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State and Community Programs and Services
Military Affairs Committee
The West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee (MAC) has been established to encourage and maintain relationships between the West County community and its military neighbors, particularly Fort George G. Meade and the National Security Agency. Initiatives are expected to include, but not be limited to, financial support to military groups that need assistance, collecting goods for care packages, helping Military Welfare and Recreation with activities they currently provide for Troops and their Families, and holding quarterly welcome cookouts for those who have recently moved to the area. The West (Anne Arundel) County Rotary has elected to partner with the MAC for their annual fall fundraiser, with funds to be dedicated to providing support to Troops and their Families in need. The MAC is particularly looking at projects focused on Wounded Warriors, deployed service members, and Family Readiness Groups.
Baysox Army Night
For four years, the Bowie Baysox, Class AA Minor League Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, has hosted an Army Night to honor Soldiers and their Families. The team provides 5,000 free general admission tickets offered to Active, Guard, Reserve, and retired Soldiers and their Families. Pre-game festivities include a kid's park as well as ceremonies honoring the Army. For more information call (301) 464-4865 or visit www.baysox.com/news.
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
The Maryland National Guard Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a community based program providing education, assistance, and referrals to Service Members and Families throughout deployment cycles. The objective is for every Maryland National Guard combat veteran and their Family to be able to successfully cope with the effects of combat operational stress as they reintegrate into their civilian community. Maryland communities with a National Guard armory are trained to help combat veterans and families successfully deal with the effects of combat operational stress. Under the Governor's leadership, a coalition of federal, state, county, and local agencies are networked to assist combat veterans and their Families. Participating coalition partners have a high level of credentials with advanced degrees and professional certifications in behavioral health and other disciplines.
Partners in Care
A consortium of Maryland churches and church groups (individually and collectively) called "Partners in Care" match returning Soldiers with religious congregations who want to provide services ranging from child care and home repairs to marriage and financial counseling. This is being done through the Maryland Army National Guard Chaplain's office. An example of the volunteer efforts is the First Christian Church of Havre de Grace who helped furnish an empty apartment and buy children's clothes for a single mother with three children when she returned from Iraq. The program is only for troops who do not have a prior affiliation with a congregation. Troops interested in receiving the services are assigned to a congregation that is geographically closest to the veteran's residence. www.md.ngb.army.mil
Homefront Challenge is a week-long camp offering a variety of activities to Maryland National Guard youth ages 7-12. Community based organizations such as Johns Hopkins Health Care System take an active role in providing adult counselors and resources to make this an eventful experience for Military youth.
Washington Nationals Baseball Team
The Nationals offer reduced priced tickets for Armed Forces members and hosts an annual Military appreciation night which honors Service Members and recognizes their sacrifices. For more information call (202) 675-6287 or visit www.militaryappreciation.com.
Military Spouse Residency Relief Act
On November 11, 2009, the President signed into law the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act. This Act, among other things, provides that when a service member leaves his or her home State in accord with military or naval orders, the service member's spouse may retain residency in his or her home State for voting and tax purposes, after relocating from that State to accompany the service member. In the State of Maryland an exemption from Maryland withholding tax may be claimed if an employees spouse is a member of the US Armed Services and their state of legal residence is not Maryland. For more information visit http://individuals.marylandtaxes.com.