DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

FUNCTIONS


[photo, Jeffrey Building (now Wineland Building), 16 Francis St., Annapolis, Maryland] For Maryland veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides information and assistance so they receive all the benefits they have earned. Federal benefits include health care, education, home loans, and vocational rehabilitation. Maryland provides additional benefits, such as educational grants and scholarships, reduced fees and tax credits, business loans, veterans homes, and hunting and fishing privileges.

Jeffrey Building (now Wineland Building), 16 Francis St., Annapolis, Maryland, September 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Under the Department are three major programs: the Veterans Cemetery Program; the Veterans Memorials and Monuments Program; and the Veterans Service Program. The Department also is responsible for Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary's County, and the War Memorial Building and War Memorial Plaza in Baltimore. The Department is assisted by the Maryland Veterans Commission; the Maryland Veterans Home Commission; and the War Memorial Commission.

OFFICE OF SECRETARY

Fred L. Wineland Building, 4th floor, 16 Francis St., Annapolis, MD 21401

Heading the Department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs chairs the Maryland Veterans Trust, and the Governor's Warrior to Worker Council. The Secretary also serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Interagency Committee on Aging Services; the Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness; the Maryland Military Installation Council; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; and Maryland Commission on Suicide Prevention; the Superintendent's [Secretary of State Police] Council of Advisors on Diversity and Inclusion; and the Governor's Workforce Development Board.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, and must be an honorably discharged veteran (Code State Government Article, sec. 9-902).

Within the Office of Secretary are units for Finance and Personnel, Outreach and Advocacy, and the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund.


[photo, G. H. Fallon Federal Building, 31 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, Maryland]

MARYLAND VETERANS COMMISSION

G. H. Fallon Federal Building, Room 110
31 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, MD 21201

The Maryland Veterans Commission advises the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on all issues relating to veterans.


G. H. Fallon Federal Building, 31 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, Maryland, April 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Origins of the Commission trace to 1924, when the Soldiers' Relief Fund Commission formed to administer a State relief fund for disabled veterans of World War I (Chapter 344, Acts of 1924). The Commission became the Veterans Relief Commission in 1929 (Chapter 134, Acts of 1929). It was renamed the Maryland Veterans Commission in 1935 (Chapter 481, Acts of 1935). In 1971, the Commission joined the Department of Employment and Social Services, which was renamed the Department of Human Resources in 1975 (Chapters 370 and 617, Acts of 1971). In 1977, the Commission was made an independent agency (Chapter 895, Acts of 1977). In October 1999, the Commission became part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Chapter 125, Acts of 1999).

Twenty-eight Maryland veterans comprise the Commission. They are appointed to five-year terms by the Governor, who also names the Chair (Code State Government Article, secs. 9-915 through 9-920).



[photo, War Memorial Building, Gay St., Baltimore, Maryland] WAR MEMORIAL BUILDING
The War Memorial Building serves as a place of rememberance for fallen soldiers, and as an administrative office for veterans' outreach organizations. The Building is open and available for meetings of veterans' groups and patriotic societies, and for civic gatherings, provided that no collection or donation is taken nor any admission charged. Maintenance costs are shared equally by the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore.

War Memorial Building, 101 North Gay St., Baltimore, Maryland, June 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Dedicated in April 1925, the War Memorial Building and the War Memorial Plaza originally were erected to honor those Marylanders who died in World War I. In November 1977, the Mayor of Baltimore rededicated the Building as a memorial to Marylanders who gave their lives in all of America's twentieth-century wars.

The War Memorial Building lies directly across from City Hall, and, with the Plaza, was designed by Baltimore architect, Laurence Hall Fowler.


[photo, Marine Corps League Detachment no. 565, Firehouse, 1426 East Fort Ave., Locust Point, Baltimore, Maryland]

OUTREACH & ADVOCACY

In June 2006, the Outreach and Advocacy Program was authorized by the General Assembly (Chapter 290, Acts of 2006). The Program ensures that veterans know what services, benefits, and assistance the federal and State governments provide for them. Besides informing veterans of tax, health care, disability, pension and education benefits to which they might be entitled, Outreach and Advocacy actively assists veterans in the process of claiming such benefits, and monitoring the status of individual claims. The Program further keeps the Governor and General Assembly informed on issues important to veterans which may require gubernatorial or legislative action (Code State Government Article, secs. 9-940 through 9-946).

