Officials participate in ribbon-cutting, memorialization for Stone Dental Clinic
February 10, 2010
By Kate Agresti
- Officials participate in ribbon-cutting, memorialization for Stone Dental Clinic
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Staff, dignitaries and friends of the Fort Drum Dental Activity gathered for an official ribbon-cutting and memorialization ceremony Feb. 4 at the newly dedicated Stone Dental Clinic on Enduring Freedom Drive.
Distinguished guests included Col. Kenneth H. Riddle, Fort Drum garrison commander; Col. Priscilla Hamilton, commander, North Atlantic Regional Dental Command; Col. Dan Reese, Dental Command chief of staff, and retired Col. John Storz, former Fort Drum DENTAC commander and DENCOM Human Resources Command quality assurance officer; and Lt. Col. Troy Walker, North Atlantic project manager for Health Facilities Planning Agency.
Col. Roger S. Fiedler, DENTAC commander, welcomed guests to the event and then introduced Riddle, who addressed Soldiers, Family Members, civilians and dignitaries gathered before him.
"This brand new 18,400-square-foot, 24-chair dental clinic is but a brick and mortar
representation of our country's commitment to taking care of those who defend our freedoms," he said. "We enjoy a very strong and healthy partnership (with) all our tenant units here on Fort Drum. This partnership allows us to answer and respond to the needs of our customers. This beautiful new facility is one such example of how the Fort Drum Garrison, Dental Command and Corps of Engineers responded to our customers' needs and desires.
"We are all about improving the quality of life for our Soldiers, Families and civilians at Fort Drum. Providing a first-class dental clinic, where civilians and military are proud to go to work and Soldiers are well taken care of, is one way we can improve that quality of life."
Riddle thanked the organizations and individuals "who made it happen": the U.S. Army Dental Corps, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency, Department of Public Works, MEDDAC Logistics' Facility Management Branch, Medical Equipment Management Branch, Warehouse Section and Housekeeping.
Fiedler spoke next, explaining that the grand opening and memorialization served to honor the memory and accomplishments of Col. Frank Powell Stone, who as an Army Dental Corps contract dental surgeon never gave up his dream of becoming an Army dental surgeon. His first attempt was denied, based on "not being physically qualified for employment." Three years later, he passed the physical examination and reapplied to the Army.
Eventually, he was successful and signed his oath of office on June 28, 1911, as a first lieutenant and Army dental surgeon. His career encompassed various assignments, including being a division dental surgeon, deploying to France and becoming the eighth chief of the Army Dental Corps.
Stone served as chief until his retirement in May 1938. He was the last of the original 30 contract dental surgeons.
"What stands out about Col. Stone," Fiedler said, "was his determination and persistence in the face of adversity. He never gave up on his goals and fought hard for what he wanted - to serve in the Army as a dentist. His efforts and determination resulted in him obtaining the highest position possible, which is deserving of this recognition and memorialization."
Following remarks, Fiedler invited the NARDC, DENCOM, Fort Drum Garrison and Health Facility Planning Office dignitaries to join him for the official ribbon-cutting. He then asked the same individuals to participate in the unveiling of a portrait and plaque honoring Stone, while DENTAC Soldier of the Year, Sgt. Natashia Medlock, and NCO of the Year, Cpl. Tommy Ross, proceeded outside to uncover the sign to identify the Stone Dental Clinic.
Adding to the festivity of the event was the 10th Mountain Division Band Brass Quintet performing a variety of upbeat selections before and during the ceremony, as well as an open house and self-guided tour following the dedication for those in attendance.