The Office of Veterans and Military Families recognizes the growing needs of the more than 20,000 veterans who call Howard County home. 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.


Howard County Fallen Heroes Tribute

Fallen Heroes Tribute logo

To honor Howard County residents who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, the Office of Veteran and Military Families is proud to announce the creation of the Fallen Heroes Tribute page. Please use the form below to share stories of valor which will be highlighted on a future webpage.  

Fallen Heroes Submission Form

Fallen Heroes Tribute Webpage

Howard County Veterans Monument Receives $400K in County and State Funding

Howard County Veterans Foundation is currently raising funds to establish Howard County’s first permanent monument to honor America’s service men and women as well as their families. 

This historic project will be prominently located near the lakefront in downtown Columbia on land donated by the Howard Hughes Corporation. The Howard County Veterans Monument will provide a meaningful space for reflection, connection, and a renewed appreciation for the value of freedom, with benefits that include:

  • Easy, year-round access
  • Picturesque location for gatherings
  • Close proximity to popular Howard County attractions

The  Courage, Conviction and Sacrifice of our country's veterans and their families will be felt forever. For more information about the annual Veterans Day Parade and monument, visit howardcountyveterans.org


Commission for Veterans and Military Families

Established in 2011 by County legislation, the Commission is comprised of 13 members, and created to support veterans and military families by strengthening Howard County’s capacity to care for them. By connecting them to available resources, promoting educational and employment opportunities, and continuing community outreach efforts, we are committed to honoring our veteran and military families.

Learn More

Resources & Programs
COVID-19 Resources

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides information and resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Veteran Benefits Support


For VA Benefit Support:

Andrew Rutherford

MDVA Veteran Benefit Specialist

9900 Washington Blvd N, Laurel, MD 20723

[email protected]


Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs

Baltimore VA Medical Benefits Guide

ChampVA Fact Sheet

Maryland Dept of  Veteran Affairs Resource Guide

Mesothelioma Veterans Center

Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax

Veteran Tax Credits

Howard County 50+ Tax Credits

VA Community Care  - VA provides health care for Veterans from providers in your local community outside of VA. (formerly VA Choice Program)

VA Disability Pension Benefits 

VA Death Benefits 

Veterans Resource Directory

The Veterans and Military Families Resource Directory provides a comprehensive list of services providing specialized support for veterans in education, healthcare, recreation, housing, behavioral health, job training, VA benefits, and more.  

Veteran Small Business Support

Veteran-Owned Small Business Registration (VetBiz) - Every year, the U.S. Federal Government allocates $500 billion for contracts. They also have the goal of spending 3% of this sum on service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). When opportunities designated to these set-asides are posted, you will get moved to the front of the line for bidding. Although not a set-aside, the veteran-owned small business (VOSB) certification has its own array of benefits. This includes access to resources offered by the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). This includes exclusive funding opportunities and entrepreneurship training programs.

If you are a veteran business owner, registering in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) is one of the best investments you can make. 

Simple steps for achieving your VA Veteran Owned Business Verification (Assoc of Procurement Technical Assistance)

The National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) trains veteran service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses to succeed in the federal contracting market. VIP provides comprehensive training to owners, principals, and c-level executives of veteran-owned businesses nationwide over a 27-hour, 3-day period, residential program at no cost to veterans. The program takes place at the Bolger Center in Potomac Maryland. Enrollment is open for VIP START (designed for companies wanting to enter the federal market and become procurementready) and VIP GROW (designed for veteran owned businesses who are already in the federal space to increase their ability to win government contracts). 

Maryland Department of Commerce, the state's primary economic development agency, stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. Commerce also promotes the state's many commercial advantages and its outstanding quality of life to spur economic development, international investment, trade and tourism. https://commerce.maryland.gov/

Maryland Business Resources

Military Personnel and Veteran-owned Small Business Loan Program (MPVSBLP) provides no interest loans of up to $50,000, from one to eight years, for businesses owned by military reservists, veterans, National Guard personnel and for small businesses that employ or are owned by such persons.

The Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MDPTAC) provides counseling to MD businesses, a state with over 580,000 businesses of all sizes, in the government contracting area.

