23 February 2024 MDVA News and Announcements

View as a webpage.

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  February 23, 2024


Message from Secretary Anthony Woods:

Primary Logo


Dear Friends, 

This week marks the halfway point of the 2024 Maryland legislative session.

Since January, our team has advocated in support of more than 20 bills that will have a positive impact on our veteran and military family community. 

From a bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of military status, a bill that would allow County Clerks to maintain electronic records of military discharge documents, to one that lowers the threshold of eligibility for a “Disabled Veteran” license plate in Maryland, we have heard your ideas and concerns and are working with your legislators to meet your needs. 

We have also advocated for our veteran and military families. From supporting Gold Star families who seek to honor their loved one’s sacrifice with a Maryland specialty license plate to the Governor’s Families Serve Act that will encourage private companies and state government to hire well-qualified military spouses, we are glad that there is so much enthusiasm in the legislature for our military-connected community. 

There are 45 calendar days left until the end of the legislative session, April 8th. Our team is working around the clock to continue to support bills and work with legislators to address the most-pressing issues in the veteran and military family community. 

You can follow the progress of bills here.



MDVA Website

WMAR-2 TV: Veterans SITREP includes Interview with Secretary Woods. The Veterans SITREP is hosted by Bill Montgomery (USA, Ret.) and supported by Harford Community College.  A full list of the SITREP podcasts may be found here.

Suicide Prevention Training

Three FREE CEUs offered to Social Workers and Counselors


At the 24th Annual Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Banquet, former MDVA Secretary George Owings  and former Deputy Secretary and Maryland Veterans Commissioner Richard Lane were inducted into the NABVETS Hall of Fame, posthumously. In this photo are Secretary Anthony Woods, former Deputy Secretary Robert Finn and Maryland Veterans Commission Chairman, KT Tyler.

Chairman Tyler said of the event, "As we gather at the annual NABVETS Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Banquet, let us reflect on the valor etched in history by the Buffalo Soldiers. Their legacy resonates, inspiring us to uphold the values of courage, honor, and unity in service to our nation."

Sheero event

Tony and puppy

This week Secretary Woods met Tony the puppy.  Named for MDVA Secretary Tony Woods, Tony the puppy is being trained by Warrior Canine Connection (WCC), as a future service dog.

In the photo below are Rick Yount, Executive Director of WCC, Secretary Woods holding Tony the puppy and Susan Kenedy who nominated Secretary Woods for this honor. Susan has raised multiple puppies for WCC and will be raising and training Tony the puppy.

Photo credit: Brady Wilks, WCC


Secretary Woods

Secretary Anthony Woods recently spoke to the members and guests of the BWI Business Partnership.

Photo credit: J. Thomas Photography

Maryland College Collaboration Commission

Members of the Maryland College Collaboration for Student Veterans Commission visited the Veteran and Military Student Center at Frederick Community College this week.  From left to right are: Dario DiBattista - Towson University, Clarissa Lang - Frostburg State University, Kristin Byerly - University of Maryland Global Campus, Josiah Guthland - University of Baltimore, Amy Coldren - Frederick Community College, Arthur Toole - Prince Georges Community College and Tricia Morris - Frederick Community College.

State Partner News

Lt. Governor Miller

Lt. Governor Miller and First Lady Moore Testify in Support of the Families Serve Act

Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller and First Lady Dawn Moore testified in front of the House Economic Matters Committee in support of the Families Serve Act of 2024. Lt. Governor Miller and First Lady Moore spoke on how the legislation will create stronger pathways to employment for military families by allowing private sector employers to implement preferential hiring for spouses of active duty servicemembers. The bill also expands upon the preferential hiring processes currently in place in state government for veterans to include military spouses.

Read More Here

Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor

Spotlight on Education: University of Baltimore

Feb. 29th: Veterans Speakers Series - Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Woods. Open to all University of Baltimore students, faculty and staff.  Read More Here

Spotlight on Education: Towson University

Read the HigherEd Military article about Dario DiBattista, (USMC), Director of the Military and Veterans Center at Towson University, Here.

Spotlight on Education: Morgan State University:

Morgan Hiring Fair Flier

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

Janice Chance

Janice Chance of the Maryland Gold Star Mothers testified on  Senate Bill 275: Vehicle Laws - Special Registration Plates - Gold Star and Next of Kin Families in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.  MDVA Deputy Secretary Ross Cohen joined her at the hearing.

News from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources


MyCoast Data Shows Impact of January Flooding

On Jan. 9, Maryland was hit by a storm that brought intense rain, strong winds and high tides. It resulted in the most active week yet for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ MyCoast MD app, which allows users to submit reports and photos of flooding and other environmental information. The storm brought in about 400 new users for MyCoast, along with 248 reports of flooding. Read more.


Shifting Sands: Maryland Keeps an Eye in the Sky on Vulnerable Areas

The impact of rising seas, stronger storms, and an eroding shoreline might leave the future of Assateague Island up in the air – and that’s exactly where the Department of Natural Resources is monitoring the coastal property with the use of aerial drones. Read more.

Maryland Enacts Striped Bass Emergency Regulations

Striped bass emergency regulations submitted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to bolster the species’ spawning population were approved today by a legislative committee and are effective immediately. Read more

DNR Seeks Public Input for Hunting Seasons and Bag Limits

The department is accepting public comment on proposed changes to Maryland's 2024-2026 hunting and trapping seasons and the proposed 2024-2025 Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Bag Limits. The public can view the proposed regulations and comment online now through February 26. Read more.

