News for Howard County Veterans and Military Families

21 December 2023
Important December dates to recognize

  • Dec. 7, 2023 – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • Dec. 13, 2023 – National Guard Birthday
  • Dec. 16, 2023 – National Wreaths Across America Day
  • Dec. 20, 2023 - Space Force birthday
Governor Moore Announces 2024 The Year for Military Families

Last week, the Governor announced the first proposed legislation for next year by introducing the Families Serve Act of 2024 which will create stronger pathways to employment for military families and Time to Serve Act of 2024, which doubles military leave available to state employees who serve in the National Guard or military reserves. To learn about other proposed legislation benefiting military families, read here. Video
Howard County Veterans Foundation Awarded $1 Million for the Veterans and Military Families Monument

At the Veterans Day Ceremony following the 9th annual Veterans Day Parade, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball committed $1 million to significantly close the fundraising gap for the Howard County Veterans and Military Families Monument, demonstrating a powerful commitment to our nation's heroes. The historic project will be prominently located at Bailey Park in Downtown Columbia on land donated by The Howard Hughes Corporation. Pictures from the ceremony can be found here pictures from the parade can be found here. Donations can be made to HoCo Veterans Foundation
Join A Veteran Service Organization and Get Involved

Howard County veterans continue to serve their communities long after their military service has ended. The Howard County Commission for Veterans and Military
Families and local veteran service organizations are involved in a number of programs such as flag retirement ceremonies, school presentations, the annual Veterans Day Parade, JROTC awards, Boys Scout Venturing Crew in marksmanship and Boys State/Girls State sponsorship program. They serve as judges for 5th grade Simulated Congressional Hearings, visit isolated veterans in assisted living senior care, donate to HCC's veteran lounge, host military families for the holidays and so much more. Please consider joining one or more of our VSOs.

American Legion: Ellicott City Post 156
410-340-7892 •
Members meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month at VFW Post 7472 in Ellicott City, 7 to 8:30pm.; Lunch and Fellowship on the 2nd Friday of the month. 
Contact Michael Blum at [email protected]

American Legion: Columbia Post 300
410-997-3863 • 
Meets on 4th Thursday of the month at Cornerstone Church in Kings Contrivance, Columbia; Lunch and Fellowship on the 3rd Friday of the month at Mission BBQ in Columbia, 11:30am to 1:00pm. All are welcome.
Contact: Vice Commander George Delaney or 240-381-5909. 

Marine Corps League, Detachment 1084
410-340-7892 •
Contact Bill Swain
Veterans of Foreign Wars Yingling-Ridgley Post No. 7472
4225 VFW Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21043-5428
410-465-4240 •
Meets on 2nd Thursday of the month at the Ying-Ling Ridgely VFW 7472 post, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Contact Shelby Rogers

Howard County Commission for Veterans and Military Families
Dept. of Community Resources and Services, 9830 Patuxent Woods Dr. Columbia, MD 410-313-0821
Hybrid meetings hel the first Thurs of the month (Jan 11 this month, no mtgs July/Aug). Email [email protected] for more info
Eagle Scout Honors Veterans Buried at Local Cemetery

Marriotts Ridge High School freshman, Caitlyn Gallert, presented her Eagle Scout project at a Wreaths Across America program this past Saturday. Caitlyn was given the opportunity to lead her troop in the creation of a biography book, map, and display case for the deceased veterans laid to rest at Good Sheppard Cemetery in Ellicott City as part of her Boy Scout of America Eagle Scout project. The biography book collected pictures, service information and any other interesting facts for 244 veterans. The display case holds maps of the cemetery and the biography books to make it easier to locate the veterans. Caitlyn and Troop 851 were honored to do such a meaningful project and thanked VFW Post 7472 for their sponsorship.
Neighbor Ride's Driving Heroes Provides Transportation for
Aging Veterans
Thanks to generous funding received from the Tower Cares Foundation, Neighbor Ride is proud to announce its Driving Heroes Program. Through this program, ambulatory Howard County Veterans, aged 60 and over, are eligible to receive free, volunteer-driven transportation for medical appointments, shopping, social outings, and other needs. To register for the service or to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer, please contact Patrice or Andrew at (410) 884-7433 or [email protected]. You can also learn more at
Important Dates and Events
Now - Caregiver Survey - As the “Voice of the Caregiver” the Maryland Commission on Caregiving wants to know more about the experiences of family caregivers in the state and we need your help!
Family caregivers are people who assist adults aged 18 or older with disabilities, illnesses, diseases, or limitations that make it hard for them to take care of themselves. Caregivers help with things like personal care, household chores, managing money, arranging services from others, or regularly visiting to check on how they are doing.
We have developed a 15-minute online and anonymous survey that asks questions about the person being cared for and the caregiver’s knowledge of available programs and priorities for supports and services. If you care for someone, we would appreciate it if you could take the time to complete the survey through the link below. If you aren’t a caregiver but know other caregivers, please consider forwarding this email to them so we can obtain as many responses as possible.
If you complete the survey, you will have the chance to enter a raffle where 50 people will be randomly chosen to get a $20 e-gift card.
Results from the survey will be shared publicly with special attention to legislators and the Departments of Human Services, Disabilities, Aging, and Health to improve policies and programs for MD caregivers just like you! The survey will remain open until December 31, 2023. Thank you for your consideration to participate.

Now – Submit content for Veteran and Military Spouse Owned Small Business Directory if you would like to be listed.

December 31 thru January 2, 2024 - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites all Marylanders to take a First Day Hike — the annual tradition for a fun, healthy way to welcome the New Year. Maryland State Parks will be offering First Weekend hike opportunities across the state from December 31, 2023 – January 2, 2024. Read more.

