26 January 2024 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  January 26, 2024


Message from Secretary Anthony Woods:

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Dear Friends,

This newsletter is dedicated to the Navy SEALs killed in action January 11th off the coast of Somalia. 

The loss of Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers of Maryland and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Gage Ingram of Texas serves as a reminder that brave members of our armed forces are putting themselves in harm's way every single day to protect our nation and our interests.

While working to protect vital global shipping lanes, the SEALs were boarding a vessel when one fell into the water due to eight-foot swells at the time of the operation, and the second jumped in after him, according to protocol. This act - one SEAL diving into churning seas in the dead of night to save his comrade - is a perfect example of the steadfast commitment that members of our military make to one another to leave no one behind.

Our hearts are with their families, and we are grateful for their sacrifice.



Both Flags at Half Staff


The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) will hold four dignified burial ceremonies for unaccompanied veterans who honorably served our nation TODAY. 

Secretary Woods stated, "It is our solemn responsibility to support Maryland Veterans and it is our honor to be able to provide a final recognition and a dignified resting place to those who served our state and nation. We are grateful to the partnership we have with the Maryland Anatomy Board to make sure no Veteran is left behind or left unaccompanied".

All ceremonies held TODAY,  Friday, January 26, 2024


Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery - 9:00 a.m.

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

Sherwood Dykes - USAF - AB - 12/29/72-7/19/74

David Wells - Navy - DKSN - 5/27/47-3/26/51


Crownsville Veterans Cemetery - 11:00 a.m.

(1122 Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, MD 21032)

Robert L. Forsythe Jr. - Navy - HT3 - 4/28/81-4/13/90

Anthony P. Crawley - USCG - SN - 8/30/60-8/28/64

Cecil J. Regan Jr. - Navy - CT3 - 7/5/60-7/11/66

Margaret A. Hofler - USAF - CAPT - 11/11/65-7/31/75


Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery - 1:00 p.m.

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

Bertrum Williams - Army - PVT - 8/20/70-12/10/70

Lee Greene - Army - PV1 - 9/5/76-10/29/76

Otis Lott - ARNG - PV2 - 2/17/74-6/1/79

Kristine Thomas - Navy - DK3 - 6/30/67-3/2/73

Allen Amerson - USAF - A!C - 8/16/54-12/6/57

James Blaylock - Army - SP4 - 2/29/68-10/2/70


Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery - 1:00 p.m.

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

Lindorfe Ferrera - USAF - A3C - 1/23/61-6/5/62


All are welcome to attend the ceremonies which will include an honor guard and brief remarks by Department personnel. The events will take place rain or shine, standing room only.  For more information, please call 410-923-6981.

Women Veterans Listening Session

The MDVA 2023 Annual Report has been published and is posted on the MDVA website.


MDVA Website

Notice: SCAM circulating again

It has been reported to MDVA that someone identifying themselves as a VA or MDVA employee is calling individuals and requesting personal identifying information (PII) and banking information.

In these incidents, the calls have been identified as coming from a Baltimore area number.  If you return a call to that number, you will hear the message: “Hi, this is the VA. We are not available. Please leave your name and number and your call will be returned”.

Please note that a call from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs will be from an 800 number, not a local number.

Always be very cautious in sharing any PII or banking information with anyone.  If you have not contacted VA or MDVA, do not respond to questions from a caller.  Hang up and call the VA or MDVA to confirm if the caller is legitimate.

State Archives

A flag from the USS Maryland (BB-46) was delivered to the Maryland State Archives this week by Secretary Woods.  Ms. Megan Craynon, Director of Special Collections and Library Services accepted the flag at the State Archives. The flag was forwarded to Secretary Woods from the family of a World War II service member who served aboard the USS Maryland.

