The Howard County Commission for Veterans and Military Families has a keen interest in ensuring racial justice and equality for our veterans, their families, and for all citizens. Consistent with our stated mission, the Commission is committed to helping this country heal its wounds and work toward ensuring that America does not fall into further chaos at this time in our history.
The Commission consists of thirteen members appointed by the County Executive (both the current and the former county executive) and confirmed by the County Council. The Commission is diverse in race, age, knowledge, experience, and talent. The majority of the commissioners served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States defending this nation at home and abroad, during peacetime and during wartime. Several commissioners are veterans of combat operations and two black commissioners were wounded in combat. Two of our commissioners have served as police officers beyond their military service, and all of our African American commissioners, along with other members of minority ethnic groups, report that in their careers they were aware of or personally experienced discrimination and disparities while serving in the United States Armed Forces, and in their years following their separation from the military.
The Commission wants the community to know that we expect fair and equal treatment for our veterans, their families, and all citizens. We support and need our police, and we believe that the vast majority of police officers exercise their duties fairly and without bias. The Commission condemns police violence, overt or subtle discrimination against all minorities, and longstanding systemic discrimination. The Commission supports the right to protest peacefully and condemns violent protests. The Commission prides itself on its record of providing support and assistance to Howard County’s veterans and their families, and it is committed to continuing its vital mission during these trying times.
Those who do not think that this country has a race problem either are not knowledgeable or are not concerned if it does not directly affect them. Regrettably, most of that segment of society is probably not likely to ever change their prejudices and attitudes in their lifetimes.
To this end, the Commission pledges to work in researching and developing an understanding of matters of racial inequity, particularly as they impact Howard County veterans of color. These matters include cultures and systems designed to ensure access to equal employment, equal wages, and fair housing opportunities. If inequities or disparities are found by the committee, it will make findings and recommendations to the Commission to initiate needed changes for tangible improvements through the appropriate forum.
There are some hard facts that Americans must acknowledge and address. Many say that the United States of America is in crisis and at a turning point in its history with respect to finally addressing race in America and remedying racism and racial injustice -- not just in matters involving the police, but also in the systemic discrimination that exists and has always existed in this country.
America’s “great experiment in democracy” appears to be in serious jeopardy, and members of the Howard County Commission for Veterans and Military Families intend to do our part to help the country realize its greatest potential.
Click above for information and resources on the Department of Veterans Affairs response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Office of Veterans and Military Families recognizes the growing needs of the more than 20,000 veterans who call Howard County home. Our office provides guidance, information and access to Howard County veterans, military families, their dependents and survivors; promotes activities that serve veterans of all ages; and collaborates with other service providers to address more complex issues. With the various programs and services offered within our government, nonprofit and business community, we assist in the navigation of available resources. The Department of Community Resources and Services “No Wrong Door” policy can help identify scams targeting military members, assist a disabled veteran or veteran caregiver with services, help a homeless veteran find housing, and assist a relocating military family with childcare options. If you need assistance, please reach out to the Howard County Office of Veterans and Military Families at 410-313-0821 or email@example.com.
Resources for Veterans and Military Families and Community Members During COVID-19