January 2020  Council and Chapter News

Maryland Council (MD MOAA)


5 Star 2016

Last Update: April 2020



Message from Past Council President, COL Harvey Kaplan, USA (Ret):

Good afternoon everyone,


I felt a need to share this message, which I just received via e-mail.  It is of importance to all of us, including those who use the local Military Treatment Facilities or other services on military installations here in Maryland.  Key portions of the message are below:


Military personnel, DoD civilian employees, their family members, and DoD contractors are strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines on the use of cloth face coverings in public settings or where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.


Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation). This includes all:


Military Personnel

• DoD Civilian Employees

Family Members

• DoD Contractors

All other individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities


My wife Naomi and I were just at Walter Reed (for a scheduled follow-up face-to-face medical appointment with a staff MD).  The hospital issued us one medical mask each, as we needed to visit several locations on the base--including the pharmacy to pick up refills on medications.  Please see the new guidance below which, it seems to us, generally applies to all visits away from our homes.  I don't think the hospitals will continue to issue masks to out-patients now that this message has been disseminated.  Quantities remain in short supply!


Please feel free to share this message to your members and colleagues, as appropriate.


Harvey. (6 Apr 2020)




Message from Council President, LTC Bryon Hartzog, USA (Ret): Good morning.  I pray all are well, healthy, and heeding Gov. Hogan's guidance during these unprecedented times. As our state continues to observe an increase of COVID-19 infections, I strongly urge you to minimize your public outings to essential trips (e.g. food, pharmacy, gas, etc.).  


Being an optimist, I always look for the positive in all situations.  One positive of the shelter at home guidance is sufficient time to catch up on professional and personal reading. 


Another is the opportunity to continue our advocacy for important legislative issues remotely.  One such issue is the MTF restructuring. Both National, MD MOAA and the MMC strongly feel this initiative will result in greater harm than good. 


I strongly recommend you:


1) read the MOAA Newsletter item, URL below, 'Congress Must Halt Medical Billet Reductions, MTF Restructuring Amid COVID-19', 



2) read the article posted to the Naval Institute Proceedings website written by Rear Admiral Tom Jurkowsky, USN (Ret.), a National Board Member of MOAA who resides in Maryland. 



3) click on the embedded link to send a message to your Representative and Senators.  




You will recall that we discussed this issue at some length during our virtual Council meeting on 14 March.  Thanks in part to our Council's inputs to the National office, MOAA has 'strapped on' this issue as a priority.  That's why we need all hands to Click the Link and send the pre-formatted message.


4) The MD MOAA Council is planning for Erin Stone and Karen Ruedisueli, the director of government relations for health affairs for MOAA. to speak at our June quarterly meeting.  Presently, National MOAA has cancelled all face-to-face meetings and gatherings through the end of June due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, so I am planning to host our June quarterly meeting virtually using Zoom.  


I am coordinating with National for Erin and Karen to address the Council via video teleconference. 


More to follow as we get closer to the day. 



(31 Mar 2020)

Military Medical Reform: From an email from Past Council President COL Harvey Kaplan, USA (Ret):

Here is an article that was posted to the Naval Institute Proceedings website yesterday.  It was written by Rear Admiral Tom Jurkowsky, USN (Ret.), a National Board Member of MOAA who resides in Maryland.  I thought everyone would be interested, so please take the time to read it.  It complements what our national organization is supporting now--in lieu of the typical "Storming the Hill," which has been canceled as an in-person series of meetings with the Members of Congress.


If you have been following our Maryland Council Fact Sheet and Pilot Study (regarding the subject of usage of Military Treatment Facilities [MTFs]), you'll find this article consistent with the "pivot" on this issue that our MOAA Board and Government Affairs Office has taken in consideration of the current COVID-19 situation.  We now will be dealing with the issue of MTF support for retirees, family members, and surviving spouses, as well as staffing/recruiting/retention.  That is in addition to the other announced Storming issues (i.e., thanking our Members of Congress for their outstanding support of our priorities last year, erosion of military benefits over time, and other medical-related matters). (27 Mar 2020)


Massing of the Colors:

We do not have an official update from Fort Meade, but expect this event to be cancelled for 2020.

