Travis Garcia, Laz Piniero, Richard Giannotti (me) visit the MDVA during our pre season workouts heading into the 2011 Atlantic League Season.
The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs was created by the state legislature in 1999 as an executive agency with the mission of assisting veterans, active duty service members, their families, and their dependents in securing benefits earned through military service. The Department’s origin follows the history of the Maryland Veterans Commission back to 1924, when the Soldiers' Relief Fund Commission was formed to administer a State relief fund for disabled veterans of World War I.
Sometimes it's tough to see first hand the toll a life in the military takes on a person and sometimes we even avoid acknowledging the existence of the places where these heroes come to get much needed assisted living. But when you take the time to sit back and listen, there is much to learn and appreciate for the jobs these men and women did for our country.
The four story facility in Charlotte Hall, MD is divided into different levels as each one depicts the level of security and care depending on the severity of the residents. I was fortunate to meet a few characters that had me laughing the entire time I was with them. Though he may never get the chance to read this, Bernie, had me in stitches talking about life growing up in Baltimore, the things he did to get under his drill sergeants skin and the number of others times he got in trouble while being at the Veterans Home.
I highly recommend for everybody to check out one of these facilities, they're located all around the United States. Not only was it eye-opening and educating, it was great for these residents to reconnect with the youth that will soon drive this country as they once did.