2 June 2023 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  June 2, 2023


MDVA Service and Benefits Program is growing

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The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Service and Benefits Program provides assistance to the men and women who served in the Uniformed Services of the United States, their dependents, and survivors in obtaining benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, State of Maryland and other programs for veterans and their families.

Please join us in welcoming these newly hired staff to four MDVA locations:

Jynell Proctor (Office Secretary II) Glen Burnie

Yvette Carey (Office Secretary II) Charlotte Hall

Jodi Satterfield (VBS II) Salisbury

Sharron Hall (Administrative Aide) Baltimore

If you have questions concerning your benefits, or you would like to file a claim for compensation or pension, please contact the MDVA Service and Benefits Program or call: 


APG Retiree Appreciation

Jermaine Wesley and Mike Cantrell who work in the MDVA Bel Air Service & Benefits office, attended the Aberdeen Proving Ground Retiree Appreciation event to assist Veterans.  MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods also attended, speaking to the audience at the opening of the event.

MDVA Website

Women Veteran Recognition event

VSS Program photos

Did you know that Maryland has a Veterans Service Specialist Program? 

In 2017, the Veterans Services Specialist Program was established to improve coordination of services for the military connected community in Maryland.  Maryland State Government Departments and Agencies have a Veterans Services Specialist (VSS) or “liaison” who can provide general information to state employees who have served in the military or who have family members who have served in the military with information on veteran-related resources.  They can also answer general questions citizens may have about these resources.  If a liaison is unable to resolve questions, they have a partner at the MDVA to assist them.  The MDVA Communications, Outreach and Advocacy Program is ready to support and work alongside liaisons to answer questions and make necessary referrals in order to meet the needs of our military connected community.

In the photos above, 1. Veteran Services Specialists from Maryland state agencies attend a training session held at M&T Bank Stadium.  2. MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods welcomed the VSS members.  3. Dana Burl, Director of the MDVA Communications, Outreach & Advocacy Program leads the training.

Thank you to the Maryland Stadium Authority for providing the meeting space and thank you to the VSS members who donated three car loads of contributions to support Veterans receiving services at Baltimore Station.

WWII Memorial

Lt. Governor Aruna Miller joined MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods and American Legion Post Commander Curtis Jones on Memorial Day at the World War II Memorial in Annapolis.  Lt. Governor Miller also participated in a wreath laying at the adjacent Gold Star Families Monument. Secretary Woods was the Guest Speaker for the ceremony and Commander "Gunny" Jones is the American Legion Cook Pinkney Post 141 Commander. Post 141 organized the Memorial Day ceremony at the WWII Memorial in Annapolis.

Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor

DAV Convention

MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn presented Governor's Proclamations to the Disabled American Veterans Department of Maryland Commander Theodore Garry and the Auxiliary President Diane Garofolo at the annual DAV convention.

Vietnam Veteran Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 451 located in Baltimore led the Memorial Day ceremony held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in South Baltimore.  In the photo, the VVA Chapter 451 Honor Guard march in at the beginning of the ceremony.

For more information on MDVA Cemeteries and Memorials

Many more photos from Memorial Day and other recent events may be found in the State Partner section, Federal Partner section and following the Community Partner section below.

State Partner News

Governor Moore

Governor Moore delivered remarks at the Memorial Day Service of Remembrance at King Memorial Park Cemetery in Baltimore County. He was joined by community members, local veterans, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Area Chapter of the 9th & 10th Cavalry of the Buffalo Soldiers. King Memorial Park is celebrating 50 years of serving the African American community in Baltimore County.

Photo Credit: Executive Office of the Governor

Warrior Canine Connection

Watch Governor Wes Moore here as he gives a special Memorial Day message and meets "Wes", the puppy at Warrior Canine Connection.

