9 February, 2024 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  February 9, 2024


Message from Secretary Anthony Woods:


Dear Friends - Happy Black History Month!

This week I had the privilege of watching Governor Moore deliver his annual State of the State address. During his speech, I reflected on the strength of the Veteran and military connected community. 

This week’s activities were a perfect microcosm of what our community is doing to uplift one another and to work together to address the unique challenges we face as a community.

On Monday, the Governor and First Lady opened their home to military spouses and employers for a networking event organized by Hiring our Heroes aimed at driving down military spouse unemployment.

On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller hosted two Veteran Caregivers from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation at the State of the State in recognition of the commitment that our veteran families provide to our veteran community. Across the state, our Deputy Secretary joined  the dedication of a highway in honor of U.S. Marine Corps PFC Michael Anthony Carter, Jr. who passed in an auto accident in 2018. 

The Governor stated that this year, “we will uplift Maryland servicemembers, military spouses, and caregivers by expanding job opportunities and securing better benefits.” You can view his remarks here.

On Thursday, the MDVA team, alongside leaders from Gold Star Mothers of Maryland and Blue Star Families, testified in support of a variety of veteran and military family bills before the Maryland General Assembly. 

Thank you to each of you who continue to advocate for and support veterans, service members, and families across our state. It is for this reason that we can say the state of the military connected community in Maryland is strong. 




Today the memorial service for Navy Special Warfare Operator First Class Christopher J. Chambers will be held.  Navy Special Warfare Operator First Class Christopher Chambers was a Maryland native who died in the line of duty on January 11, 2024. Both the United States Flag and the Maryland State Flag are flying at Half-Staff until sunset today in his memory.

Senator Dole photo

Secretary Woods attended an event hosted by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation honoring former  U. S. Department for Veterans Affairs Secretary, Robert A. McDonald.  Secretary Woods is shown here with Senator Dole.

Indian Head Naval Center

Secretary Woods joined Lt. Governor Aruna Miller and Charles County leaders for a briefing and tour at Naval Support Facility Indian Head.  This visit provided the opportunity to learn more about the capabilities of the facility, the installation's impact on the local community, and the experience of military families. Charles County News Release

Warrior Canine Connection

Secretary Carolyn Scruggs, Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services (DPSCS) and MDVA Secretary Woods, both seated on the right, attend the launch of a new program at Jessup Correctional Institution. Warrior Canine Connection has partnered with DPSCS to create this program where incarcerated individuals will train puppies to become service dogs.  Read More Here

 WMAR News Story

Jessup ceremony


Testimony was heard this week on Senate Bill 275: Vehicle Laws - Special Registration Plates - Gold Star and Next of Kin Families in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.  In this photo are MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods, Yolanda Rayford, Blue Star Families Baltimore and Chesapeake Region Chapter Director, Paula Davis, President of the Maryland Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers of America and Ross Cohen, MDVA Deputy Secretary.


Women Veterans Event

Women Veterans Inclusion Program

MDVA Website

Crownsville Veterans Cemetery

The Honor Guard folds the flag at the Unaccompanied Veterans Ceremony at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery.  Secretary Woods is on the left.

Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery

Maryland Patriot Guard at the Unaccompanied Veterans Ceremony at the MDVA Eastern Shore cemetery.

Gold Star Dedication

On February 7, 2024, a section of U.S. Route 13 on the eastern shore of Maryland was dedicated in memory of PFC Michael Anthony Carter, Jr., USMC. In this photo are Sandra Johnson-Carter, Gold Star Mom of PFC Carter and MDVA Deputy Secretary, Ross Cohen.

Maryland Joins Forces Update

Get A Great Job Through American Corporate Partners, Our Newest Maryland Joins Forces Partner

In 2023, a record number of post-9/11 Veterans found meaningful employment with their ACP Mentor's assistance, with an average starting salary of $93,000+. ACP will help you find a new position, get promoted, and grow your civilian network. 

National nonprofit ACP helps post-9/11 Veterans find meaningful employment after the military. Whether veterans are looking for a higher-paying job or seeking a promotion, ACP Mentors coach veterans toward great careers. 

To get started, visit https://www.acp-usa.org.

American Corporate Partners

State Partner News

Military Spouse Hiring Event

Lt. Governor Aruna Miller and First Lady Dawn Flythe Moore hosted a Military Spouses Employment and Networking event at Government House. Read More Here

The Baltimore Banner: Commentary: Moore Miller administration commits to helping military families.

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

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

Veteran Owned Business

Proposed Regulation Updates

The Governor's Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs has proposed amendments to the current Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program regulations. As required by law, the amendments were published in the Maryland Register on January 26, 2024 and a 30-day public comment period is now open. No public hearing is scheduled. The language changes being proposed address outdated terminology, clarify the difference between verification and certification, and define the current VSBE certification process. We invite you to review the proposed changes and share your comments no later than February 26, 2024. Send comments to Davon K. Gardner, Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs, at davonk.gardner@maryland.gov

Maryland Register - Notice of Proposed Action [23-314-P]



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.

2/10/2024 - Winning Government and Corporate Contracts Bootcamp

2/13/2024 - AI and ChatGPT for our Business 

2/14/2024 - How to do Business with the City of Rockville

2/14/2024 - Tax Basics: What Every Business Owner Should Know

2/19/2024 - Developing a Business Plan 

2/27/2024 - Business Banking Basics

2/29/2024 - Prime Contracting in Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program

Check out our curated list of small business events online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.