More about the USS Maryland (BB-46), 1921-1959

USS Oklahoma and USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor

Travis Manion Foundation

The Travis Manion Foundation held a Dr. Martin Luther King Service Project volunteer event.  Volunteers included Gold Star Moms, Boys and Girls Club staff members, Veterans and Dana Burl, Director of the MDVA Communications, Outreach & Advocacy program.  Read more here

VSS program

Dana Burl, Director of the MDVA Communications, Outreach & Advocacy program, leads the training for the Veterans Services Specialist program. The training was held at Reveille Grounds in Baltimore.

State Partner News

Governor Moore's Statement on the Death of Special Operator First Class Christopher J. Chambers

Governor Wes Moore released the following statement regarding the identification of Marylander Special Operator First Class Christopher J. Chambers as one of two Navy SEALs declared dead after they went missing while conducting an operation on January 11:

“Maryland and the nation have lost a hero. Special Operator First Class Christopher J. Chambers wasn't just a distinguished Navy SEAL, he was a true patriot in every beautiful sense of the word. He put his life on the line for our safety and security, and we will never forget his ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

My heart breaks for the friends and family of Special Operator Chambers, as well as all who served alongside him. We must keep them in our thoughts and our prayers.

Having served in combat, I understand that when tragedy strikes in the field of battle, the families of those we've lost deserve closure and clarity on what transpired. I have every confidence that the loved ones of Special Operator Chambers and the public will receive the answers they deserve following a full and thorough investigation into this incident." 

Governor Moore Joins Groundbreaking Ceremony for Pikesville Armory Transformation Project

Governor Wes Moore attended the groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the upcoming transformation of the Pikesville Armory in Baltimore. The historic military site is set to be revitalized into an intergenerational regional hub to support recreation, sports, and the arts in the community.

“We are here to celebrate not just a single neighborhood, but to celebrate a new direction for the entire city of Baltimore,” said Gov. Moore. “Once complete, the Pikesville Armory project will leave a lasting legacy on our communities: a legacy of the children who will benefit from new sports, arts, and education opportunities, of the veterans who will benefit from programs specifically designed for them, and of the partnerships forged among Maryland leaders. But most importantly, this project will help cement the legacy of a city that is going to take its rightful place among the great American cities.”

The governor was joined by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin; Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger; Comptroller Brooke Lierman; House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones; Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski; and veterans and local community leadership to honor the history of the armory and celebrate its future. The 14-acre site will include renovation of the main armory building into a recreation facility for veterans and youth—converting smaller spaces for educational use—and utilizing the 10-acre green space for sports fields and play spaces for all ages. Working with the Seawall Company and Onyx Development, the armory campus will offer space for sporting events, cultural events, walking paths, public art, a playground for all abilities, perennial gardens, and classrooms. 

This once-in-a-generation opportunity will be a catalytic project to revitalize the Reisterstown Road corridor. The first phase of redevelopment will begin in April. Pikesville Armory Foundation, made up of local organizations, will steward the revitalization project within the community with public input. 

The armory was part of the expansion of the National Guard and has been in continuous military and community use since its construction in 1903. The location was added to the National Registry of Historical Places in 1985. The state is proud to have contributed $8 million to the project through bonds and grants over the last four years. 

Pikesville Armory

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

New Veterans Court in Maryland

The District Court in Frederick and Washington counties has launched a regional veterans treatment court, which will serve both counties. The regional veterans court will provide treatment, accountability, and mentoring to former military service members, while helping connect veterans who are involved with the justice system with the benefits they have earned.

Read more here

Maryland's Commitment to Veterans

TMAP Flier

News from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland Fifth Graders Invited to Submit Arbor Day Posters

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Forest Conservancy District Boards invite all Maryland fifth graders in private and public schools to participate in the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest. The theme for 2024 is “Trees Are Terrific…in All Shapes and Sizes,” to celebrate the importance of diversity of tree species within a community. Read more.

