22 September 2023 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  September 22, 2023


Message from Secretary Anthony Woods:



Dear Friends -

As this suicide prevention awareness month draws to a close, we here at the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs alongside our partners in the Moore-Miller Administration are commited to the work of reducing suicide death every day of the year. Suicide has risen to the 11th leading cause of death in America and today, one out of every six Marylanders who die by suicide are individuals that have served in the military. These numbers are far too high and more can be done by those who serve in government and by all of us as individual citizens.

I encourage you to learn about the signs of suicidal ideation like drastic mood changes, withdrawal from loved ones, or expressing feelings of hopelessness. If you suspect someone may be at risk, don’t be afraid to ask directly if they’re considering suicide. Finally, help connect at-risk individuals to mental health professionals or direct them to the 988 suicide and crisis hotline (and then dial 1 to identify as a person who has served in the military).

I’ve written more about my personal experience with this topic in an oped published in the Baltimore Banner on advancing veteran mental health to prevent suicide.



Women Veterans Quarterly Chat

Crusin' Southern Maryland to Benefit Charlotte Hall Veterans Home

September 30, 2023 - Crusin' Southern Maryland, the annual event which benefits Charlotte Hall Veterans Home 


More information on Crusin' Southern Maryland

Operation Green Light

Flier for More Information

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs looks forward to joining the National Association of Counties this year on Operation Green Light.  During the week of November 6 to 12, we encourage governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals to join us by illuminating buildings and homes in green and by learning more about resources available to our service members, veterans, and families in Maryland.  We will host a community outreach conversation Wednesday September 27 at 2pm and encourage you to join us to learn more about Operation Green Light.

More information on Operation Green Light can be found here: Operation Green Light 2023 (maryland.gov)

Conversation details:

Veterans Day/Operation Green Light Community Outreach Call

Wednesday, September 27 · 2:00 – 3:00pm

Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/kqp-fxqc-eqb

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 443-584-5057 PIN: ‪285 241 818#


MDVA Website

Bruce Webster

Secretary Woods continued his listening tour around the state, meeting with MDVA employees.  In this photo, Secretary Woods is presenting a plaque to Bruce Webster, which recognizes his 18 years of service to MDVA.  Bruce has retired as the Superintendent of the Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery.  All of us here at MDVA wish Bruce a happy retirement!

Jerome Ross

Jerome Ross (right) receives a presentation from Secretary Woods at one of the MDVA employee Town Halls.  Mr. Ross is a retired state employee, who came back to work at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery. Now that is dedication!

Gold Bells Ceremony

The Navy Gold Star Program hosted a Bells Across America Ceremony for Fallen Service Members at the World War II Memorial in Annapolis on September 22nd.

The MDVA Cemetery and Memorials Program manages the World War II Memorial in Annapolis, which overlooks the Severn River and the United States Naval Academy.

Horseshoe Casino donation

MDVA Secretary Woods and Denise Nowlin, MDVA Trust Fund Administrator accept a large donation from Horseshoe Casino for the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund.

Women Veterans Conference

Roslyn Jones, MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program Manager on the far right, attended the recent conference for the National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators held in Arlington.

100th Anniversary of VA Healthcare for Women

Roslyn also attended an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of VA health care for women Veterans.  In this photo are, from left to right: Denise McCain, U.S. Army, Roslyn Jones, U.S. Army, Tanya Bradsher, U.S. Army, who was just appointed as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Jas Boothe, U.S. Army and Margaret Hill, U.S. Navy.

Baltimore National cemetery

Governor Wes Moore, Secretary Woods, Maryland National Guard Adjutant General Janeen Birckhead and many others participated in a memorial service at the Baltimore National Cemetery on September 11th.  Following the ceremony, attendees participated in a service project which included cleaning headstones and placing flags and flowers on gravesites.

Photo Courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Stair climb photo

Secretary Woods and Governor Wes Moore participated in the 9/11 Memorial Team Red, White and Blue (RWB) Stair Climb.  Members of the Maryland National Guard and Team RWB joined the Governor on September 11th.

