19 April 2024 MDVA News and Announcements

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Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  April 19, 2024


Message from Secretary Anthony Woods:


Dear Friends,

Last week marked the end of the 2024 Maryland General Assembly. It was a record year for veteran and military family-related advocacy where 24 veteran and military family-related bills were passed and are on their way to the Governor’s desk for signature. 

The two military service focused bills Governor Moore introduced as part of his legislative package this session are now law. These are the Families Serve Act, which allows private employers and Maryland State Government to level the playing field in hiring military spouses, and the Time to Serve Act, increasing military leave for state employees serving in the Reserves or National Guard.

Perhaps most notable was the measure to rename our department to the Department of Veterans and Military Families. This name change signifies an important evolution, aligning our mission to serve all aspects of veteran and military family life, including veteran caregivers and Gold Star Families. It's a crucial reminder of the importance of names that reflect existing missions, enabling organizations to fully meet all parts of their mandate.

As we celebrate these legislative triumphs, I want to also recognize the tireless advocacy of veterans, family members, caretakers, survivors, VSOs, and nonprofits whose voices helped pass legislation that will make Maryland the best state in the nation to be a member of the military connected community.

Thank you for your service,


Renaming of MDVA

Governor Moore signs the legislation which changes the name of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs: Renaming and Deputy Secretary of Military Family Policy and Programs.

Unaccompanied Burials Scheduled at Two MDVA Cemeteries

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Cemetery Program will be hosting  dignified burial ceremonies to honor and pay respects to unaccompanied veterans.

These ceremonies will take place on Friday, April 26, 2024.

Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery

11:30 am

SGT Thomas Welcome, Air Force, 4/14/72 – 4/13/76


Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery

1:00 pm

SGT Robert W. Horner, Army, 1/3/49 – 1/2/52


All are welcome to attend.  Ceremonies will include an Honor Guard and the playing of Taps.   

Questions may be directed to the Cemetery Program at 410-923-6981.         


MDVA Cemetery & Memorials Program

Tree Planting

Warmer weather allowed for the planting of new trees at Rocky Gap Veterans Cemetery.  A grant from the Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee supported this project.  Thank you to the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service staff who assisted MDVA staff with the planting.

MDVA Service and Benefits Program is offering a new location for appointments:


Elkton Motor Vehicle Administration Service Center

105 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite A

Elkton, MD 21921


Please call for an appointment to meet with a MDVA Benefits Specialist


MDVA Website

AMVETS award

MDVA Secretary Anthony Woods was presented with the very prestigious PNC A. Leo Anderson Memorial Free State Award of Excellence by the AMVETS Department of Maryland.  Secretary Woods was the 37th recipient of this award and he joins a list of accomplished awardees.

Jewish War Veterans

MDVA Deputy Secretary Ross Cohen, was inducted into the Jewish War Veterans Annapolis Chapter on April 12th.  The location is the Naval Academy's Commodore Uriah Levy Center and Jewish Chapel.

Gilchrist VVA event

MDVA Senior Advisor Robert Finn and former Maryland State Senator John Astle are both Vietnam Veterans and both participated in the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration event hosted by Gilchrist Cares. Senator Astle was the original sponsor of the legislation which designated Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Maryland.


Meet Toyomi, a service dog working and training with Warrior Canine Connection.  Toyomi is named for Dr. Cynthia Macri, a member of the Maryland Veterans Commission.

State Partner News

Families Serve Act

Governor Moore signs the Families Serve Act of 2024.

The Families Serve Act, supports Maryland’s military families by expanding job opportunities for military spouses. The law requires that spouses of members of any branch of the uniformed services receive a 10 point credit to selection tests when applying for State jobs, and authorizes private employers to grant hiring and promotion preferences to spouses of a full-time active-duty member of any branch of the uniformed services.

Governor Moore Announces Launch of the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program to Help Businesses Keep Workers

Maryland Flag Waiving

Governor Wes Moore announced the launch of the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program to help Port of Baltimore businesses retain employees as the Port recovers from the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse. 

The $12.5 million program was established through the Governor’s executive order and authorized by the Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act, which Gov. Moore signed into law on Tuesday. The program, run by the Maryland Department of Labor, aims to avert layoffs by enabling impacted businesses to retain their workers until the Port fully reopens.

If you or your business has been impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse: Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program

Read More Here

Spotlight on Education: University of Maryland Global Campus:



2024 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Ended

The Maryland General Assembly 2024 Legislative Session ended on April 8, 2024.  To see a list of the final legislative updates impacting the veteran and military community, please visit our website at:

2024 Legislative Information

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

Maryland General Assembly Website

News from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

The 2024 Maryland DNR Photo Contest is Open!