Friends of Maryland State Parks Provides Funds for Projects

The Friends of Maryland State Parks recently awarded 24 grants totaling $41,798 to Maryland State Parks statewide through the advocacy organization’s program, “Small Grants, Big Impact!” This year’s funding exceeds last year’s allocation by 30%, which can be attributed to an increase in contributions. Read more.

2024 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Convened

The Maryland General Assembly is currently meeting in Annapolis for the 2024 Legislative Session.  As a service to the veteran community, information on proposed legislation of possible interest to veterans is provided below:

2024 Legislative Information

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

Maryland General Assembly Website

Consumer Alert from the Maryland Attorney General: Important Information on Door-to-Door Sales Scams

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office is offering tips to help people avoid door-to-door sales scams.

Door-to-door scams have been around for years. Scammers may disguise themselves as legitimate salespeople, but they have one goal – to trick consumers. They want to pressure people into providing personal information or purchasing goods or services that they do not want or need.

Read more here

Federal Partner News


Federal News

Information About the Closing of the Urgent Care Clinic at Perry Point VA Medical Center

2023 VA Federal Benefits Booklet: Unlocking a wealth of support for Veterans

Donate to support Maryland Veterans participating in the National Golden Age Games: Information and Donation Form

The state of homelessness among women Veterans in 2023

Women Veterans, VA may surprise you

VA has developed Safe Transfers Tips and Videos for Caregivers

Post-holiday winter blues? VA can Help

VA and Arthritis Foundation support Veterans' health and wellness

Helping Veterans with healthy weight management

Veteran organizations' support for the Million Veteran Program

Live Whole Health #204: What does your spine have to say?

Live Whole Health #205: Peace in the present

No Barriers USA seeks Veterans with disabilities for its 2024 Warriors programs

Feb. 21st: VA Wellness Wednesday Financial Information

Beware of job scams targeting Veterans

Arts Festival

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 Calendar

January 27, 2024

Women Veterans Meet & Greet, North East

The Mission Continues Baltimore Platoon MLK Day of Service, Baltimore

January 31, 2024

Hiring Our Heroes Technology & Cybersecurity Virtual Hiring Fair

February 6, 2024

1st Annual Veterans Take Action Legislative Advocacy Day, sponsored by AARP, Joint Veterans Committee, Women Veterans Unites Committee Inc. & CTLDomGroup, Inc., Register

February 11, 2024

Lifeline Equine Therapy Services (LETS) Workshop, Enhancing Intimacy in Relationships, Free for Veterans & Military personnel, Registration required, Gaithersburg

February 14, 2024

Show Your Love Veterans Valentine's Day event, Washington, DC

February 17, 2024

24th Annual Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Banquet, Baltimore

February 21, 2024

VA Wellness Wednesday Financial Education, Virtual

February 24, 2024

Recreation & Creative Arts Festival, Perry Point

February 27, 2024

Suicide Prevention Training & Networking Event, Linthicum

Community News

Easterseals Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program

Career Assistance for transitioning service members, military spouses and Veterans in Anne Arundel and Howard counties

Frederick County Veterans Appreciation Day

Interested in learning about business, building a strong community, and rediscovering purpose for moving forward? The Dog Tag Fellowship Program is a 5-month program that combines equal parts classroom, bakery, community, and wellbeing. Dog Tag Fellows earn a business certificate from Georgetown University or Loyola University Chicago in our virtual classroom space; bring their coursework to life by learning the ins and outs of running a successful business in the bakery; build community with each other; and enhance their wellbeing by committing time to introspection and personal growth. The program is open to post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities, military spouses, military caregivers, active service members in transition, and Guard and Reserve members. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend to help cover living costs as they complete the program. The program dates are July 16–November 21, 2024 and the application deadline is March 29th. Register for upcoming recruitment events and apply here: dogtaginc.org/apply.