The State's Veteran Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE)  provides contracting opportunities on state-funded procurements for qualified veteran-owned small businesses. Sixty-five agencies/departments are directed to spend at least 1% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts either directly (prime contractors) or indirectly (subcontractors) with certified VSBE firms. Only the work of a certified VSBE firm can be counted toward meeting an established VSBE contract goal. All solicitations over $200,000 are reviewed to consider placing a VSBE goal on them. https://veterans.maryland.gov/veteran-owned-small-business/ Businesses seeking to participate in the VSBE Program must (1) meet the size standards adopted by the United States Small Business Administration in 13 C.F.R. 121.201 and any subsequent revision of that regulation, and; (2) must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are veterans. A veteran is defined as an individual who is verified as having served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Businesses seeking to participate in the VSBE Program must (1) meet the size standards adopted by the United States Small Business Administration in 13 C.F.R. 121.201 and any subsequent revision of that regulation, and; (2) must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are veterans. A veteran is defined as an individual who is verified as having served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Certification as a VSBE vendor requires 2 elements:

(1) Veteran Verification – The veteran verification process includes, but may not be limited to completion and submission of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Veteran status must be verified by one of the following entities: (1) VSBE Program Verification of Veteran Status Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (2) Center for Validation and Evaluation (VetBiz) United States Department of Veterans Affairs Complete information regarding the verification process can be found by utilizing the website links provided above.

(2) Vendor Registration – VSBE firms must complete the vendor registration in eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), Maryland’s eProcurement platform. Vendors registered in eMMA receive email notices of procurement opportunities available across all state agencies/departments valued over $15,000. County and local governments use the platform to advertise their procurements as well. There is no cost to register in eMMA. During the registration process, vendors who meet the VSBE Program ‘s eligibility standards should select VSBE under the Procurement Programs category and enter your verification number in the box provided. If you do not have a verification number at the time you register as a vendor, you can update your vendor profile once you receive the number.

Your business may also qualify for procurement opportunities through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) https://gomdsmallbiz.maryland.gov/Pages/sbr-Program.aspx or/and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Programs https://gomdsmallbiz.maryland.gov/Pages/mbe-Program.aspx

Howard County Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Program (VOBE) which includes an overall aspirational goal of 1% of the County’s total dollar value of procurement contracts to be made directly or indirectly with Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises. For the purposes of the Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Program, a Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (VOBE) is defined as a business enterprise that is verified by the Center for Verification and Evaluation of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise. Here are different ways to find out about the current open procurement opportunities in the County:

County Website - You can check Bid opportunities by following this link on the County website: 

Register Online - PlanetBids Vendor Portal - On the above link in #1, you will also find information on the PlanetBids (PB System) - The County has implemented a web-based procurement system hosted by PlanetBids (PB System), provided at no cost to all interested businesses. The PB System allows suppliers to self-register online and to receive automated email notifications of solicitations for goods and services pertinent to their business. The PB System allows registered suppliers to download bid documents, receive addenda, submit electronic bids, and view bid results.

eMaryland Marketplace (State Portal) - You can also register on the State of Maryland portal eMaryland Marketplace for notifications http://procurement.maryland.gov/ Maryland conducts the majority of its procurements through eMaryland Marketplace, the online procurement system that is a business tool to provide vendors with easy access to State procurement information. Vendors have the ability to:

  • Receive notice of bid opportunities
  • Search for contracting opportunities
  • Submit bids electronically
  • Obtain bid results online

Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) - provides business support through financing, Howard County Tech Council, catalyst fund loans, workforce and local business initiative. http://www.hceda.org/business-support/

  • Maryland Innovation Center (MIC) - Entrepreneurs need a place to call home, a community to grow in, and resources to take their business to the next level. Whether you are looking to become a resident company with an office or take advantage of our facilities and services through an affiliation membership, we can connect you with the resources you need to start and grow.
  • Business Resource Center - Nontechnical, services-based companies, or businesses that are too early for the incubator can still get support and assistance through the Business Resource Center. The BRC provides experienced guidance and information to help companies start and grow.
  • The Business Revitalization Initiative Through Entrepreneurship program (BRITE) accelerates the journey from innovation through commercialization. From mentoring to marketing, product development to pitching, BRITE provides early stage startups in Howard County with direct pathways to entrepreneurial success.
  • Catalyst Loan Fund  provides access to capital to growth-oriented businesses that are in pre-banking stage. It helps businesses to bridge gaps in existing/available funding options. Loan funds can be used for normal business uses such as working capital, equipment, real estate, franchise fees ad inventory purposes. 
  • Cyber Resources

Project Opportunity is a free entrepreneurship training program which has been designed solely for veterans who want to start their own business. The prerequisite for veterans who wish to be considered to participate is they must have a solid idea of what business venture they want to start because the course is designed to develop and complete a comprehensive business plan instead of just exploring the possibility of entrepreneurship. The program is a 10 week (30 hour) intensive course designed to prepare participants to research and complete a business plan. We utilize the NxLevel Curriculum which is a nationally recognized entrepreneurship training program and supplement the course material with presentations by subject matter experts in topics such as Marketing Plans, Cash Flow Analysis, the 5 C’s of Credit, Commercial Insurance, both a tax based and legal based review of the four business entities, Crowd funding, Web Site Design, and procurement opportunities on the state and federal levels for veteran owned businesses. 

