30 June 2023 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  June 30, 2023


Message from MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods:

Dear friends — 

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs' mission is to assist veterans and their families. Earlier this month, Governor Moore initiated a clear call to action to address public safety. While we hope veterans don’t come into contact with the criminal justice system, the MDVA is building partnerships to support at-risk veterans who are or may become justice involved. 

We’re inspired by Senior Judge Halee Weinstein, who is the founding judge at the Veterans Treatment Court at the District Court in Baltimore City, which provides supervised treatment programs for veterans with substance-abuse disorders and other mental health challenges. 

We’re excited to partner with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services as they pioneer efforts to help incarcerated veterans find community through prison-based veteran living pods. 

Last week, I met a group of women veterans who are incarcerated at MCI-W in Jessup. As they repay their debts to society, I reminded them they are not forgotten. When the time comes for them to re-enter society, the MDVA will work to ensure these veterans have access to the benefits that they've earned through military service — a key component to getting back on their feet and reducing their risk of recidivism. 

All veterans deserve to be supported, and it’s our obligation that the most vulnerable are not left behind. 


Tony Woods 

Women Veterans Day Program

Secretary Woods spoke to an audience of Women Veterans at the Women Veteran's Day Recognition event held at the Maryland Correctional Institute - Women (MCI-W) in Jessup.

In this photo are Secretary Carolyn Scruggs, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Virginia Ngugi, Volunteer Coordinator at MCI-W, Roslyn Jones, MDVA Women Veteran/Inclusion Program Manager and MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods.

Roslyn has been regularly visiting MCI-W as part of her outreach to Women Veterans in Maryland.

MDVA wants your feedback!


Primary Logo

 The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs needs your   assistance. In the coming months, the department will be   launching a new website. To ensure we are improving your   customer experience in a meaningful way, we need to hear   from you.  Please take a few moments to view the MDVA   website and then complete this survey providing your   suggestions on improving the website.

 We appreciate your help.

MDVA Website



MDVA and Vet Center Claims Clinic

MDVA Benefits Specialists joined the Silver Spring Vet Center staff at the recent Claims Clinic held in Montgomery County. Shown in this photo are: Andrew Rutherford (Frederick MDVA office), Davis Skisano (Gaithersburg MDVA office), Wayne Stinchcomb, Veterans Outreach Program Specialist (Silver Spring VET Center), Garry Brown (Baltimore MDVA office), Willie Borden (Charlotte Hall MDVA office) and Phil Munley, Director, MDVA Service and Benefits Program (Baltimore MDVA Office).

Service Animal Program photo

Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding (CTR), an FY23 MDVA Service Animal Grant Program recipient, utilized their grant award to launch a new program for veterans served by the VA Maryland Health Care System in Baltimore City. The Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (PRRC) at the Baltimore City VA was modeled on an existing program at the VA Center in Perry Point.  One of the veteran participants (pictured below) says:  “Interactions with horses, CTR staff, PRRC staff and fellow veterans all combined into an enjoyable experience.  Extremely therapeutic!”

Commissioning of USS Carl Levin

Baltimore was chosen as the location for the Commissioning of the USS Carl M. Levin on June 24, 2023.  Deputy Secretary Robert Finn attended the Commissioning ceremony and represented Secretary Woods and MDVA. Baltimore Sun article

Photo Credit: Robert Finn

Sons of American Legion Convention

MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn presented a Proclamation from Governor Wes Moore to Larry Ford, Detachment Commander during the 50th Annual Detachment of Maryland Sons of the American Legion 2023 meeting.

Photo Credit: Jeff Thorne Photography

In Memoriam:

We are saddened to report the passing of two long term members of the Maryland Veterans Home Commission:

Major General Andrew (Andy) Anderson, USA (Ret.), Obituary

Former Maryland Delegate John Francis (Johnny) Wood, Jr., Obituary

MDVA extends sincere condolences to Major General Anderson's and Delegate Johnny Wood's family and friends.  We appreciate General Anderson's and Delegate Wood's steadfast support of the residents of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

State Partner News

Anne Arundel Claims Clinic

Funding Adapted Vehicles

Maryland Flag Waiving

A Webinar To Answer All Your Adapted Vehicle Questions

From in-state to national funding resources, drivers training courses to understanding insurance, we'll cover all the basics to help consumers make the most informed decisions when it comes to needing and buying an adapted vehicle, from start to finish.

July 11, 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST. Register

Statewide Preservation Plan - Planning for 2024-2031 is underway:

Throughout July 2023, the Maryland Historical Trust will host public meetings to solicit feedback about goals and recommended actions for the statewide preservation plan – an eight-year guidance document for government agencies, non-profit advocates, and others involved in historic preservation, archaeology and cultural heritage. In addition to general meetings around the state, MHT and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture will co-host two open public meetings with a focus on African American heritage.

