve Ambassador, Cordia McArthus, MD Department of Labor Veterans Services and Roslyn Jones, MDVA Women Veteran/Inclusion Program Manager.

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


Monday, May 29, 2023

11:00 am:

Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery

(11301 Crain Highway, Cheltenham, MD 20623)


Crownsville Veterans Cemetery

(1122 Sunrise Beach Rd, Crownsville, MD 21032)


Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery

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

*NOTE: Program at Garrison Forest will begin at 10:15 including musical selections and bagpipes.


World War II Memorial

(1920 Ritchie Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401)


2:00 pm:

Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery

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


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

1:30 pm:


Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery

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


For more information on locations:

MDVA Cemetery and Memorials Program


MDVA is seeking a volunteer organization to plan and coordinate Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at the Korean War Memorial located on the Baltimore waterfront in Canton.  If you are interested in organizing the program for these ceremonies, please contact: Keith Brown, Superintendent, MDVA Memorials Program – keith.brown@maryland.gov


State Partner News

Maryland's Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program

Veteran Owned Business

Thursday, May 25, 2023

10 a.m. - 12 noon

Are you a veteran-owned small business entrepreneur? This class takes a look at Maryland's VSBE Program's eligibility standards and 3-step certification process. If you are a former VSBE and let your certification lapse and want to get back into the program, this session would also be for you. We'll explore common procurement practices and examine tactics for mining the state's open and transparent procurement pipeline. We will also share valuable small business resources available specifically to veterans.

Who should attend? Veteran small business owners and veteran entrepreneurs who want to assess the state contracting arena and gain a better understanding of Maryland's VSBE Program.

Your instructor is Danielle Davis, VSBE Compliance Manager, Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs.


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

Stay connected to the many opportunities for training, networking, and business development that are taking place across Maryland and on virtual platforms. Here is a highlight of some of the events coming up this month. 

05/09/2023 - Capture and Proposal Management

05/11/2023 - Seeking Funding for Your Business? Speed Lending is for You!

05/11/2023 - Sales Conversations that Close Deals

05/16/2023 - Responding to State Solicitations

05/18/2023 - Selling, Hiring & Working with Independent Contractors

05/23/2023 - Pricing Strategies to Win More Contracts

05/23/2023 - Building Your Past Performance Library

05/25/2023 - Maryland's Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program

05/24/2023 - Minority Contractor Summit

05/25/2023 - Budget Builder Workshop for Small Business Owners

05/30/2023 - Driving Revenue: Leveraging Technology to Capture Clients

Check out the full listing of small business events online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

Governor Moore Announces $2.7 Million in Financial Support for Six Small, Minority, and Veteran-Owned Maryland Businesses

Governor Wes Moore and the Maryland Department of Commerce announced that six small, minority, and veteran-owned businesses have been approved for a total of nearly $2.7 million in financial assistance to support business growth in Maryland. The funding comes in the forms of loans and lines of credit through two state programs—the Military Personnel and Veteran-owned Small Business Loan Program and the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority—and will help the businesses retain 29 workers and create 41 new jobs in the state.

"Today I’m proud to announce major financial assistance for six minority and veteran-owned small businesses here in Maryland," said Gov. Wes Moore. "These loans and lines of credit will greatly benefit both these businesses and local communities. This is how we create more opportunity and I’m proud to be getting this done alongside Secretary Anderson."

"These two programs are incredibly important in supporting our small, minority and veteran-owned businesses throughout the state," said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. "Not only are we proud to assist these businesses with their growth, but we are also thrilled to see them support dozens of jobs and provide good opportunities for Marylanders in the process."

The businesses receiving assistance through the military loan program include Escape Proving Ground, a Pasadena adventure and entertainment company specializing in interactive escape rooms; Patuxent Pride Inc., a franchised PrideStaff business that provides temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct hire staffing services in Columbia; and the Brunch House, a startup barbeque restaurant with plans to locate in Glen Burnie. Together, these business owners have more than 32 years of experience in the Maryland National Guard, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Army National Guard.

The Military Personnel and Veteran-owned Small Business Loan Program provides no-interest loans of up to $50,000 for businesses owned by military reservists, veterans, National Guard personnel and for small businesses that employ or are owned by such people. The program is administered by Maryland Commerce in consultation with the Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs.

The businesses receiving assistance through the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority include Interbiome, a start-up contract manufacturing organization in Rockville that services biotechnology organizations bringing new products to market; One Leg Up Pets, a dog walking, pet sitting, daycare and boarding service provider in Laurel; and Sweeten, a Baltimore City platform for home renovation and home remodeling experts. 

The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority provides financing assistance to small and minority-owned businesses throughout Maryland through direct loans, working capital, loan guarantees, and assistance in obtaining surety bonding and lines of credit. The program is managed by private contractor Meridian Management Group, a Baltimore-based professional asset manager for economic development and private equity funds.

To learn more about available financial incentives in Maryland, visit commerce.maryland.gov/fund.