News from Project Opportunity

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

Veteran Training in Montgomery County, Takoma Park

Veteran Training in Prince Georges County, Largo

Veteran Training in the Eastern Shore Region, Snow Hill and Salisbury

Spouses of Veterans, Active Duty and Guard/Reserve Personnel Training, Havre de Grace

Pilot, Prisoner, Soldier, Spy

Arthur Shreve

This is the final installment of the story of Colonel Arthur Shreve, written by his granddaughter, Heather Shreve.

PART V:  A Soldier to Remember

Only considered in ‘fair’ condition, Arthur spends several weeks in Woodrow Wilson General Hospital in Virginia until February 1946 and then assumes the position of District Executive of the Maryland Military District and Senior Army Advisor to the Army Reserve/National Guard at Fort Meade.

Around this time, he realizes that Julia was not getting his full military pay because as a “beleaguered POW” he was ‘busted back’ to Lieutenant Colonel “…unable to perform his duties.” The proof and official field promotion from GEN Parker was lost in the sinkings… My grandfather was a grateful and patient man, but this pushed him past his limits and he goes all-in to recover his missing pay and rank.

With his war record well-known, he is simply ‘The Colonel ’ and recommendation letters for medals pour in…GEN George Parker recommends Arthur for the Distinguished Service Medal but is overtaken by recommendations for the Legion of Merit from GEN Funk, GEN Jones, and COL Moore. The Colonel receives thirteen medals for his consistent bravery, including a one of his two Bronze Stars for his humanitarianism during and after the Death March plus The Legion of Merit for the Fall of Bataan, and the Purple Heart.

Meanwhile, a push-pull battle ensues to get his $1590 reimbursed which the army pays…but soon thereafter, the Army’s Comptroller of Finance states it was “disallowed” and the United States wants their money back!

The Colonel enlisted Maryland Senator Tawes and Representative Fallon who takes his case all the way to Washington. Fallon introduces Bill #4353 into Congress for the “release of liability” of the Colonel to refund any monies. It passes June 6, 1951.

Arthur testifies at the War Crimes Office in January 1948 against Japanese atrocities with his diaries as submittable evidence. In 1950, he is promoted to Chief of the Maryland Military District and the Second Army.

In July 1952, the Colonel is there with his color guard at the opening ceremonies for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. After the Korean War, he retires officially from the army in 1953.

The Colonel hires attorney Eugene Carusi to appear with him at the Pentagon December 16, 1953 in a hearing to rectify the question of his field promotion…and the Board of Records reinstates his rank as full colonel.

During the Cold War, the Colonel serves as Deputy Director of the Maryland Civil Defense Agency appointed by Governor McKeldin in 1953 and then manager of the Maryland Operational Survival Project designing evacuation plans in case of nuclear attack. After the project ends, the Colonel is appointed Director of the Baltimore City Civil Defense Agency where he remained until full retirement in December 1961.

Sadly, on February 2, 1961―one of the coldest days in Maryland history (-5 degrees)― the Colonel was thawing pipes in the basement at Our Decision but accidentally catches the insulation behind the wall on fire. The Ellicott City Fire Co. arrives but without water (that wasn’t frozen) they watch it burn to the ground.

In late 1968, doctors find lingering schistosomiasis (a parasite from the Philippines) in his kidneys that has turned into kidney cancer. The Colonel passes away at Fort George Meade March 12, 1969.

On March 17th, near Maryland Day, the Colonel is buried with full military honors at St. John’s Episcopal Church (St. John’s Lane) in Ellicott City. The church lowers the flag to half-mast for the first time since the Civil War as hundreds of people attend to march him home. Buried at the top of the hill next to Julia, he’s not far from ‘Our Decision’ farm.

You can say many things about the Colonel but in the end his message was implicit; I will carry you no matter how heavy. He skimmed the surface for the enemy but went as deep as he had to go for his brothers in battle, the Marylanders he served, and his family. 

I can still sense those moments―one by one―when he made me feel like the only person in the room and the only one who mattered. We had a special bond; I know that now. It was his gift…‘stardust’ that persists even now.



For more photos and information

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