Maryland DNR invites all photographers, novice or professional, to enter our annual photo contest.  All winners will be featured in the department’s 2025 wall calendar. Enter now for your chance to win cash, park passports, calendars, and other prizes! All entries m​ust be submitted online.​ Learn more.

Board of Public Works Approves $14.8 Million to Preserve Outdoor Space for Marylanders

The Board of Public Works today approved Maryland Department of Natural Resources items including more than $14.8 million in grants to local governments and land trusts to preserve and protect land, and provide recreation opportunities for Marylanders. Read more.

Federal Partner News

VA Virtual event

Federal News

VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities Update

PTSD resources for active duty, National Guard and Reserve

Six ways anyone can start the conversation with a Veteran about suicide

VA automobile allowance and adaptive equipment

Busting misconceptions about toxic exposure screening

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Black maternal health matters at VA

Healing from MST Looks Different for Everyone

Live Whole Health #216: World Tai Chi and Qigong Day

Live Whole Health #217: Are you breathing?

VA's Million Veteran Program supports Whole Health research

Proactive culture: How to uphold dignity and respect for all

Social workers' efforts to end food insecurity

April 24th: VA Wellness Wednesday Financial Education

May 2nd: Veteran Stand Down, Perry Point VA Medical Center

June 7th: Veteran Stand Down, Cambridge

June 8th: Veteran Stand Down, Salisbury

Apply to host VA-recognized 2024 Regional Veterans Day Observance

Buddy Finder provides a faster method to find former service friends

Vet Center sponsored Veteran retreat

12 cool mobile apps for Veterans

Get Help in a Crisis

  • Call 911
  • Call the Veterans Crisis Line: dial 988,then press 1
  • Text the Veterans Crisis Line at 838255

Hoyer Academy Day

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

April 20, 2024

The Mission Continues Earth Day Volunteer activity, Curtis Bay

DAV Veterans Claims Clinic, Baltimore

Apryl Showers, Mobile Showers and Bathroom for the Homeless, Baltimore

April 23, 2024

UMGC 2024 Military and Veteran MilVet Networking Event, Adelphi

Lunch & Learn Workshop: Mental Health for Military Connected Students, Towson University

Patuxent River Job Fair

Celebrating the Military Child: A Reading Event for Active Duty/Military Families, South Bowie Branch Library

April 24, 2024

Veterans Appreciation Dinner, American Legion Hall, Sykesville

April 25, 2024

Career Transition Showcase, Hanover, More Information

Joint Base Andrews Top III Job Fair

April 27, 2024

Blue Star Families and American Legion STEM Extravaganza, Laurel

April 30, 2024

Annapolis Vet Center Open House, Annapolis

May 2, 2024

Veteran Stand Down, Perry Point VA Medical Center

8th Annual Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton Memorial Fundraiser, Havre de Grace

May 4, 2024

Aberdeen Proving Ground Career Fair, APG, Register

Asia on the Creek, AANHI Heritage Festival, Frederick

May 5, 2024

3rd Annual Veterans Celebration of Carroll County, Westminster, More Information

May 15, 2024

3th Annual Southern MD Hiring Event, Waldorf

Operation Base Camp, Veterans Career and Resources Fair, South Bowie Branch Library

May 17, 2024

Armed Forces Day Veterans Salute, Annapolis

May 18, 2024

Women Veterans Paddle, St. Mary's River State Park

Lifeline Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation - Lets Program 2024 Spring Open House, Gaithersburg

May 21, 2024

Meet the Author: William Yeske, Abingdon Library

May 23, 2024

13th Annual Veterans Appreciation Ceremony, Upper Marlboro, Register

May 25, 2024

Spring Wellness Workshop (equine-assisted wellness coaching workshop), Gaithersburg

Asia on the Creek

Community News

Volunteer for a Veteran Led MIA Recovery Deployment Mission - Read More Here

News from Community Building Art Works:

Collaborative Painting Project  (Virtual)

Are you looking for community as you approach Memorial Day? Join other Veterans and Community Members to create a Collaborative Painting in the month of May with Veterans Joe MerrittShaun Smith, and Valerie Acosta. Final digital image will be displayed on Memorial Day. Learn more and register at: https://2024PaintingCollab.eventbrite.com.

More Than One Story - Next Virtual Orientation May 14th

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.

Future Events: Save the Date

June 3, 2024: Army Alliance Dinner, Belcamp

June 7, 2024: Veteran Stand Down, Cambridge

June 8, 2024: Veteran Stand Down, Salisbury

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.