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Governor Moore and Lieutenant Governor Miller Honor Veterans Day and Military Families

November 12th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

During a Veterans Day breakfast on Thursday at Government House, Governor Moore signed two executive orders: one creating a commission to establish a Memorial to Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism, and directing state agencies to act to reduce veteran suicide. The governor was joined by Lt. Gov. Miller, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Woods, Maryland Secretary of State Susan Lee, Senator Michael Jackson, Delegate Nick Allen, Anne Arundel County Councilmember Pete Smith, veteran and military family advocates and leaders, as well as military leaders from Maryland military installations. 

“Today is about one word: remembrance. We remember the service of those who raised their hands to defend our nation – and the sacrifices of their loved ones,” said Gov. Moore. “We remember our obligation to all of our military families. These two executive orders are bound together by a spirit of remembrance. The first order is about remembering our troops and the second order is about remembering our obligation to those who have served.”  

Governor Moore signs two executive orders for veterans and military families.

On Friday, Governor Moore joined Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott for the Baltimore City Veterans Day Parade, an annual celebration to honor veterans and fallen American service members. Major​​ General Janeen L. Birckhead, Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard, served as the parade’s grand marshal.

“I want to salute our veterans. I’m proud to rank among you. ‘Thank you for your service’ should be the start of a conversation, not the end of one,” said Gov. Moore. “When you look at what we’ve done in our first ten months, we’ve made sure we thank our service members in every way we can. Let’s keep working to ensure that when we say “thank you for your service” we mean itGovernor Moore also attended the third annual Vehicles for Change car presentation in honor of Veterans Day on Friday. An EARN Maryland grantee, Vehicles for Change provides both job training and vehicle donation to open doors for recipients to gain access to better jobs, medical care, and educational opportunities. Joined by Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Woods and Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Portia Wu, the organization awarded 10 vehicles to 10 veterans.

Governor Moore celebrates a new vehicle given to a Maryland veteran at the Owings Mills Vehicles for Change event.

Today, Governor Moore and Lieutenant Governor Miller were joined by U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, Comptroller Brooke Lierman, and Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Woods to honor the service and dedication of veterans and military families from across Maryland during the Holiday Meals for Military program. Hosted by Operation Homefront, the event celebrated 150 military families who are living and serving in Maryland through a grocery distribution event at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

Governor Moore stands with a Maryland military family at the Veterans Day Meal Kit event at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

During the event, Governor Moore announced the launch of Maryland Joins Forces, an initiative designed to mobilize partners across public, private, and non-profit sectors to address issues affecting the military-connected community. The initiative will operate across five issue pillars: employment; food and housing Insecurity; education; health and wellness; and volunteer service through a combination of legislative advocacy, executive action, and strategic communications. The lieutenant governor will serve as chair.

“Our veterans, service members, military families, caregivers, and survivors give their all to this nation,” said Gov. Moore. “Maryland not only owes these brave heroes a debt, but healthy veterans and military families ensures a healthy state.”

Governor Moore speaks at the Veterans Day Mealkit event at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

“It is my honor to serve as Maryland Joins Forces chair and support our service members and military families” said Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller. “Working closely with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs and our allies across the state, we will provide pathways to opportunity and improve the quality of life for our military-connected communities.”

Lt. Gov. Miller speaks with a military family at the B&O Railroad Museum event in Baltimore.

“We want to do everything we can to keep our heroes and their talents here at home after their military service ends,” said Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Woods. “Maryland Joins Forces will go a long way in allowing us to achieve exactly that.”

“Military families need to feel their community understands their challenges and is taking steps to support them. This initiative accomplishes both,” said Blue Star Families Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Governor Wes Moore’s creation of Maryland Joins Forces is truly groundbreaking and exactly what military-connected families need. Blue Star Families launched the ‘Do Your Part’ campaign to urge all Americans to better support military families—and we are thrilled to see the State of Maryland stepping up in such a meaningful way.”

“We applaud every effort, like what Governor Moore is doing for Maryland through his Maryland Joins Forces campaign, that helps make our military families stronger, more stable, and more secure,” said Operation Homefront President and Chief Executive Officer Brig Gen (ret.) John I. Pray, Jr. “As we believe strong military families make their communities stronger, and these strong communities, in turn, make their state and America stronger.”

“Team Red, White & Blue provides a health and wellness community for veterans to belong to, at a time when many of them need that kind of support more than ever. It's inspiring to see Maryland Joins Forces visionary leadership here, and Team RWB is honored to be recognized by Governor Moore and Secretary Woods as an organization they trust to support Maryland veterans on their health journey,” said Team RWB Executive Director Mike Erwin. “All of us at Team RWB are fired up to be part of this initiative, which will enrich the lives of Maryland's veterans, service members, and military families.”