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

State Partner News

Suicide Prevention

Operation We Care

Lt. Governor Aruna Miller and Maryland's First Lady Dawn Moore participated in Operation We Care, an Orioles Service Event, stuffing care packages for service members on September 11th at Camden Yards.

Photos courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Maryland's First Lady Dawn Moore

Maryland Commitment to Veterans October Workshop

News from Maryland Department of Natural Resources


Photo Contest 2023: Help Choose a Winning Image

The Department of Natural Resources will soon announce winners of the 2023 Maryland Natural Resource Photo Contest. Once we announce 12 top prize winners, we invite the public to select a "Fan Favorite" from among the runners-up through our Facebook page. Check our website for the announcement, and be ready to vote!

Keep an Eye on Maryland's Changing Fall Foliage

Although summer holds on until September 23, fall is in the air! Soon the autumn leaves will put on their annual show, and we invite you to take them in by following our weekly Fall Foliage report. You can sign up to receive the weekly Fall Foliage newsletter on our website. Visit our YouTube page for a video of images from around Maryland in 2022, which provides a glimpse of the seasonal changes.

Monarchs and Milkweed at Merkle -- Join Us September 30

The annual migration of monarch butterflies through Maryland is one of nature's wonders. Celebrate their arrival at our annual "Monarchs and Milkweed" fun-filled family event at Natural Resources Management Area and Visitor Center in Prince George's County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 30. Read more

Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp Design Contest Open

Artists are invited to submit their original works for the 50th Maryland Migratory Game Bird stamp design contest through November 3, 2023. This will be the last migratory bird stamp contest hosted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, as a physical stamp is no longer required for hunting waterfowl. Read more.

WALKTOBER: October in Maryland becomes WALKTOBER, a month where partnering agencies promote and host events and webinars spotlighting Maryland pedestrians' safety, health, and commuting options in current walk programs and Initiatives. Walk Maryland Day is October 4. Get involved and help celebrate Maryland's official state exercise -- walking! Read more.

Federal Partner News

Naming Announcement Ceremony

On Sunday, September 17, 2023, Maryland Veterans Commissioner CAPT (Ret) Jerome D. Davis, SC, USN attended the Navy ship naming ceremony for Maryland legend Harriet Tubman. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro announced that he named a US Navy Ship after African American abolitionist, spy, nurse, medic, cook, civil war veteran, battlefield commander and social activist Harriet Tubman.  The announcement ceremony was held at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Church Creek, Maryland.  The ceremony was attended by dignitaries, guests and members of Harriet Tubman's family including great, great, great grandniece Tina Wyatt, who was the ship sponsor. Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy, active and retired Naval service members, Veterans friends, historians and admirers of Harriet Tubman also attended.

Federal News

VA: Suicide Prevention

Pact Act Health Care Enrollment Deadline ends September 30th

Twelve years later: The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Help future generations of Veterans by joining Million Veteran Program

Protect your G.I. Bill benefits from scams

Disability Housing Grants for Veterans

New toolkit provides guidance for Veterans' caregivers in times of disaster

On Behalf of a Grateful Nation - VA Burial and Memorial Benefits

Live Whole Health #186: Slowing down with and introduction to Qigong

Live Whole Health #187: Just one moment

Discovering VA cancer care and wellness for Veterans

Learn how to reduce or prevent your risk of malnutrition 

How do you apply for Veterans' Mortgage Life Insurance

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

National Veterans Small Business Engagement Event - Nov. 7-9, Orlando

VA Buddy Check

Medicare Fraud: Shut It Down

The best way to stop Medicare fraud? Help prevent it in the first place. Follow these 3 tips to protect yourself from scammers: 

  1. If you get a call, text or email asking for your Medicare Number, don't respond. Don't give your Medicare card or Medicare Number to anyone except your doctor or people you know should have it. Remember, Medicare will never call you unprompted and ask you for your personal information.
  2. Check your Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) or claims statements carefully. If you see a charge for a service you didn't get or a product you didn't order (like a COVID-19 over-the-counter test), it may be fraud.
  3. If you suspect fraud, report it at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Visit Medicare.govthe official source for Medicare information, to learn more about preventing Medicare fraud.