Maryland Commitment to Veterans February program


Maryland's Commitment to Veterans is also hiring for a Hixson Fund Program Administrator; Read More Here

Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation

We are now accepting applications for the Maryland Corps/Service Year Option! 

These programs provide individuals 18 years of age and older with an invaluable opportunity to determine the best next steps in their work or educational journey through a year of paid, full-time service. Participants will earn at least $15 an hour, will receive help accessing wrap-around services, and will benefit from extensive professional development opportunities. Additionally, after completion of the term of service, participants will receive $6,000 that can be put into a Maryland 529 Education Savings account or received as a cash stipend. Interested Members and Host Site Partners can go to serve.maryland.gov to apply today. The priority deadline for Member applications is April 1, 2024

As we launch the second cohort of these programs, we would be happy to speak to groups  about Maryland Corps/Service Year Option, what we offer, and how we can partner successfully. Please utilize the following Maryland Corps/Service Year Option link to schedule your virtual 1:1 with us. If you have an existing event that you would like for us to attend or have a group of potential participants you would like us to speak to in person, please let us know.

Should you have any questions, please visit serve.maryland.gov or email applytoserve@maryland.gov.

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

Federal Partner News

Federal News

Protect your online information when using My HealtheVet and VA apps

Feb. 11 - 17, 2024: National Salute to Veteran Patients' Week

Caregiver Support Line celebrates 1 million calls

The link between sexual violence and suicide

Military.com article: Survey: More than half of US Veterans who own guns, store them unsafely

Misconceptions about PTSD: Part One

VA Exceeds Goal to House Homeless Veterans for Second Year in a Row

Feb. 13th: VA S.A.V.E. Suicide Prevention Training

Feb. 21st: VA Wellness Wednesday - Fundamentals of Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney

March 13th: PACT Act Veterans Claims Clinic & VA Health Care Enrollment Fair, Eldersburg

Live Whole Health #206: White Chicken Chili, comfort for body and mind

Live Whole Health #207: Music for Brain and Body

Beyond relaxation: The art and science of body scan meditation

VA: Veteran and Military Spouse Talent Engagement Program

Prep for College Success at a Free Academic Boot Camp

Grant Funding Applications Open Now for Organizations Working to Prevent Veterans Suicide

Organizations Can Apply Now for Adaptive Sports Grant

Tax season reminders for Veterans: You may qualify for free assistance with filing from MilTax or IRS Free File.

The National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic (NDVGC) is a week-long adaptive golf program that is presented by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). This annual event promotes rehabilitation by instructing Veterans with specific life-changing disabilities in adaptive golf. In addition to adaptive golf Veterans will be introduced to other adaptive recreational sports. The application window for Veteran participants is from January 22nd – May 1st, 2024.

Qualifying disabilities include: Visual Impairments, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI), Limb-loss or amputations, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and CVA with Residual. Common disabilities that do not qualify include: Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Degenerative Joint Disease, Depression, Low Back Pain, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

All disabilities are subject to review the by National Disabled Veterans Golf Clinic medical director and program director.

If you have any questions related to qualifying disabilities please contact Nick Beelner at (319) 358-5963 or Nicholas.Beelner@va.gov.

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

February 11, 2024

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

February 12, 2024

Operation Beelieve FREE virtual Beekeeping Class begins

February 13, 2024

DAV/Recruit Military Eastern Region Virtual Career Fair for Veterans

VA S.A.V.E. Suicide Prevention Training

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

March 13, 2024

PACT Act Veterans Claims Clinic & VA Health Care Enrollment Fair, Eldersburg


Career Transition Program

Community News

Montgomery County honoring Black Veterans during Black History Month

Employers needed for Military Officers & Spouses Job Fair, April 4, 2024, Greenbelt

Save the Date: April 7, 2024 for Gilchrist Presents Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration

News from Serving Together:

Serving Together provides 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. Read More Here


Carroll County Veterans Celebration

Blue Star Families Events:

13 February                        Aberdeen, MD 

14 February                            California, MD 

15 February                            Hanover, MD   

16 February                            Annapolis, MD 

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

News from Community Building Art Works

Comics: Story, Images & Time - Wednesday, February 14th at 7pm EST (Virtual)

Join Comics writer and artist, Miden Wood on Wednesday, February 14th at 7pm EST to learn about the techniques made available to us in this visual and temporal medium, then use a prompt to turn a short story (fiction or non-fiction) into a full-page spread. No experience necessary, and bring any materials you have avaialble View all events here.

 Serving in Strength - February 28th at 2:30pm (In Person at the Military Women's Memorial)

CBAW is thrilled to be partnering with the Military Women's Memorial and the Cohen Veteran Network to offer Serving in Strength, a health and wellness series designed to address the unique health needs of military women through a series of educational events throughout the year. Join us in person on Wednesday, February 28th for Heart Health Month. Register HERE.

CBAW Loves...a book club podcast - Available NOW

In this special episode of CBAW Loves... (a book club podcast), join hosts Seema Reza and  Amelia Bane as they discuss Women of the Post with author Joshunda Sanders and participants from CBAW's More Than One Story Program. Don't forget that you can join our discussion! Send us your audio/video/typed thoughts at cbawloves@cbaw.org or share them on social media using #CBAWLOVES. We will read or play your comments on a future episode! Listen today at www.cbaw.org/podcast.

More Than One Story - Next Virtual Orientation March 12th

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.

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.