New “Veterans” Nursing Home Opens In Port St. Lucie!

As the nation continues to mourn the loss of our troops in Afghanistan, closer to home in St. Lucie County, elderly veterans are not being forgotten.

Dozens attended Friday’s open house and flag-raising ceremony for the brand new state veterans’ nursing home in the city of Port St. Lucie.

The facility is named for a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War and a Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County native, Sgt. Ardie R. Copas.

His daughter, Shyrell Copas, was proud and touched.

“Just happy, sad, so many emotions all at once,” Copas said. “An amazing way to remember my dad forever.”

For veterans like Andrew Laney, the event was even more special, happening just a day after losing at least 13 service members in Afghanistan.

“Our disabled veterans can come here,” Laney said. “Obviously, (it is named) after a Medal of Honor veteran who gave the ultimate sacrifice just as our marines died yesterday so it does bring it full circle.”

He feels for the families who lost loved ones.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Laney said. “Our guys go out and they do what they do to try to pull people out safely and this happens it’s heartbreaking.”

Veteran Thomas Grinels agrees.

“Let’s hope that our nation stands for those who stood for us,” Grinels said.

Congressman Brian Mast was also in attendance and also remembering those taken away from us.

“We’ve seen just as recently as yesterday and today the sacrifices that our service members make,” Mast said.

Al Carter, the chief of staff for the Florida Department of Veterans affairs, worked on the project.

“This building is just a testament to how much we love our veterans,” Carter said.

He also shared his feelings about what’s happening in Afghanistan.

“The only thing I’ll say is that we have to continue to work together to get our veterans and our civilians back home and get them home safely and get them home quickly,” Carter said.