Federal Partner News

VA Women Veterans Forum

Federal News

What to expect when you connect with suicide prevention coordinator

G.I. Bill students: Receiving more than one VA monetary benefit? Check your direct deposit on va.gov

2024 VA Healthcare Copay Rates

VA Maryland Health Care System 2023 Annual Report

VA announces 2024 Equity Action Plan, new actions to ensure that all Veterans receive the health care and benefits they earned

The lifesaving impact of lung cancer screening

March 7th: Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits: What You Need to Know, Register

Registration is open for National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic until March 1st

Free Fitness Resources for Veterans

Whole Health: Shifting Gears to Empower the Mind

Nutrition important part of Veterans' Whole Health

Live Whole Health #208: Unlocking Relief

Live Whole Health #209: The gentle power of Tai Chi

Planning Your Legacy: VA Survivors and Burial Benefits Kit

Paid Internship for Veteran Caregivers

Veterans needing business start-up help apply to Warrior Rising by February 26th

VA health care incentives, scholarships and loan repayment in the health care field

2024 National Veterans Day Poster Contest open for submissions

March 13th Claims Clinic

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 23, 2024 - TODAY

Blood Drive & Reveille Grounds Tours, Baltimore, Reveille Grounds

Baltimore County Chromebook Distribution for Veterans, CCBC Catonsville

Fort George G. Meade Black History Month Culture Fair, Ft. Meade

February 24, 2024

Recreation & Creative Arts Festival, Perry Point

February 27, 2024

Suicide Prevention Training & Networking Event, Linthicum

March 1, 2024

Baltimore County Chromebook Distribution for Veterans, CCBC Essex

March 5, 2024

5th Annual Community & Veterans Hiring Fair, Baltimore

March 9, 2024

March 9th Women's History Month 6888th Day in Maryland, Owings Mills

Blue Star Families Beach Cleanup, Pasadena

March 13, 2024

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

March 20, 2024

American Legion Tri-County Veterans Resource Day, La Plata

March 29, 2024

National Vietnam War Veterans Day, Salisbury

March 30, 2024

Lifeline Equine Therapy Services Grief & Loss Workshop, Gaithersburg

Community News

Baltimore County Chromebook Distribution for Veterans

Harford County Laptop distribution event

Blue Star Families Beach Cleanup March 9th - Volunteer opportunity

Events at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals

Operation Second Chance, Post 9/11 Combat Women Veterans Walk & Talk, Gaithersburg

Operation Second Chance, Women Veterans Tuesdays are for Topgolf, Germantown

Operation Second Chance, Women Veterans Morning Coffee Meet Up, Gaithersburg

News from Community Building Art Works:

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

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. Can't make it in person? Register and join us virtually to see the event streamed LIVE! Register HERE.

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.

Moving Your Story Along - Saturday, March 23 at 12pm EST (Virtual)

How do we keep our stories from stalling? In this class with author of MonstrilioGerardo Sámano Córdova, we’ll play with different strategies that will spark our stories into motion. A limited number of FREE tickets for Veterans, Service Members, and Healthcare workers are available on a first come, first served basis. This workshop will be recorded and a link to the recording will be e-mailed to those who registered. Register at https://CBAW_GSC.eventbrite.com.

Visit www.cbaw.org to learn more about Community Building Art Works. For more information, email info@cbaw.org.

Service Dog Yoga with Warrior Canine Connection and Alli Houseworth Yoga + Wellness

Platoon 22 Veteran Service Center, Frederick, MD

Monday, March 4


Free but registration is required. 

Email mbtr@warriorcanineconnection.org to RSVP

Service Dog Yoga with Warrior Canine Connection and Alli Houseworth Yoga + Wellness

Platoon 22 Veteran Service Center, Frederick, MD

Monday, April 4


Free but registration is required. 

Email mbtr@warriorcanineconnection.org to RSVP

Peaceful Warriors: An Introduction to Using Yoga Practices for Healing Pain and Trauma within the Military and First Responder Communities

Yogamour Healing Arts, Frederick MD

Friday, August 9 - Sunday, August 11

Whether you are a counselor, social worker, or therapist who works with private clients; a yoga teacher or educator who works with individuals or in groups; or a member of the military or first responder community who is looking for simple practices to help you feel better physically and mentally, this training will provide you with “snack-size” trauma-informed mindfulness and movement tools that can be immediately implemented in your practice or workplace.

For more information visit: https://yogamour.org/workshops 

Blue Star Families Baltimore Coffee Connections

March Coffee Connections - Nourish the Service

 11 am - 12.30 pm

12 March  2024 - Aberdeen, MD - Aberdeen Proving Ground

13 March  2024 - California, MD - NAS Patuxent River

14 March  2024 - Hanover, MD - Fort Meade

15 March  2024 - Annapolis, MD - Naval Academy

CRAB Planning session

Chesapeake Adaptive Boating Center staff, volunteers and guests met for a Strategic Planning session recently. Dana Burl, MDVA Director of Communications, Outreach & Advocacy participated in the session.



Future Events: Save the Date

April 4, 2024: Military Officer Job Fair, Greenbelt

April 4, 2024: TechExpo Top Secret Hiring Event, Linthicum Heights

April 7, 2024: Gilchrist's 6th Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, Windsor Mill

April 11, 2024: Baltimore Station Fundraiser - Take a Swing for Recovery, Baltimore

April 23, 2024: UMGC 2024 Military and Veteran MilVet Networking Event, Adelphi

April 25, 2024: Career Transition Program, Hanover

April 30, 2024: Annapolis Vet Center Open House, Annapolis

May 5, 2024: 3rd Annual Veterans Celebration of Carroll County, Westminster

May 17, 2024: Armed Forces Day Veterans Salute, Annapolis

July 20, 2024: Frederick County Veterans Appreciation Day, Frederick

August 9 and 11, 2024: Peaceful Warriors: Yoga Practices for Healing Trauma in Military and First Responder Communities, Frederick

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.