Attendees should bring their ideas, questions, and concerns about all things related to historic preservation, archaeology, and cultural heritage. Each meeting will include a short presentation followed by a facilitated discussion. For the most up-to-date details, or to RSVP (not required), visit our Facebook Events page.

Read More Here

Spotlight on Education - Morgan State University:

Morgan is currently hiring for staff in the Office of the Registrar - Veteran Engagement Services.  Read More Here

Employment at Morgan State University

Spotlight on Education - Carroll Community College

PTSD Symposium  (July 14, 2023) and PTSD911 Documentary Screening (July 15, 2023)

Flier for more information

Federal Partner News

VAMHCS 2023 Veterans Creative Arts Competition:

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Entries from Veterans enrolled with the VA Maryland Health Care System are now being accepted for Maryland’s 2023 Veterans Creative Arts Competition.

Each year across the nation, VA partners with the American Legion Auxiliary to host a creative arts competition and festival that showcases and celebrates the value of the creative arts and creative arts therapy in the health, wellness and rehabilitation of our nation’s Veterans.

The VA Maryland Health Care System hosts a local competition, with area Veteran patient winners being forwarded to the national level of competition. This year’s local event will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at the Maryland State Fair. This showcase is an opportunity for Veterans to share their creative works with the community and other Veterans. It also gives Veteran artists a chance to speak about their work and its importance in their lives.

Veterans who win nationally are typically invited to attend the annual VA National Creative Arts Festival. There are five divisions of entry for the competition:

  • Art (photography, paint, crafts, etc.)
  • Creative Writing (poetry, essay, short story, etc.)
  • Drama (performing poetry, prose, comedy, etc.)
  • Dance (modern, line, ballroom, etc.)
  • Music (vocal, instrumental, original, etc.)

Local entries are accepted at all levels of ability. To submit an entry for the local competition, Veterans must be enrolled in the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Due date for registration and submission of all paperwork and writings is July 11. All artwork must be received by July 18. For more information about entries or this year’s showcase, please contact Kelsey Eisenhauer at kelsey.eisenhauer@va.gov or 410-585-4477.

For more information about the national festival, please visit: National Veterans Creative Arts Festival - Veterans Health Administration

Thank you,

VA Maryland Health Care System

Federal News

VA Maryland Health Care System Summer Newsletter

Medical Foster Home Program is an alternative to nursing homes

VA helps Veterans bridge the Digital Divide

VA: Building Better Caregivers Workshops

Fireworks and PTSD

Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023

Free Business Training: Apply now for DAV's Patriot Boot Camp

News from Martinsburg VA Medical Center:

COMING SOON: PACT Act Outreach Event, July 27

Are you eligible for benefits related to toxic exposure while in the military? It's time to find out and get the care you need.

On July 27th, Veterans are invited to attend the PACT Act Outreach Event at the Martinsburg VAMC. Get a toxic exposure screening, file a new claim, check the status of a pending claim or get more information on your benefits with representatives from the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Remember, though there is no deadline to apply for PACT Act benefits, there is urgency: If you apply for PACT Act-related benefits before by August 9, your benefits MAY BE BACKDATED TO August 10, 2022 – the day the bill was signed into law.  More Information

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

USO BWI Lounge is looking for donations to support traveling troops


Military Career Connections in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties


Military Spouse Career Connections in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties


Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. Annual Baby Shower


From the award-winning playwright of Elephant’s Graveyard, George Brant, comes the story of an ace fighter pilot whose career in the sky ends early due to an unexpected pregnancy.

Grounded Teaser Trailer

Sunday performances are free for active and retired military with ID

News from Project Opportunity

Project Opportunity, which provides FREE entrepreneur training for Veterans has opened enrollment for the Fall session:

Veteran Training on Eastern Shore, Flier

Veteran Training in Howard County, Flier

Veteran Training in Baltimore region, Flier

Spouses of Veterans, Active Duty and Guard/Reserve Personnel Training, Takoma Park


Veterans Moving Forward, Inc. Service Dog in Training, "Hazel", as she gets ready to celebrate the 4th.  She is named after Army Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown.  General Johnson-Brown was the first African American, female officer in the military to be promoted to General Officer rank.  


How to Help Keep Your Dog Safe on July Fourth

Veterans Moving Forward, Inc., is a 501c3 nonprofit whose HQ and Training Center is in Dulles. Our not-for-profit provides trained service dogs to veterans dealing with physical and/or mental health challenges at no cost to the veteran or their family. This month we want to offer some suggestions on how to help to keep your dog safe on the 4th of July.