Secretary Woods of the Maryland Veteran Affairs, joined Governor Moore of Maryland and other state officials at Warrior Canine Connection’s (WCC) healing quarters, a Veteran service dog organization with a unique honor of naming their service dogs after Veterans as a way to tell Veteran stories, say their names and bridge the gap between the Military/Civilian divide.

Governor Wes Moore was able to meet WCC’s Wes, named in his honor and shared his sentiments in this Memorial Day video produced by WCC in collaboration with Governor Moore’s Office and the Maryland Veterans Affairs office.

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

Maryland Flag Waiving

Are you interested in contracting opportunities with state government agencies? 

If so, be sure to attend our next Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop on June 7, 2023. Participants will gain insights on how our small, minority, women, and veteran procurement programs work and learn strategies for mining public data to target your business development efforts.

We will have buyers from 13 different state agencies, departments, and universities at this live event. You'll learn the common products and services each unit purchases, what they are looking to buy right now, and what's in the pipeline. 

Who should attend?  Small business owners, including firms owned and operated by minorities, women, and veterans, interested in doing business in the state contracting arena as a prime contractor or subcontractor.

When: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


MGM National Harbor Ballroom - Salon A 101 MGM National Avenue National Harbor, MD 20745


Women Veterans Entrepreneurship Resources Lunch & Learn

JUNE 12th IS NATIONAL WOMEN VETERANS DAY. Together, with Bowie State University's Entrepreneurship Innovation Center (EIC), we are hosting a special event to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset for women veterans and military spouses. 

 Join us for a dynamic program to celebrate successful veteran women small business owners in Maryland, hear real life experiences of women entrepreneurs, and highlight the value and skill sets needed to build creditability for your brand. You'll also connect with a broad range of stakeholder groups and organizations that support veteran-owned small businesses at the local, state, and federal levels.

Anthony Woods, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, will offer remarks, present a proclamation from Governor Wes Moore, and moderate a Panel Discussion of experienced veteran businesswomen who will share their insights "From Startup to Success." 

Linda Singh, PhD, Founder & CEO of Kaleidoscope Affect, LLC, will deliver the Keynote Address on "Building Credibility After Military Service." She will explore challenges and successful strategies to create authentic branding as an executive and entrepreneur. 

Erica Dobbs, President/CEO of Dobbs Defense Solutions, LLC, (D2S) will present the Skills Learning Session and share insights into practical strategies to help you make impactful decisions, establish trust, and inspire your team. 


First Lady Dawn Moore

First Lady Dawn Moore held a private wreath laying ceremony at the Maryland Gold Star Families Monument in Annapolis. She was joined by Secretary Woods and the Maryland Chapter of Gold Star Mothers.

Photo credit: Executive Office of the Governor

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

News from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

Three License-Free Fishing Days Scheduled for 2023

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers license-free fishing days for all state residents and visitors on Saturday, June 3, Saturday, June 10, and Tuesday, July 4. Maryland’s annual license-free fishing days offer anglers a unique opportunity to explore the state’s diverse fishing without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration. Read more.


Annual Horseshoe Crab Migration Returning to Maryland

The annual spawning migration of horseshoe crabs – Limulus polyphemus – is now returning to Maryland beaches, providing an opportunity to view one of nature’s oldest wildlife phenomena and participate in citizen science. The migration usually takes place from May through July, and its peak culminates with high tides on or around each full and new moon in June. Read more.

Federal Partner News

Building Better Caregivers Online Workshop

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Free 6-week online workshop offers group support for caregivers of Veterans

Are you caring for a Veteran with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or memory loss? The Building Better Caregiver® (BBC) free 6-week online workshop can give you the support you need. Renee, a caregiver for her Army Veteran husband, was able to reduce stress, improve her health and find time for herself after taking the BBC workshop for support. See how BBC changed Renee’s life.

