ROSEMOUNT, MN, USA
CPL, COMPANY C, 3D BATTALION, 75TH RANGER, FORT BENNING, GA
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES 07/18/2009
Ben was a great kid with a sense of humor and goofiness that I will really miss. We laughed at the same things and could crack each other up. He was committed to his family and his friends and respected the hell out of anyone he thought deserved to be. This includes me. Ben and I were very close. We considered each other friends and shared advice on matters of the heart. I raised him as a single parent and he was my only child. I taught him to make independent decisions and he clearly had a strong sense of direction. He liked to be challenged and found the most success when anything was presented as such.
He never backed down from anything he put himself up against. This is how he came to be an Army Ranger and to gain the love and respect of the brothers in arms of the 3/75th. Ben would do anything for anybody. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that no less than SIX guys have told me Ben was their best friend AND no less than three girls told me they wanted to marry him! He was never afraid to tell me he loved me and thanked me for being such a good mom.
The last time I saw him was Mother’s Day weekend and he gave me the nicest card he ever had. He included a lengthy hand written note about how much I meant to him and ended it with a P.S. that said ” The world needs more mom’s like you.” So, Ben was loved and admired by all who knew him and he told the people that were important to him that they were. There’s no question in my mind why his soul belongs in God’s Beautiful Heaven………………..his was a beautiful, loving soul who shared so much in 21 years. I am honored to have been chosen to be his mother and to keep his legacy of love alive and well in the hearts of all.
Hero Soldier’s Heart Keeps Giving
Ben Kopp died July 18. He was buried Friday in Arlington National Cemetery. However, Kopp’s heroics didn’t end in Afghanistan. Even in death, he has continued to save lives. Kopp designated himself an organ donor on his driver’s license. Jill Stephenson, Ben’s mother said on “The Early Show” Monday her son talked with her about organ donation when he turned 21 in January.
“There wasn’t any question about it,” she said. “He’d had it (authorization to harvest his organs) on his license in the past.”And now, because of his choice, people such as Judy Meikle, of Chicago, have another chance at life. As many as 75 lives may be saved, prolonged or enriched due to transplants of his organs, tissue and bones.
Meikle said, “I kind of refer to Ben in the third-person, as my heart now.” Meikle, 57, who was the picture of health until last fall, woke up and couldn’t breathe.
Stephenson mother heard about Meikle’s plight from Stephenson’s cousin, who knew Meikle, and knew Ben’s sacrifice would be Meikle’s salvation.
Stephenson said, “To experience that joy along with my sorrow — that’s got to be what a miracle feels like.”
And Meikle says it’s a matter of generosity that she was designated by Stephenson as the heart recipient.”I don’t think there can be a better tribute to Jill’s generosity and Ben’s — literally in my case — Ben’s big brave heart, than to have his heart keep beating inside me.”