Fort Meade and the MG George G Meade Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars will conduct the 34th Annual Massing of the Colors at the Pavilion on Fort Meade. The event will take place from 1430-1600 on Sunday 17 May 2020. All MOAA Chapters have been invited to participate, perhaps using local JROTC cadets to carry your Chapter’s colors. Please contact COL Ken McCreedy, USA (Ret), at kmccreedy1954@gmail.com if you will be able to attend.

(20 Feb 2020)


Maryland General Assembly 2020 Session:

The 2020 Session ended early due to the COVID-19 situation. We will leave CAPT Smith’s Legislative Trackers up through the summer. (27 Mar 2020)

CAPT Brian Smith, USN (Ret), Vice President of the Maryland Military Coalition, will be providing periodic updates of legislative activity. As with last year’s updates, the tracker goes well beyond just identifying the bills. It also will give a brief synopsis of what the bill does, whether MMC supports the bill, and preview of what VSO’s intend to appear to testify at hearings…plus lots of other great stuff. It’s worth LOTS of money, but you get it for FREE!

In the meantime, please a look at Maryland Matters take on 10 issues that will likely drive this session.

Be sure to check out the GREAT piece about the military retirement income tax subtraction on the Free State Veterans blog.

Here is a link to the Towson University study explaining how Maryland will benefit from not taxing military retirement:

commerce.maryland.gov/Documents/Research Document/employment-in-maryland-defense-study-HB-1542-2019.pdf

Read the Legislative Trackers here:

 8 Jan Legislative Tracker

20 Jan Legislative Tracker

22 Jan Legislative Tracker

25 Jan Legislative Tracker

29 Jan Legislative Tracker

3 Feb Legislative Tracker

5 Feb Legislative Tracker

10 Feb Legislative Tracker

17 Feb Legislative Tracker

24 Feb Legislative Tracker

2 Mar Legislative Tracker

9 Mar Legislative Tracker

 (25 Jan 2020)


WIDOWS TAX AXED: “'We Did It': Military Widows, Supporters Celebrate After Senate NDAA Vote

'We Did It': Military Widows, Supporters Celebrate After Senate NDAA Vote

Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret), President and CEO of MOAA, stands with Candace Wheeler, Senior Advisor for Policy and Legislation for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and military widows Kristy DiDomenico, Edie Smith and Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret) [Annapolis Chapter member], during a reception to celebrate the repeal of the SBP-DIC offset in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 17. (Photo by Amanda Dolasinski/MOAA)

Read the entire article at MOAA.org (19 Dec 2019)


2018 Levels of Excellence Awards: The 2018 Levels of Excellence Awards were presented to the Council and five Chapters at the 2 Nov Council meeting. See photos below. (8 Nov 2019)





Welcome to the Web Pages of the Maryland Council of Chapters, an affiliate of the Military Officers Association of America. The Maryland Council was awarded a Five Star Level of Excellence for 2018 (as of August 2019).


The Maryland Council is composed of ten chapters, spread geographically across the state. Here is a list of the Chapters, with links to their individual Web Pages. All Chapters have an informational page here, and some have additional pages, as shown with additional links (Stars indicate the Level of Excellence rating earned by the Chapter for 2018 – as announced in August 2019.):


·         Annapolis

·         * * * * * Ft George G Meade

·         * * * * * Star Spangled Banner (Winner of 5 Star Col Marvin J Harris Communications Award for 2018, as of May 2019)

·         * * * * * General Smallwood

·         * * * * * Montgomery County (Winner of 5 Star Col Marvin J Harris Communications Award for 2018, as of May 2019)

·         Prince Georges County

·         Southern Maryland

·         SusquehannaChapter Site at MOAA

·         Upper Eastern Shore

·         * * * * * Upper PotomacChapter Site at MOAA


The 2018 Levels of Excellence Awards were presented to the Council and five Chapters at the 2 Nov Council meeting. COL Teri Coles, USA (Ret), MOAA Director of Council and Chapter Affairs (and a Fort Meade Chapter member) presented the awards:



Council 2VP Gary Palmer and                       Fort Meade member Dave Fox                       Gen Smallwood – Naomi Kaplan

Past President Harvey Kaplan                                                                                                accepting




