American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan Visits South Carolina Veterans
American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan Visits South Carolina Veterans

 Written by Tracy LaPointe, SCDMH Office of Public Affairs

Monday, March 5, 2018 was an especially celebratory day at CM Tucker Nursing Care Center’s E. Roy Stone Pavilion, as American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan made an official visit to the facility to meet with residents, their families, and staff.

Upon arrival, Stone Administrator Robert Morgan and QA/PI Director Michele Dreher greeted Rohan and her entourage. After a brief introduction by Morgan, she went immediately to what is clearly most important to her, visiting with the veterans. As she moved through the crowd of residents gathered in Stone’s dining room, the commander made a point to greet each veteran and his family, ask him about his service, and personally thank him for it. When she had done so, Rohan visited with those residents who were unable to get to the dining room. “As national commander of America’s largest wartime veteran organization, [Rohan] is very concerned with veterans’ affairs and rehabilitation,” said Nick Diener, department adjutant of the American Legion of South Carolina. Residents enjoyed speaking with her and were very open about their shared experiences.

The visit to Stone was also especially poignant for the Delegation, as its namesake, E. Roy Stone, Jr., was South Carolina’s only national commander of the American Legion. Stone (1912-2001), a WWII Navy veteran nicknamed “Mr. Veteran” and “Mr. Legionnaire”, was a distinguished member of the organization and served on numerous national Legion committees. Upon his return to South Carolina following his service in WWII, Stone found many GIs waiting for nursing care beds and worked tirelessly to establish nursing homes for veterans. His dedication to improving the lives of those who have served our country resulted the facility, opened April 1, 1971, bearing his name.

American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan with Roy E. Stone, Jr.'s portrait.
American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan with E. Roy  Stone, Jr.'s portrait

After making time for every single veteran in the hall, Rohan toured Stone with leadership and took part in a reception. She noted that it was clear that the residents are well cared for, the staff are very caring, and was impressed with not only the services provided but also the building and grounds. “Having Commander Rohan visit our residents was a great honor and meant a lot to our veterans,” said Morgan.

Stone Pavilion, one of the SC Department of Mental Health’s three veterans’ nursing homes, provides long-term nursing care for South Carolina veterans and is certified by the Veterans Administration (VA). Residents are admitted from across the state, referred by the VA, hospitals, family members, service agencies, and other nursing homes. Both Stone and Roddey Pavilions, which comprise the Tucker Nursing Care Center, are nationally accredited by the Joint Commission and represent two of 10 Nursing homes in South Carolina with this distinction. Likewise, both are licensed by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. E. Roy Stone Pavilion boasts a 4-Star rating from the latter.