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University is committed to supporting veterans and their families as they navigate their entrepreneurial journey. For more than a decade, the IVMF has served over 120,000 veterans and we are just getting started. Arm yourself for entrepreneurship success with the IVMF’s ARSENAL of programs.

Military-Connected Academic and Behavioral Health Resources for Teachers, Counselors and Parents

Military-Connected Teacher/Counselor/Parent Resources

Military kids face unique stresses and challenges—from frequent moves to parent deployments—that can place them at greater risk for academic struggles. Studies show that educators who understand these issues can create a welcoming environment for these students. Below is a list of resources for you to assist your military-connected students and their families.


Growing the Military Child Brochure – is a Fort Meade-based resource guide for teachers to assist service members and their families in finding the guidance and support they need to connect with their new school and community.  Fort Meade’s Military School Liaison serves as the primary contact for school-related matters and would welcome the opportunity to forge partnerships between the military and schools supporting families with a service member stationed at Fort Meade. 

The Military Child Education Coalition - This organization provides training and resources to aid in developing support systems for military children and youth within the public school system. They have a wide variety of outstanding resources that view military children issues from the Guard and Reserve perspective as well as that of the active duty families. 

MCEC has developed a series of 8 TedEd interactive lessons designed to support youth-serving professionals, parents, and highly mobile military and civilian students to become college and career ready. Each lesson includes a short video, an in-depth content area, discussion forum and brief assessment of understanding.

Military Impacted Schools Association - Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA) is a national organization representing school districts that serve high concentrations of military children. The organization works to provide a continuum of quality education for all military children. MISA works on funding (Impact Aid) legislation, partnerships, and programs for military families. 

Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission – (MIC3) website is designed to better inform the public about the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunities for Military Children and serve the needs of the families of our service men and women. The Compact seeks to make transition easier for the children of military families so that they are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their educational goals.

The Compact provides for the uniform treatment of military children transferring between school districts and states. It was developed by The Council of State Governments' National Center for Interstate Compacts, the Department of Defense, national associations, federal and state officials, the Department of Education of each state, school administrators and military families. 


The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for

individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice. 

Exceptional Family Member Program (Ft. Meade) - EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to Families with special needs. 

Learning Disabilities Online - LD Online is the leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD. Parents and teachers of learning disabled children will find helpful articles, multimedia, expert articles, a comprehensive resource guide, and a referral directory for professionals and schools. 


Childcare – Get help finding and paying for childcare. Army fee assistance is available through Childcare Aware.  

Fort Meade Resiliency Resources – Employment, education, financial, legal, behavioral health, spiritual, housing and more. 

Free Homework Help for Military Children - Tutor.com for U.S. Military Families provides free, personalized 24/7 online academic support to military-connected children. This Department of Defense-funded program is provided at no cost to grades K-12 children in National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty military families, regardless of the service member’s deployment status. 800-411-1970

Free Spirit Books - kid-friendly information that addresses the real-life issues students face. 


American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces - offers support to Military Members, Veterans, DOD, and their families in times of emergency and times of need. This includes our 24/7/365 emergency call service, our casework and referral services, resiliency training, and volunteers in Medical Treatment Facilities on bases worldwide. 

Coaching Into Care - provides assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage their veteran to seek health care for possible readjustment and mental health issues. 888-823-7458  

FOCUS World - is an interactive, online educational tool that helps military families become stronger in the face of challenges by providing both parents and kids a fun place to learn and practice important skills, such as emotional regulation – understanding and managing feelings; goal setting – working together as a family to achieve something important to you; communication - listening and responding to each other’s concerns, including those related to deployment and reintegration. 

Give An Hour - Provides free mental health services for individuals who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families. 

HeadSpace - is a meditation and mindfulness app that helps you live a healthier, happier, more well-rested life. Blue Star Family members may receive for free.