When you join a 6-week BBC online workshop , you’ll:

  • learn new ways to reduce stress
  • set weekly goals and get support in achieving them
  • find time to take care of you

The workshop was developed by Stanford University to support caregivers of Veterans of all eras. When you join a BBC Workshop, you’ll connect with other caregivers and trained leaders in helping you learn new ways to manage the challenges of caregiving.

Caregivers must meet criteria and be willing to participate in the VA Caregiver Support Program in either the Program of Comprehensive assistance (PCAFC) or Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) programs.

Federal News

New program developed to address mental health needs of military caregivers

The VA Veterans' Family, Caregiver and Survivor Advisory Committee is soliciting new members through June 15, 2023. More Information

Suicide prevention and LGBTQ+ Veterans

Reducing loneliness may reduce the likelihood of suicide

Live Whole Health #171: Rocks and pebbles

Live Whole Health #172: Posture, breath and mind

Live Whole Health #173: Slow down! You move too fast

VA's Mindfulness Meditation: June 2, July 7 and August 11

June 7th: National Career Fair for Veterans, Service Members & Military Spouses, Virtual and in-person in Washington, DC

Volunteer drivers needed for Veteran patients

Veterans needing business start-up help can turn to Warrior Rising

VA: Limiting use of Social Security Numbers through the mail

Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital Renamed for Highest-Ranking Black Officer in Union Army, Health.mil article

More than 360 Military Health Care Providers Graduate from the Uniformed Services University located in Bethesda, Maryland. Health.mil article

Summer Travel Discounts for Veterans

Free Year of LinkedIn Premium for Veterans and Military

Annapolis Vet Center

The staff at the Annapolis Vet Center recently held an open house and resource fair for Veterans.  In this photo, Denise Nooe, MDVA Deputy Director of Communications and Outreach is providing resource information.  Thank you to the Vet Center staff for inviting MDVA to participate in this well attended event.

Pershing's Own

The U. S. Army Band Brass Quintet, based at Ft. George G. Meade provided musical selections at the Prince Georges County Circuit Court Annual Veterans Appreciation event.  On the far right is MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn who served as keynote speaker for the ceremony.

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

News from Junior Tennis Champions Center:

Veterans Tennis Corps

Who: military veterans and active duty service members with and without disabilities

When: Thursdays 12:00-2:00pm & Saturdays 11:00am-12:30pm.  For More Information.

Veterans Yoga Project offers services for Veterans


MISSION BEELIEVE - Heroes for Honey


Maryland is the 7th Best State for Military Retirees, WalletHub


Voices of Vets Online 2023 Memorial Day Concert

News from Project Opportunity

Project Opportunity, which provides FREE entrepreneur training for Veterans has opened enrollment for the Fall session held on the Eastern Shore. Flier

Blue Star Families Annual Military Lifestyle Survey

Calling all active-duty, National Guard, Reserve, Veterans, and their families! We want YOU to use your voice to make an impact. As a proud supporter of the 2023 #BSFSurvey,  we know your voice can make a difference. When you take the survey, share your experiences to help inform decision-makers so they can make changes and create resources that will support you. Take the survey today and share your story. <<SURVEY LINK>>

You may be familiar with this comprehensive survey that collects feedback from active-duty, National Guard, Reserve, Veterans, and their family members — like you. The data collected from the survey becomes a blueprint for identifying the most pressing issues that the military- and Veteran-connected community faces. This feedback is then used to create solutions that will support you and provide the resources you need to thrive. 

This year, Blue Star Families is conducting their survey May 24th - July 12th, and we want you to help by sharing your experiences. 

After more than a decade of serving families like yours, there are two essential things Blue Star Families always strives to do:

  1. Ensure that you always have a place to feel like you belong.
  2. Provide you with the opportunity to share your voice openly and freely.