Montgomery County President                       Star Spangled Banner member                       Upper Potomac President

Dave Peterson                                                 Chuck Rishel                                                   Hugh McIlroy



Council Officers


Here are the Council officers for 2019 – 2020 (as of 14 Mar 2020):








1st Vice Pres






2nd Vice Pres



Lt Col



























Immediate Past Pres






Legislative Liaison - Interim






Transition Liaison






Spouse Liaison - Interim



Md Veterans Commissioner






MOAA Director – Maryland Military Coalition












Ft Meade






Gen Smallwood






Montgomery Co






Prince Georges






Southern MD





Combined with Gen Smallwood

Star Spangled












Upper Eastern Shore






Upper Potomac







The Southern Maryland Chapter is currently functioning as an affiliate of the Gen Smallwood Chapter.


Here are the Maryland Council Bylaws, updated on 12 Jan 2019. (13 Mar 2019)


Here are the Maryland Council of Chapters Goals for CY2019-2020, approved by the Council on 12 Jan 2019. (19 Jan 2019)



Annual Congressional Luncheon


Watch this space for details of the 2020 Congressional Luncheon as they are announced. (21 Oct 2019)


Who Can Join:


MOAA membership is open to all current, former, and retired officers of any of the seven Uniformed Services. Visit the Why Join MOAA page at the MOAA Web Site for details on the three classes of membership, and to join.


There is a new “Why MOAA” video produced by the MOAA National Office. Please use the following link to access the video:





For those concerned about embedded links and cyber security, please do the following:


1)      Go to the YouTube website by typing:   www.youtube.com in your web browser

2)      Type MOAA in the search bar

3)      Click on the link to the MOAA channel

4)      Once the MOAA channel comes up, you will immediately see the “Why MOAA” video. 

5)      If you want to cut and paste the video web address for others, click on the “Videos” link, then select the “Why MOAA” Video

6)      Once the video begins playing, highlight and then copy the web address at the top of the screen.  It should exactly match the hyperlink listed in this email.



If you are a MOAA member who is not a member of a Maryland Chapter, please click here to find the chapter in your area.


Council Calendar


The Council officers and Chapter Presidents meet quarterly, on call of the President. Meetings are currently held at O’Loughlin’s Restaurant, 1258 Bay Dale Drive, Arnold MD 21012, starting at 1130. Here are the recent and upcoming dates, with links to the minutes of each, as they are available (older minutes are available here)


Jan 21, 2017 - Minutes

Mar 4, 2017 - Minutes

June 10, 2017 - Minutes

Sep 9, 2017 - Minutes

Dec 9, 2017 - Minutes

Mar 10, 2018 - Minutes

Jun 9, 2018 - Minutes

Sep 8, 2018 - Minutes

Nov 1, 2018 (At National Meeting) - Minutes

Jan 12, 2019 - Minutes

Mar 30, 2019 - Minutes

Jun 22, 2019 - Minutes

Aug 24, 2019 - Minutes

Nov 2, 2019

Jan 11, 2020

Mar 14, 2020

Jun 13, 2020



Editorial Policy


MOAA, the Maryland Council of Chapters and the individual chapters in Maryland are non-partisan. Information on this web site reflects the position of the Maryland Council of Chapters only.


Spouse and Surviving Spouses Newsletter


Below are recent newsletters from the former Spouse and Surviving Spouse Liaison Officer, Mrs. Naomi Kaplan. (22 Aug 2018)


-          Feb 2018

-          Apr 2018

-          May/Jun 2018

-          Jul/Aug 2018

-          Sep/Oct 2018

-          Nov/Dec 2018

-          Jan/Feb 2019

-          Mar/Apr 2019

-          Jul/Aug 2019

-          Sep/Oct 2019

-          Nov/Dec 2019


Note – The Nov/Dec 2019 Surviving Spouses Newsletter is the final one from Mrs. Naomi Kaplan, who has served in this post for the past four years. We thank her for her service and are asking for volunteers to (try to) fill her shoes. (29 Dec 2019)


Maryland National Guard Unit of the Year


Stay tuned for the announcement of the National Guard Unit of the Year for 2020. (24 Feb 2020)



Highlights of recent and upcoming Chapter activities






Legislative Priorities




The Maryland Military Coalition has released its Legislative Goals for the 2020 Maryland General Assembly. (14 Dec 2019)


We now have a list of the members of the Maryland House of Delegates Veterans’ Caucus, and the Maryland Senate Veterans’ Caucus.