Maryland’s Commitment to Veterans - MCV is a Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) program devoted to total wellness for veterans and their families. Regional resource coordinators provide assistance to veterans and their families to support a healthy transition to civilian life. With support from the DHMH’s Behavioral Health Administration, MCV provides a solid connection to wellness services, with an emphasis on mental health and substance use disorder services. [email protected] or 877-770-4801  

Military Kids Connect – Ready to go lesson plans to use in the classroom on core curriculum subjects, character education and world cultures and is broken down into 3 age groups. Learn about military culture, helping students cope, etc. and hear experienced educators talk about their work with military students. An online community for military kids, Military Kids Speak Out, allows kids to de-stress and connect with other military kids their age. 

Military One Source - Designed to help with life's issues, this is a 24/7 site that is rich with resources on almost any topic. They can locate counseling services that will provide 6 free sessions per issue and will also provide a one hour session assisting with applications for your college bound student. They provide a tremendous variety of free written and audio visual material.

Mind Yeti - Guided mindfulness sessions to help kids calm down, focus their attention, and get ready for whatever’s next.  

National Center for Telehealth & Technology (t2health)a leader mobile health and telehealth solutions that delivers psychological health and traumatic brain injury care and support to our nation’s warriors, veterans and their families. Download the Military Culture Educator Training Kit

Pro Bono Counseling - Offers counseling services to service members and their families. Clinicians are trained on the unique needs of military culture. 410-825-1001  or  877-323-5800

Serving Together Project - Affiliated with AmericaServes is a coordinated network of public, private and nonprofit organizations serving veterans, service members and their families in the Washington DC area. ServingTogether uses technology and its partner network to guide veterans, service members and their families to the most appropriate services and resources available. 855-738-7176

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals - provides high-quality, accessible, and integrated behavioral health care to veterans and their families or caregivers. No or low-cost services are available to any person who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, regardless of role or discharge status. They will also help connect veteran families to community resources and services, as necessary.

The Cohen Clinic uses evidence-based practices with a holistic approach to improve the quality of life for veterans and their families. Services are provided by trained and credentialed staff. Veterans and their family members are able to receive services individually and as a family unit at the same place with the same treatment team. Silver Spring, MD  240- 847-7500  or [email protected]       

STOMP – Specialized Training of Military Parents - is the only National Parent Training and Information Center for military families providing support and advice to military families with individuals with disabilities without regard of the type of medical condition their child has.

Teen Central - is a website powered by KidsPeace as a free and safe prevention and intervention resource specifically for youth seeking information on a variety of topics. Teens can also submit a story or post about any crisis, problem or situation they are struggling with and receive a therapeutic support response within 24 hours, safely, anonymously, and free of charge.   

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) – provides a number of resources and programs for survivors, to include seminars, youth programs, retreats, expeditions,  Inner Warrior, peer mentors, suicide loss survivor program, teams4taps, online community and care groups.  

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program - is a veteran's reintegration program to provide National Guard and Reserve members and their families with sufficient information, services, referral, and proactive outreach opportunities throughout the entire deployment cycle. Members and their families should contact the person within their unit responsible for the program. 866-504-7092 






Veteran Service Organizations

American Legion: Ellicott City Post 156

P.O. Box 2416, Ellicott City, MD 21041

410-340-7892 • www.legionpost156maryland.org

Contact Michael Blum at [email protected]

Since its charter in 1974, Adams, Hanna, Moore Memorial Post 156 has been welcoming veterans from all branches of our Armed Forces. Joining Post 156 enables you to continue serving your God, country and community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace and blessings for our country, friends and families embodied in our preamble. Some of our programs include Boy Scout Venturing Crew in marksmanship, Boy Scout shotgun merit badge sponsorship, Flag Retirement program, Vets-in-School program, Boys State/Girls State sponsorship program, Veterans Day Parade, Annual First Responder Recognition and JROTC award program.


American Legion: Columbia Post 300

9405 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD 21046

410-997-3863 • www.americanlegionpost300.com

Contact [email protected]


Marine Corps League, Detachment 1084

P.O. Box 2416, Ellicott City, MD 21041

410-340-7892 • www.hcmcl.iwarp.com

Contact Bill Swain at [email protected]

Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps. This is accomplished by banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service; voluntarily aiding and rendering

assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans; and by perpetuating the history of the United States Marine Corps through fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.


Veterans of Foreign Wars

Yingling-Ridgley Post No. 7472

4225 VFW Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21043-5428

410-465-4240 • www.vfw7472.org

Contact Shelby Rogers at [email protected]

VFW aims to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts; serve our veterans, the military and our communities; and advocate on behalf of all veterans.

NAMI Veteran Connections Peer Support Group

Presented by NAMI Howard County, this is a FREE online, peer-led support group for Veterans living with mental illness. It is held virtually on the first Monday of each month. View the flier below for details.


Lisa Terry

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