The survey is an important opportunity to inspire decision-makers to make lasting changes to help military and Veteran families. Will you take some time today to share what is most important to you and your family? Take the survey <<here>>

Community Calendar

June 2, 2023 - TODAY

Veteran Art Exhibit, Platoon Veteran Service Center, Frederick

June 4, 2023

Veteran Sunday Golf Club, Ijamsville

June 5, 2023

Platoon 22, Breakfast Banter Mondays, Frederick

June 7, 2023

Vet Center Veterans Claims and Information Resource Fair,Gaithersburg

June 8, 2023

Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon

2023 Joint Base Andrews Annual Small Business Summit

Veteran Art Workshops, Frederick (and additional dates)

June 10, 2023

Women Veterans Recognition Day, Towson

Women Veterans Recognition & Resource Fair, Largo

Women Veterans Meet & Greet, VFW, Morningside

Veterans Fair and Car Show, Sparrows Point

Safe Haven Equine Warriors Open House, Sykesville (RSVP by June 3rd)

June 16, 2023

Veterans Legal Assistance & Training Conference, Baltimore

Annual DAV Golf Outing, APG Ruggles

June 17, 2023

Women's Veterans Day, American Legion Post 66, Bowie, hosted by the Mental Hope Foundation, Inc.

Mindfulness with Art, Oxon Hill, sponsored by Women Veterans United Committee, Inc.

June 21, 2023

Free Yoga Class for Emergency Responders/Military Personnel, Chesapeake College

APG Retiree Appreciation

MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods spoke to the audience at Aberdeen Proving Ground's Retiree Appreciation event.

Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

Secretary Woods (center) also participated in the Memorial Day observance held at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

Hereford High Scholl event

Hereford High School hosted the traveling memorial, Eyes of Freedom over the Memorial Day weekend.  MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn (seated in the green shirt) attended the opening ceremony and presented Governor Moore's Memorial Day Proclamation.

Waldorf Post

Maryland Veterans Commissioner CAPT (Ret) Jerome D. Davis, SC, USN attended the PFC John C. DeMarr, Jr. Memorial DAV Chapter 36 Memorial Day Ceremony held on Monday,  May 29, 2023, at Trinity Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Waldorf, Maryland. PFC DeMarr died of wounds after serving in Vietnam in 1968.  The Chapter was well represented and the ceremony was well attended by PFC DeMarr's family members.  Special note is made regarding DAV Chapter 36 Comrades Joan Sabree and Elton Stokes for their exceptional performance in officiating the ceremony.  PFC DeMarr's family was very pleased and thankful.

PFC John C. DeMarr , Jr Memorial DAV Chapter 36 is located in Waldorf, Maryland.

Photo and text courtesy of Commissioner Davis

Commissioner Hanson

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Robert Hanson (center) presents Governor Moore's Memorial Day Proclamation to American Legion Post 91 Commander Sam Monaghan and former Maryland State Senator Richard Colburn, who serves as the Post Historian. The Memorial Day ceremony was held at Post 91, located in Cambridge, MD.

Stan Seidel

Maryland Veterans Commissioner Stan Seidel speaks at the Sheppard Pratt Veterans Services Center in Fells Point.  Commissioner Seidel also presented Governor Moore's Memorial Day Proclamation.

Photo credit: Sarah Norman, Sheppard Pratt

VVA ceremony

The audience chairs were filled in front of the podium at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial on Memorial Day, so guests started seating themselves around the circular monument for the ceremony. If you have never visited the Maryland Vietnam Veteran Memorial, please stop by Middle Branch Park, 2825 South Hanover Street, Baltimore, MD 21225.

Tim Gaskins

MDVA Memorials staff member, Tim Gasque helps ensure the MDVA memorials are prepared for ceremonies and visitors.  During the Memorial Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial, Mr. Gasque was thanked for his dedication.

Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery

Memorial Day Service at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery.  The Junior R.O.T.C. Honor Guard was provided by Franklin High School.

Special Thanks to the 70+ volunteers from CareFirst who placed flags on the graves of Veterans at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery in Owings Mills.  WMAR-TV2 News reported on the volunteer effort.

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.