Note – this list is NOT UP TO DATE for 2019. (3 Mar 2019)


Make MOAA's One Powerful Voice® heard in Maryland. It will take each MOAA member living in Maryland to make this happen. Act now to do your part!


Here is a list of Points of Contact for the Maryland Congressional delegation (both Senators and all eight Representatives) (updated 16 Apr 2019)





·         From time to time, we will suggest messages we would like Maryland members to send to Annapolis on upcoming bills of interest to all of us. There are two web-based methods you can use to contact your State Legislators:

·         The Maryland Legislature maintains a Web Site that you can use to contact your Senator or Delegate. To use it, visit http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmmain.aspx?pid=legisrpage&tab=subject6, and select the legislator’s name. If the legislator accepts e-mail (I hope most of them do today), you will see a link to Contact Online. Click on that link. Enter your identifying information, and type or paste the text into the Message box.

·         Another method is to visit http://mdelect.net/. This site, run by the Maryland State Archives, allows you to enter your address (Zip+4 will do, unless district lines go through your Zip+4 area – then enter your full address), and it will tell you who your Federal and State legislators are. There are links to their web sites. Some have e-mail tools built in; others will link into Outlook, as above. (21 Jan 2013)

·         NEW – here is a link to a roster provided by the Legislature with office locations and phone numbers for all of the State Senators and Delegates. Some have moved since last year. (26 Jan 2018)


You can find information on MOAA’s national legislative priorities at the MOAA Take Action web page.



Maryland Veterans Commission


There are no recent reports from the Maryland Veterans Commission. One will be posted here when available.



Job Search



Looking for a new job, or know someone who is? Visit the MOAA Transition and Career Center for Career Information.



Veterans’ Benefits


An organization called DeployCare.org (from their web site: “DeployCare was established to offer understanding and support to our service members and their families before, during, and after deployments. We have worked to compile necessary resources as well as research solutions to many of the challenges associated with military deployments.”) has prepared a list of financial resources for veteran families. As always, appearance here does not imply any endorsement by MOAA or the Maryland Council of Chapters:



211.org for Veterans http://www.211.org/services/veterans

Career Resources for our Veterans https://hiring.monster.com/employer-resources/recruiting-strategies/workforce-planning/veteran-employment-resources/

The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing https://www.va.gov/homeless/hud-vash.asp

Moving? How to Use a Relocation Calculator https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-use-relocation-calculator.htm

Step-by-Step Guide to the VA Loan Process https://www.military.com/money/va-loans/step-by-step-guide-to-the-va-loan-process.html

VA Home Loan Calculator https://www.mortgagecalculator.org/calcs/va-loans.php

Moving Companies That Offer Military Discounts https://www.move.org/military-discount-moving-companies/

What Documents Are Needed to Sell Your House? https://www.redfin.com/resources/documents-to-sell-a-house

Find Family Services and Resources Near You https://feedourvets.org/family-services-resources-near-you

Military Buddy Finder from VetFriends.com https://www.vetfriends.com/

Veteran Healthcare Resources http://veteranscominghome.org/health-resources/

Important Medicare Facts That Every Veteran Should Know https://www.medicareadvantage.com/resources/medicare-for-veterans

Mental Health Resources for our Veterans Families https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/veterans-military/

10 Tips for Keeping a Relationship Strong During Deployment and Separation https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/relationships/managing-deployments-and-separations/10-tips-for-keeping-a-relationship-strong-during-deployment-and-separation

7 Crucial Components to Highly Effective Deployment Communication https://themilitarywifeandmom.com/deployment-communication/

International Phone Plan Options During Overseas Deployment https://www.verizonwireless.com/solutions-and-services/international/

Military Care Package Ideas: What To Put In A Care Package https://www.herocarepackages.com/homefront/military-care-package-ideas-and-what-to-put-in-a-care-package-in-2019/

Post-Deployment Adjustments Military Couples Face https://www.liveabout.com/post-deployment-marriage-challenges-2357141