Camden, SC re-interment

Photo and text below courtesy of Owen Lourie, Historian, Maryland State Archives


Some of America’s First Veterans Buried in South Carolina

 by Owen Lourie, Historian, Maryland State Archives

Funeral ceremonies were held in South Carolina on April 22 for thirteen soldiers killed 243 years ago at the Battle of Camden in 1780, during the Revolutionary War. They included twelve American soldiers from Maryland or Delaware, and one British solider from a Scottish Highlander unit; another soldier, who has been identified as Native American, will be buried separately. The soldiers will be formally buried later, in a new national cemetery to be established at the battlefield.

The soldiers’ remains were located during archaeological work at the battlefield site. The Battle of Camden was an overwhelming British victory, but the soldiers from Maryland and Delaware fought with great bravery. The fallen Americans were originally buried in shallow graves, just a few inches deep, and some of the graves contained multiple individuals. The graves were likely dug by American soldiers captured at the battle or enslaved workers from nearby farms, who may have dug them without tools. One of the graves appears to have been dug with a soldier’s tin cup, which was found nearby.

The ceremony was attended by thousands of visitors, including dignitaries from Maryland, Delaware, South Carolina, and officers from Britain, France, and Germany. The coffins were carried by the Old Guard, and soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland carried the coffin of the British soldier. So far, the soldiers are all unidentified. It is known the Americans were from Maryland or Delaware based on their position on the battlefield and uniform buttons found in the graves. Historians hope that DNA research will reveal more information about who the soldiers were.

To read more about the burials, see here: https://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article274338035.html and https://www.postandcourier.com/militarydigest/remains-of-revolutionary-war-fighters-honored-at-camden-battlefield/article_bd912884-dfb7-11ed-808f-5bf31ebcc7b2.html. To learn more about the Battle of Camden, see here https://msamaryland400.com/2017/08/16/gates-defeat-the-battle-of-camden/. You can also read more about a Maryland State Archives project studying Revolutionary War soldiers here: https://msamaryland400.com.

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans May Class

News from Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

DNR's Photo Contest Is Open!

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce the opening of the 2023 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest. Photographers are encouraged to submit photos of Maryland's natural resources through all four seasons. This year's contest is open through August 1, 2023.  Take your shot at the 2023 contest, with a grand prize of $500! Learn more on our website.


Maryland Department of Natural Resources Introduces Streamlined Saltwater Registry for Anglers

Maryland has added a convenient option for anglers who are required to complete an annual saltwater registration to fish for striped bass and other species. Read more.


Snakehead Tag Program Provides Cash Incentive for Anglers

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is continuing a northern snakehead tagging program in an effort to spur removal of invasive fish from our waters. The program also helps biologists measure harvest. Read more.

Federal Partner News

Welcome Home

Welcome Home – A Nation Thanks Our Vietnam Veterans

Like a leprechaun village, Camp Legacy will have appeared overnight on the National Mall in Washington D.C., the morning of May 11.

Helicopters will have arrived from the Vietnam War. Armored amphibious vehicles will be at their posts. Seventy-seven tents plus two large tent pavilions will be ready for museum curators, service organizations, Gold Star families, allied servicemembers, Veterans Affairs counselors, Vietnam veteran nurses, Native Americans, Donut Dollies, pilots, Medal of Honor recipients, and dog handlers. They will set up their exhibits and prepare to thank, honor, and offer a long-due “Welcome Home” to the men and women and their families who served during the Vietnam War.

May 11 is the opening day of the Vietnam War Commemoration’s “Welcome Home!” event running through May 13. It is part of the Nation’s congressionally chartered effort to use the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families, who will be individually recognized and ceremonially presented with a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.

The centerpiece for the May 11-13 event is Camp Legacy with 93 organizations exhibiting historic artifacts and providing veterans services on two sites divided by Independence Avenue: the JFK Hockey Fields adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and West Potomac Park across West Basin Drive from the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. West Basin Drive itself will become a street scene with mobile units from the USO, Wreaths Across America, The American Legion, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, a Vet Center, and the Operation Purple Heart fire truck.

The keystone event will be a multimedia concert at West Potomac Park on Saturday, May 13, featuring Broadway, film, music, and sport stars and dignitaries with live music and video montages telling the story of the Vietnam War and paying tribute to the service, sacrifice, and contributions of our Vietnam veterans, their families, and the many who supported them.

Camp Legacy also will feature music and drill team performances on “The Parade Ground” adjacent to a large “Rally Point Tent” where veterans and families can gather and commune. The performances range from military and high school bands to a Native American flutist to the Angel Force band comprising top Los Angeles session musicians, including James Raymond, the late David Crosby’s son and bandmate.  Alternating with performances on the Parade Ground will be panel discussions inside the Rally Point Tent, addressing such topics as the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall), Servicewomen in Vietnam, the mission to locate servicemembers still unaccounted for, and lessons from curators on how to preserve your family members’ Vietnam service artifacts. The Golden Knights Army parachute team will perform at West Potomac Park daily at 4 p.m.