January 8 – NAMI Virtual Veteran Support Group, 6-7:30pm. Register Here

January 11 – Howard County Commission for Veterans and Military Families Monthly Meeting, 7-8:30pm (hybrid). Email [email protected] for more info.

January 27 & 28 - GLORY DENIED at Annapolis Opera, 3pm Sat & Sun. Maryland Hall | 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, MD. The true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war during one of our nation’s most turbulent eras.
April 25 – Ft. Meade Career Transition Program Showcase, 9am-3pm at Maryland Live
                                         Recurring Programs:
Poetic Record: Resilience Workshop for Healthcare Workers with Laura Van Prooyen, Writing workshop for healthcare workers that blends poetry, community, and the science of resilience. Every Tuesday, 7 PM EDT

Comedy Workshop with Amelia Bane in Partnership with Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals  Writing workshop for all interested to learn and practice comedy writing skills. 2nd Tuesday, 12 PM EDT

Visual Art Workshop with Veteran Artists Val Acosta, Shaun Smith, and Joe Merritt Hang out in a collaborative group setting, learn new art techniques, and create a masterpiece. No experience necessary. Every Wednesday, 7 PM EDT

Writing Workshop for Military, Veterans, Caregivers and Spouseswith Laura Van Prooyen in Partnership w/ Blue Star Families Creative writing workshop where we'll consider writing as a tool for communication, expression, and relief from holding it all together. 1st & 3rd Thursday, 3:30 PM EDT

Writing Workshop with Seema Reza No experience required! If you can think, you can write. Bring some paper and a pen! Every Friday, 12 PM EDT

Writing Workshop in Partnership with Strathmore featuring a Special Guest each month Creative writing workshop where you can put your personal stories on paper in a supportive environment. 3rd Thursday, 7 PM EDT
Virtual Tai Chi for Veterans, 1st Tuesday of every month - 12-1pm.  
Virtual Toastmasters for Veterans and Military Communities 2nd Tuesdays at 7pm & 4th Saturdays of every month at 11:30 am. Please register with Bernadette Garrett at [email protected]

Virtual Mindfulness and Gentle Yoga, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month 5-6pm.

Now – Honor Flights Maryland seeking WWII, Korean and Vietnam Veterans who may be interested in visiting DC Memorials next year, volunteers and guardians to help!

Now - Howard County Fallen Heroes Tribute. To honor Howard County residents who died while in service to our country, the Office of Veteran and Military Families is proud to announce the creation of the Fallen Heroes Tribute page 

Support veteran and military owned small businesses on Amazon -
Embracing the Great Outdoors
Sierra Club Military Outdoors - Sierra Club’s military veteran roots run deep. The first executive director of the Sierra Club was a World War II Army Veteran named David Brower. He was a man who dedicated his life to fighting for clean air, land, and water for all. There is not currently a Military Outdoors Program in the DMV, there is a Howard County and Maryland Calendar.

The Fallen Outdoors - organizes outdoor adventures for veterans past and present, from every generation and from all branches of the military. Our aim is to connect Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines with like-minded individuals along with teaching them a skill and passion they can continue for a lifetime. Maryland Chapter

ParkRXAmerica - believes that nature-rich areas should be accessible to all, and incorporated into our daily routines. Spending time in and around nature is the single most important first-step to improving both human and planetary health. PRA is committed to educating healthcare professionals and the public, and to providing the tools to meet each individual's unique needs.

ParkRX - As the health and nature movement grows, the definition of Park Prescriptions continues to evolve. On we focus on programs or interventions that Include a health or social service provider, who encourages their patients/clients to spend time in nature, with the goal of improving their health and well-being.

Howard County Veterans and Military Families Resource Directory and Veteran and Military Spouse Owned Small Biz Directory Coming Soon!!

If you are looking for caregiver resources please visit our Hero Care Resource Directory
Upcoming caregiver events can be found on our Caregiver Calendar
The Military and Veteran Caregiver Network operates 24/7 you can login here
Please visit Red Cross Military Caregiver website for more information

Military OneSource – free Non-medical Counseling, Relationship Support, Parenting Resources, Education and Career Opportunities, Financial and Legal, Exceptional Family Member Program resources, and Relocation Support.

Care Patrol – A free service for seniors and families that provides expert guidance finding Assisted Living Communities, Residential Care Homes, Memory Care, Retirement Communities, Respite Care and Independent Living 410-218-5588

Employment Opportunities

Columbia Association has several openings from HR, lifeguards, personal trainers, instructors, front desk, technicians, maintenance and more
Military Community Connections - Military Career Connections assists eligible transitioning service members, military spouses, and veterans with enhanced one-on-one career services. These career services include a combination of resume assistance, employment assistance, no cost industry training, licensing, certifications, work and learn opportunities, and barrier remediation with the goal of employment.
Women Veterans Inclusion Program - Women Veterans/Inclusion Program - The MDVA Women Veterans/Inclusion Program was established in August 2021 to collaborate with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, state and local governments, and community organizations to coordinate events to raise awareness of the needs of Maryland’s women, minority, and underserved veteran populations. A statewide advisory group has convened to identify resources to support and advocate on behalf of this group of veterans
TALMAR offers a Veterans Affairs Farming and Recovery Mental Health Services (VA FARMS) program to veterans enrolled in services at the VA Maryland Health Care System. TALMAR’s VA FARMS program is a hands-on work therapy program where participants learn on a vegetable & cut flower farm in central Maryland. Baltimore, MD