The How-to Guide for Veterans: Creating a Peaceful At-Home Atmosphere Upon Returning Home https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/veterans-guide-to-creating-a-peaceful-home/

 (18 Nov 2019)



Drugwatch.com is a free website covering topics such as prescriptions and personal health. They have published a veterans health guide that details issues like hearing loss, PTSD, environmental hazards, and more: https://www.drugwatch.com/health/veterans/. As always, this is not endorsed by the Military Officers Association of America or the Fort Meade Chapter. With that caveat, feel free to browse. (19 Feb 2020)


The Howard County Office of Veterans and Military Families publishes periodic notes with links to other resources to benefit veterans and military families. They are not endorsed by that office, or by the Military Officers Association of America or the Fort Meade Chapter. With that caveat, feel free to browse the latest notes.


MAJ Jeffery Burbank, an Army Chaplain at Fort Leavenworth and the son of former Fort Meade Chapter member CW5 Larry Burbank, has prepared a list of web-sites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file/ask for them. There are many sites that explain how to obtain books, military/medical records, information and how to appeal a denied claim with the VA. Please pass this information on to every Veteran you know. Nearly 100% of this information is free and available for all veterans, the only catch is: you must ask for it, because they won't tell you about a specific benefit unless you ask for it. You need to know what questions to ask so the right doors open for you and then be ready to have an advocate who is willing to work with and for you, stay in the process, and press for your rights and your best interests. (Note – the Maryland Council of Chapters has nothing to do with any of the listed sites and is not responsible if any of them are no longer active.)


The consumer website MoneyGeek.com has recently published a student financial aid guide for military veterans, including a list of scholarships offered to veterans and their family members and an interactive map tool to help veterans find schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon benefit program. The guide is available at http://www.moneygeek.com/education/college/resources/financial-aid-guide-for-veterans/. The site has other student financial resources, including a searchable scholarship database at http://www.moneygeek.com/education/scholarship-search/. Note that inclusion of these links does not imply any endorsement by MOAA or the Maryland Council of Chapters. (10 Feb 2016)


Here are some other sites with military discounts and deals:


Dealhack.com: https://dealhack.com/blog/military-discounts-guide 

Offers.com: https://www.offers.com/blog/post/military-discounts-guide/

WikiBuy from CapitalOne: https://wikibuy.com/blog/military-and-veteran-discounts-c5f318b5497d


(Again, the inclusion of these links does not imply any endorsement by MOAA or the Maryland Council of Chapters.) (26 Feb 2109)


The website SeniorLiving.org has shared with us a Veteran Care Guide “designed to help veterans and/or their surviving spouses determine their eligibility, explain how to apply for benefits and cover the various veteran care options.” Neither MOAA or the Maryland Council of Chapters endorses the site, the guide, or any links contained within it. (5 Oct 2018)


The website Mattress Clarity wants to share an article based on everything veterans should know about sleep. More than half of vets report having sleep deprivation, so they believe this could potentially help a lot of people who have returned to civilian life and are going through transitions in their sleep patterns or are suffering from sleep disorders. Here is the article: https://www.mattressclarity.com/blog/what-veterans-should-know-about-sleep/. Neither MOAA or the Maryland Council of Chapters endorses the site, the guide, or any links contained within it. (10 Sep 2019)



The Council’s former Spouse/Surviving Spouse Liaison Officer, Naiomi Kaplan, has prepared a list of Pertinent Issues for Spouses and Surviving Spouses. (29 Feb 2016, updated 19 Feb 2020)





Military discounts at Kohl’s: Active, retired and veteran members of the military can get a discount at Kohl’s stores on Mondays, part of a new “Military Mondays” program by the retailer. The 15% discount is good all year, Kohl’s said in a statement. Customers must show a valid military ID, military dependent ID or veteran ID at the cash register. “Through Military Mondays, we are proud to strengthen our support of our military families who have made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Doug Arnoldi, Kohl’s vice president, district manager, in the statement. Kohl’s Cash fans, beware: The military discount can’t be combined with other discounts. Read more about the program at Kohls.com. (19 Apr 2019)







Please send any comments and suggestions to the Webmaster using the email address shown in the listing of Council Officers above.