Special programs during “Welcome Home!” include a celebration of International Nurses Day on May 12 featuring Vietnam veteran nurses and a wreath-laying at the nearby Vietnam Women’s Memorial. That night, the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team will host a “Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home at Nationals Park” with pregame ceremonies and an in-game salute.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is sponsoring a shuttle service from the Foggy Bottom Metro station to Camp Legacy, providing additional access for those with mobility impairments.

The Commemoration honors all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location as all were called to serve and none could self-determine where they were stationed. Since 2012, more than 3.6 million Vietnam veterans and their families have been publicly thanked by friends and neighbors during 25 thousand ceremonies hosted by our dedicated Commemorative Partners.

For updated information visit https://www.vietnamwar50th.com/welcomehome/.

Federal News

Health challenges facing minority communities

The STRONG Veterans Act - Expanding VA Mental Health Services

Social media, the safe way

Know your privacy rights and keep your personal info safe

Five VA Apps that help Veterans and their families manage stress

My HealtheVet portal is being upgraded

May 11th: 8th Annual National Convening - The State of the Caregiver Community, Register

May 18th: Gulf War Exposures & Health Concerns Class

Live Whole Health #168: Sleep is an essential for our bodies

Live Whole Health #169: Relax, refresh, recharge

Military Veterans: Reduce the negative effects of hypervigilance 

VA to host cross-country march honoring Veterans, servicemembers during Memorial May

June is PTSD Awareness Month: Register for PTSD Awareness Virtual Walk

VA: How smart are your devices?

National Veterans Wheelchair Games

VA Research Program

We are looking for Veterans (age 18-85) who are dissatisfied with their sleep and who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness (ex. Schizophrenia Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, or Depression with Psychosis) to partake in a research study on Insomnia Treatment. Research will be conducted virtually.  Read More Here

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

National Guard Scholarships


American Battle Monuments Foundation Essay Competition for students ages 11 through 18.

News from Community Building Art Works:

More Than One Story - Next Virtual Orientation May 16th!

Our monthly program for Women and Non-Binary Military has begun, but if you are still interested in participating, it's not too late. Interested individuals must attend an upcoming orientation to participate. Visit www.cbaw.org/mtos for more details.

We Remember: A Veteran Poetry Reading on Memorial Day - Monday, May 29th at 12pm EST (VIRTUAL)

Join us on Memorial Day to honor those who served with this special Veteran Poetry Reading featuring the work of Veteran Poets Raina Baron, Donna Stove-Cody, Kim DeFiori, Kevin Basl, Lesley Mose, Joan Green, and Willie Young Jr, hosted by Veterans Ben Weakley and Joe Merritt. The final work of art from the Collaborative Painting Project will be unveiled. This virtual event is open to all, and tickets are free. Donations are accepted to support Community Building Art Works programs for Veterans, service members, military families, and healthcare workers. Register at https://WeRemember2023.eventbrite.com

Visit www.cbaw.org to learn more about Community Building Art Works. For more information, email info@cbaw.org. Follow us on social media Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

Community Calendar

May 5, 2023

First Friday Vetworking, Columbia

May 6, 2022

Anne Arundel County Library: Fun for Veteran Families, Severna Park

Carry the Load, Annapolis

Self-Leadership Development Virtual Boot Camp

May 7, 2023

2nd Annual Veterans Celebration of Carroll County, Westminster

May 9, 2023

Annapolis Vet Center Community Open House & Resource Fair, Annapolis

May 11, 2023

8th Annual National Convening - The State of the Caregiver Community, Register

May 11-13, 2023

WELCOME HOME! A Nation Honors our Vietnam Veterans and their Families, Washington, DC

May 15 - 20, 2023

Military Appreciation Days at Mission BBQ

May 20, 2023

Care Coordination & Claims Clinic, Columbia

Discovering Horses Clinic - Barrel Racing & Roping, Monkton

May 21, 2023

Veteran Sunday Golf Club, starting May 21st, Ijamsville

May 23, 2023

7th Annual Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton Memorial Fundraiser, Bel Air

May 24, 2023

Veterans Resource Day, LaPlata

May 25, 2023

Maryland's Veteran-Owned Small Business (VSBE) Program, Virtual Webinar

May 25 - 29, 2023

The Eyes of Freedom Traveling Exhibit, Hereford High School, Parkton

May 27, 2023

Memorial Day Program sponsored by Women Veterans United Committee, Inc, CTLDom Group, Inc. and AMVETS, held at Maryland Women's Memorial, North East, Registration

June 2, 2023

Veteran Art Exhibit, Platoon Veteran Service Center, Frederick

June 8, 2023

Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon

2023 Joint Base Andrews Annual Small Business Summit

June 16, 2023

Veterans Legal Assistance & Training Conference, Baltimore

Annual DAV Golf Outing, APG Ruggles

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.