Marine Corps League Detachment no. 565, Firehouse, 1426 East Fort Ave., Locust Point, Baltimore, Maryland, August 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


CHARLOTTE HALL VETERANS HOME

29449 Charlotte Hall Road, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622

To provide residential and long-term health care to geriatric, chronically ill or disabled veterans, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home opened in January 1985 in St. Mary's County. It was constructed on the site of the former Charlotte Hall School which had been there from 1774 to its closing in 1976. The Home provides comprehensive nursing-care, comprehensive care, and assisted living. A three-story structure, the Home contains some 500 rooms. It is located on 126 acres in St. Mary's County.

A comprehensive nursing-care wing opened in March 1986, and a comprehensive-care wing, including a specialized unit for Alzheimer's care, opened in 1993. To expand the availability of assisted living, another wing opened in 2003. Moreover, a pavillion was added in November 2013. Currently, the Home has 100 assisted-living beds and 278 nursing-care beds.

On Veterans Day 2004, spouses of veterans who did not themselves serve in the armed forces became eligible for admission to the Home (Executive Order 01.01.2004.61; Chapter 238, Acts of 2006).

Applications for residency in the Home may be requested from the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.


[photo, Crownsville State Veterans Cemetery entrance, 1122 Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, Maryland]

VETERANS CEMETERY PROGRAM

1122 Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, MD 21032

In 1973, the Maryland Veterans Commission was authorized to acquire cemetery sites for honorably discharged Maryland veterans and their immediate families (Chapter 504, Acts of 1973). Since State land would be used, funds were authorized in 1974 to develop cemeteries rather than to acquire sites (Chapter 775, Acts of 1974).

Crownsville State Veterans Cemetery entrance, 1122 Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, Maryland, October 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Through the Veterans Cemetery Program, the Department now operates five cemeteries for veterans and their dependents. The Department sets eligibility requirements for burial. The cemeteries are located in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Dorchester and Prince George's counties. A permanent registry of graves of all who served in the U.S. military or naval forces in time of war and who are buried in Maryland also is maintained by the Department (Code State Government Article, secs. 9-913 through 9-914).

In October 2010, the Department assumed responsibility for Washington Cemetery, which was established in 1870 at Hagerstown, Maryland, for the interment of Confederate soldiers (Chapter 213, Acts of 1870).

VETERANS MEMORIALS & MONUMENTS PROGRAM

The Veterans Memorials and Monuments Program was established in 1989 to operate, maintain, secure, and preserve veterans memorials and monuments (Chapter 790, Acts of 1989).

All Maryland veterans memorials and monuments are open to the public 365 days a year. They are operated and cared for by the Department (Code State Government Article, sec. 9-908).

MARYLAND KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL
Canton Waterfront Park, 2903 Boston St., Baltimore, MD 21224

The Maryland Korean War Memorial was dedicated May 27, 1990. Administration of the Maryland Korean War Memorial was reassigned from the Korean War Memorial Commission to the Maryland Veterans Commission in 1989. In June 2006, oversight for all veterans memorials and monuments was transferred from the Commission to the Department (Chapter 238, Acts of 2006; Code State Government Article, sec. 9-908).

MARYLAND VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
Middle Branch Park, 2825 South Hanover St., Baltimore, MD 21225

Responsibility for administering the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial transferred from the Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission to the Maryland Veterans Commission in 1989 (Chapter 790, Acts of 1989). The Maryland Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated May 28, 1989. In June 2006, oversight for all veterans memorials and monuments was transferred from the Commission to the Department (Chapter 238, Acts of 2006; Code State Government Article, sec. 9-908).

MARYLAND WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
Route 450 at U.S. Naval Academy Bridge
1920 Ritchie Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401

Dedicated July 23, 1998, the Maryland World War II Memorial was assigned to the Veterans Memorials and Monuments Program in 1999 (Chapter 125, Acts of 1999).

VETERANS SERVICE PROGRAM

G. H. Fallon Federal Building, Room 1231
31 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, MD 21201

The Veterans Service Program is concerned with veteran benefits. These include education, home loans, insurance, pensions, and compensation for service-related disabilities, as well as benefits for health care, burial, and surviving family members. Through the Program, the Department's service centers advises, assists, and represents Maryland veterans, their dependents, and survivors seeking federal, State and local veteran benefits. It helps them develop, prepare, submit, and approve claims for these benefits enumerated by federal, State and local law. To achieve these purposes, veterans service centers operate throughout the State (Chapter 238, Acts of 2006; Code State Government Article, secs. 9-904 through 9-905).

Trained in veteran laws and regulations, Veterans Service officers present and prosecute claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They represent claimants by power-of-attorney through the adjudication and appellate processes.

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