Dear Prince Georgians,
We are excited to share that last week we celebrated Women Veterans Week for the first time ever in Prince George’s County! During the month of March, the nation joins together to celebrate Women’s History Month to honor the achievements of women and promote the many contributions women have made to strengthen our County and nation. We celebrate the stories of women who have made our communities better, and this year we wanted to take the time to recognize the service of women in the United States military.
This recognition of our women veterans has been long overdue. Women have been significant contributors to our nation’s national security for a long time, and now represent the fastest-growing population in both military service and the veteran community. Women veterans make up ten percent of veterans nationwide, and an even greater percentage of veterans in our community.
Prince George’s County is home to the largest veterans population in the State, and of the approximately 60,000 veterans that call our County home, more than 10,000 of them are women. Each of these women have a unique experience and story to tell, but all of them are connected through their extraordinary service to this country. We were proud to set aside a week in Women’s History Month to celebrate our women veterans and lift them up.
We recognize that our veterans face many challenges as they attempt to transition back to civilian life, and we remain committed to supporting them and helping ease this transition. That is why in 2019, my administration launched the Prince George’s County Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA), becoming the first jurisdiction in the State of Maryland to have an office solely dedicated to supporting local veterans.
The OVA is a one-stop resource center dedicated to serving veterans and their family members. In collaboration with our Commission for Veterans, which works to develop and promote new and existing programs and services for veterans and their families within our County, the OVA assists our veterans in important areas such as housing, health care, financial literacy, employment, business development, re-entry support, and so much more.
In addition to the OVA, we also want to applaud the work of the Housing Authority of Prince George’s County, who hosted several Meet and Lease Events last fall to provide housing to our most vulnerable populations, including homeless veterans, families, and seniors, after receiving additional emergency housing choice vouchers to assist those in need.
We are proud of the special work these agencies and organizations do to help our veterans enjoy the resources they deserve after committing themselves to defending the freedoms we all enjoy. We want to thank them for all that they do for our residents.
We also want to take this opportunity to share with you that the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) will be hosting two major exhibits that showcase stories of the military service of veterans. The first exhibit is a national touring display called “The Color of Freedom: Honoring the Diversity of America’s Servicewomen,” which will tour three library branches, beginning mid-April through May. The second exhibit “In Freedom’s Name,” honors the military service of Marylanders throughout U.S. history, like Yeoman Sarah Davis, a native of Oxon Hill, who served in the Navy during World War I. It will be on display at various locations through July. We encourage you to visit the PGCMLS website to learn more about these upcoming touring exhibits.
It cannot be said enough how grateful we are for the service of our veterans. To our women veterans who sacrificed for our safety both here at home and abroad, your stories matter to us, and we are eternally grateful. Thank you for your service to our County and our nation.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
See the Community Connections Newsletter for more information about Veterans Support Programs in Prince George’s County.