For Americans, the 4th of July is a very special day where we honor and celebrate our nation’s beginnings in 1776. Although a celebratory day for humans, the July 4th holiday brings multiple threats to our dogs’ health and happiness. The American Veterinary Medical Association warns that fireworks, picnics, cookouts, and other Fourth of July traditions can be frightening and even dangerous for pets. Up to half of dogs react fearfully to fireworks, according to owner surveys.

Read More Here

We are excited to announce that Maryland Hall is a proud Creative Forces Community Engagement Grant recipient!

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts will offer the Veterans Glass Studio, a  free workshop for veterans and military families to learn the art of glass fusing and explore artistic expression in a safe and supportive environment. The workshop will be taught by US Army veteran Clare Shepherd, who herself learned to process trauma through this art form. Participants will learn about glass fusing and creating unique pieces during the workshop. 

“We are grateful that Maryland Hall became home to our amazing glass-fusing teaching artist, Clare Shepard. We hope this opportunity opens our doors to other military and military-connected families.” - Jackie Coleman, Executive Director, Maryland Hall.

Click here to register NOW for the first two workshops: Creative Forces in Glass for Military, on July 6th and August 17thFlier

Community Calendar

June 30, 2023

Fort George G. Meade Red, White & Blue Celebration

July 2, 2023

Our Heroes, A Trinity Fourth, Lutherville

July 6, 2023

AARP at Poole's Island Brewing Company, Middle River

July 9, 2023

Baltimore Station Fundraiser: Bottle Your Own Whiskey at Old Line, Baltimore

July 11, 2023

Funding Adapted Vehicles, Webinar

July 12, 2023

Veteran Job Fair, Baltimore

July 14, 2023

Baltimore Station Fundraiser: Crab Feast & Bull Roast, Baltimore

PTSD Symposium, Westminster

July 15, 2023

PTSD911 Documentary Film Screening, Westminster

July 16, 2023

Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) Day of Affirmation, Washington, DC

July 21, 2023

PTSD911 Documentary Film Screening, Ocean City

July 26, 2023

PACT Act Claims Clinic & VA Health Care Enrollment Fair, Arnold

July 27, 2023

PACT Act Outreach event, Martinsburg VA Medical Center

July 29, 2023

Women Veterans Meet & Greet, La Plata

August 4 through August 20, 2023

Grounded, Maryland Hall, Annapolis, Flier

August 24, 2023

Aberdeen Proving Ground Job Fair, APG Mallette Training Facility

August 31, 2023

Benefit for Baltimore Station: OPS Consulting 9th Annual Golf Event, Ijamsville

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>>

News from Community Building Art Works:

A Day of Belonging - August 12th (IN PERSON)

Community Building Art Works' 2023 community gathering, A Day of Belonging, will provide veterans, active duty military, and their families and caregivers with a day of expressive arts workshops. Attendees will experience performances, readings, and visual art exhibits led by professional artists to showcase artistic talent from the military and Veteran communities.

Workshops will include demonstrations of sample pieces from an artistic discipline, group discussions, and time for participants to create in a low-pressure, positive feedback environment. All supplies and materials will be provided to participants free of charge.

The event will conclude with a special musical guest performance by Wytold, a nationally recognized musician with a long history of working with CBAW and the military-affiliated community. Visit https://www.strathmore.org/community-education/public-education/a-day-of-belonging/ for more details and to register.

This event is for audience members aged 18 and older. Limited spots available.


Calling for Artwork

At A Day of Belonging, we will celebrate the power of the arts to bring together Veterans and civilians from different backgrounds into a community of belonging. Artists have an opportunity to have their work displayed in a Digital Exhibit at this event.   

Submit artwork answering the question: What does Belonging mean to you?  Open to all.

Submit artwork at: https://bit.ly/CBAW_Art2023

All submissions are due by July 20th. You will be notified by August 1st if your artwork has been selected for the exhibit.


More Than One Story - Next Virtual Orientation July 11th!

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.


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 | YouTube | LinkedIn

At ServingTogether we provide local veteran resources, information and services to Active Duty service members, Veterans, Family members and Caregiver in the DMV region. We do this through Coordinated care, Community education and our Collaborative. Below you will find some information on all three approaches of care and outreach

Community Resources

ServingTogether, a program of EveryMind, was launched in 2011 to coordinate community-based resources for service members, veterans and their families in the DC region. Our mission is to make it easier for all those who have served in the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves, and their families to access the local services they need. 

We are affiliated with a larger network of coordinated care, with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) initiative called AmericaServes. We are one of 18 communities throughout the United States serving as a hub of health and human service related providers. The goal is to help reduce down the number of times a veteran or military-connected individual has to get bounced around to different providers or lost in seeking to find the right resource. This also allows us to be connected to a broader community of providers throughout the United States, and refer veterans to the closest provider to their community.

Read more about Serving Together Programs

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.