Learn More 

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

The Mission Continues Baltimore Platoon completed a 9-11 Service Project at the Filbert Street Community Garden in the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay area of Baltimore City.  If you are interested in joining other Veterans with The Mission Continues and giving back to the community, please contact the Baltimore Platoon Leader Anthony Morgan at amorgan@missioncontinues.org  The Mission Continues upcoming projects.

Work at the garden by members of The Mission Continues included mulching the garden and moving hay for the goats.  It was hard work on a warm day, but the Mission Continues Platoon worked as a team and quickly finished the projects.

The Filbert Street Garden also accepts volunteers.  More Information

The Mission Continues

Community Calendar

September 22 & 23, 2023

Second Annual Veteran Owned Small Business Conference, Linthicum Heights Register

September 23, 2023

A Day at Ease, Patriot Pride & Exhibition Fair, Union Bridge, Register - POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30TH

American Legion Post 217 Veterans Event, College Park, More Information

Women Veterans Meet & Greet, Washington, DC

Recovering Warrior Sailing Regatta, Annapolis - HAS BEEN POSTPONED

September 24, 2023

2023 Gold Star Family Day, Westminster

September 25, 2023

MDVA Women Veterans Quarterly Chat, Ransdallstown & Virtual

September 27, 2023

Operation Green Light Community Outreach Call

September 30, 2023

Crusin' Southern Maryland to benefit Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Flier

Tribute to Our Veterans Motorsports Event, Summit Point, WV

Blue Star Families Welcome Week, Pasadena

The Veteran Pride Suicide Prevention Coalition Fundraiser, Baltimore

October 4, 2023

Dermatology Partners offers free skin cancer screening to Veterans, military and first responders, Sparks

October 5, 2023

Ft. Meade Community Information Fair, McGill Training Center

October 7, 2023

Women Veterans Meet & Greet, Camp Springs

October 9, 2023

Voices of Vets 5th Annual Fundraiser, Columbia, More Than Pictures Video

October 14, 2023

Lifeline Horse Rescue and LETS Program 2023 Fall Open House, Gaithersburg

October 19, 2023

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans Presents: Monthly Workshop Series, Building a Bridge to Veterans: Mitigating Crisis through Developing Trust, Virtual

October 27, 2023

Arundel Lodge Veterans Discussion Group, Edgewater

October 28, 2023

Veteran Owned Small Business Expo, Columbia

More Community News

Check out the upcoming events at Reveille Grounds in Baltimore

Sunday, April 7, 2024: Save the date for Gilchrist's 6th Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration

Maryland resident writes a book about a deployment experience with the 82nd Airborne: https://damnthevalleybook.com/

Veterans Bloom at Zekiah Ridge Farm is holding a Farm to Table event, more information

News from Community Building Art Works:

Military Spouses, Caregivers & Veterans Writing Workshop - October 5th & 19th(Virtual)

Join author Laura Van Prooyen on the first and third Thursdays at 3:30pm EST to learn how to use writing as a tool to communicate, self-discover, and reflect in our series in partnership with Blue Star Families. Next workshops are on October 5th and October 19th. Register here.

Horror Writing Workshop -  October 5th (Virtual Fundraising Workshop)

Have you ever wanted to write a scary story? Join horror author and enthusiast Nino Cipri for a crash course in all things creepy, haunted, strange, and spooky on Thursday, October 5th at 7pm EST. Ticket sales for this fundraising workshop will benefit Community Building Art Works programs for veterans, service members, military families, and health care workers. Limited free tickets are available for veterans, service members, military family members and healtchare workers. Register today at HERE 

More Than One Story - Next Virtual Orientation October 10th!

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.


Jordan Way commemoration

Platoon 22 in Frederick held a commemoration ceremony honoring the memory of HM3 Jordan Way (USN).  A plaque joins others on the Platoon 22 Wall of Honor.  Warrior Canine Connection has also named a puppy after Corpsman Way.

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.