For 24/7 counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at 988, Press 1. You may also call the Florida Veterans Support Line at 1-844-MyFLVet (1-844-693-5838) or dial 211.


New State Veterans’ Nursing Home Begins Construction

March 23, 2018

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott and Senate President Joe Negron joined civic, community and veteran leaders in the Port St. Lucie community of Tradition on March 20, 2018 for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new 120-bed Ardie R. Copas State Veterans’ Nursing Home.

“I was proud to attend today’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Ardie R. Copas State Veterans’ Nursing Home, which will provide our veterans and their families with the support and services they need and deserve,” said Governor Scott. “As a Navy veteran myself, I have worked every day to make Florida the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation. We must do everything we can to support our military and their families.”

Florida’s newest state veterans’ nursing home is named in honor of a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War — Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County native Sergeant Ardie R. Copas, who was killed in Cambodia in May 1970. Members of the Copas family participated in the groundbreaking, honoring their loved one.

The veterans’ home will feature a total of 120 beds in two neighborhoods each consisting of three houses of 20 beds. One neighborhood of 60 beds will be devoted to residents with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. Most residences are two-person semi-private rooms, with separate living areas and a shared bathroom. Included in the overall design are six bariatric rooms and six private rooms.

Officials hope to complete the home in 20-24 months. Once opened, approximately 175 health care, food service, maintenance and administrative staff will oversee the skilled nursing facility.

Information on hiring of staff and admission of residents will be released in the months leading to the opening.

The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs operates six award-winning veterans’ nursing homes in Daytona Beach, Land O’ Lakes, Pembroke Pines, Panama City, Port Charlotte and St. Augustine and one veterans’ assisted living facility in Lake City.

For additional images and video from the groundbreaking ceremony, visit the St. Lucie County website at

copas groundbreaking