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Benjamin Stephen Kopp
Corporal, United States Army
Minnesota State Flag
U.S. Department of Defense Seal

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 535-09
July 20, 2009

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp, 21, of Rosemount, Minnesota, died July 18, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington of wounds suffered July 10, 2009, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georia.

For more information, contact the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at (910) 432-6005.



16 July 2006:

Ben Kopp has been a fighter since the day he was born. Right now he’s in a fight for his life.

The 2006 Rosemount High School graduate is in an induced coma this week in Washington, D.C.’s Walter Reed Medical Center. Doctors are trying to reduce swelling in his brain, the result of a gunshot wound he received July 10 while serving in Afghanistan.

This was Kopp’s first tour in Afghanistan after two in Iraq.

Kopp’s mother, Jill Stephenson, doesn’t know much about the details of how her son was injured. Because he’s an Army Ranger much of what he does is classified. But she knows a bullet hit the area around her son’s knee. And she knows what happened next. And that’s what’s important to her right now.

BS Kopp & Mother, Jill Stephenson: Family PHOTO
Jill Stephenson and her son, Benjamin S. Kopp - Family Photo

Kopp received treatment immediately in the field, Stephenson said. But according to information she posted on the web site caringbridge.com a bullet had hit her son’s secondary femoral artery. The loss of blood caused him to go into cardiac arrest on the operating table at a battalion surgical center. Doctors cut open his chest to perform CPR.

Kopp still hasn’t woken up.

From Afghanistan Kopp was transported to Landstuhl, Germany and then to Walter Reed. Stephenson joined him there June 14 and she’s stayed by his side ever since. She hasn’t seen any reaction from him since she arrived. But she continues to pray.

It’s her faith, she said, that kept her from worrying while her son was deployed.

“I believe that God takes care of us all,” she said. “It’s not my job to worry. It’s his job to worry.”

Stephenson found out about her son’s injury in a phone call the afternoon of June 10.

“It was shocking,” she said. “It instantly made me feel sick. It’s the phone call that every soldier’s mother doesn’t want to get.”

According to a journal Stephenson posted July 15 on the CaringBridge site, Kopp is currently in the intensive care unit at Walter Reed. He’s been diagnosed with cerebral hypoxia, defined as a lack of oxygen to the outer part of the brain. The condition is the result of the blood loss Kopp suffered and it is causing his brain to swell. Treating it requires keeping Kopp in a medically-induced coma.

“He is full of tubes and wires and cords and bags and bandages and tape and everything you can imagine the most critical person to look like,” Stephenson wrote online. “We have to wait and see what happens over the next day or two. We still need a miracle.”

There are plenty of people praying for that miracle. More than 3,400 people have visited the CaringBridge site since Stephenson created it Sunday. A guestbook on the site includes 241 messages from friends, family, fellow soldiers and complete strangers.

This isn’t the first time Kopp has had to fight for life. That started the day he was born.

Stephenson had a difficult labor, and after 72 hours doctors decided to deliver by cesarean section. They gave Stephenson morphine to stop the labor, but that caused Kopp’s heart rate to drop. He wasn’t breathing when he was born, and Stephenson said the fact he recovered amazed his doctors.

“Ben has always been up for a challenge,” Stephenson said. “He came into the world a fighter.”

This just might be his biggest fight yet.


July 20 2009:

Minnesotan injured in Afghanistan dies
Army Ranger Ben Kopp of Rosemount died Saturday at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington. He was wounded in battle on July 10 in Afghanistan.
By: Nathan Hansen
Courtesy of Rosemount (Minnesota) Townpages

Army Ranger Ben Kopp was born a fighter, but late last week he found a fight he couldn’t win.

The 2006 Rosemount (Minnesota) High School graduate died Saturday, just over a week after he was injured during fighting in Afghanistan.

BS Kopp PHOTO: Family Photo

Jill Stephenson, Kopp's mother, announced her son's death in a message Saturday on a CaringBridge.org site she set up to allow people to track her son's condition.

Kopp, 21, spent much of the last week in an induced coma in Washington, D.C.’s Walter Reed Medical Center as doctors tried to reduce swelling in his brain, the result of a gunshot wound he received July 10 while serving in Afghanistan.

Kopp received treatment immediately in the field, Stephenson said. But according to information she posted on the CaringBridge site a bullet had hit her son’s secondary femoral artery. The loss of blood caused him to go into cardiac arrest on the operating table at a battalion surgical center. Doctors cut open his chest to perform CPR.

Kopp never woke up.

Stephenson found out about her son’s injury in a phone call the afternoon of July 10.

“It was shocking,” she said. “It instantly made me feel sick. It’s the phone call that every soldier’s mother doesn’t want to get.”

This was Kopp’s first tour in Afghanistan after two in Iraq.

According to a journal Stephenson posted July 15 on the CaringBridge site, Kopp was diagnosed with cerebral hypoxia, defined as a lack of oxygen to the outer part of the brain. The condition was the result of the blood loss Kopp suffered and caused his brain to swell. Treating it required keeping Kopp in a medically induced coma.

“He is full of tubes and wires and cords and bags and bandages and tape and everything you can imagine the most critical person to look like,” Stephenson wrote online. “We have to wait and see what happens over the next day or two. We still need a miracle.”

That miracle didn’t come despite prayers and positive thoughts from thousands of visitors to the CaringBridge site and to a tribute site set up in Kopp’s honor on the social networking site Facebook.

As of this morning nearly 8,000 people had visited the CaringBridge site. Stephenson said reading the messages from those visitors reminded her of the people left fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Please continue to say prayers for all of the men and women who so proudly serve our country,” Stephenson wrote online. “Ben had a deep love of country and has just left a legacy of heroism for all of us to cherish. Be as proud of him as I was as his mother.”

There will be services for Kopp in Minnesota, though details are not yet available. He has requested to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

This wasn’t the first time Kopp has had to fight for life. That started the day he was born.

Stephenson had a difficult labor, and after 72 hours doctors decided to deliver by cesarean section. They gave Stephenson morphine to stop the labor, but that caused Kopp’s heart rate to drop. He wasn’t breathing when he was born, and Stephenson said the fact he recovered amazed his doctors.

Kopp played special teams on the Rosemount football team and he enjoyed lifting weights. But he had to fight to graduate from high school, too. He was short of credits in his senior year, and he finished his high school career at an area learning center — an alternative for students who struggle in traditional schools. He was still short one credit near the end of his senior year, so he returned to Rosemount Middle School, where he’d once done some service to make amends for a scale he’d broken. He asked principal Mary Thompson if he could get one credit for that work, and she agreed. Credits made up, Kopp got his diploma.

Stephenson said her son’s decision to join the Army was inspired by his great grandfather, who’d served in World War II. He liked the idea of serving his country, Stephenson said. He joined the Rangers because he knew they were tough.

“Ben has always been up for a challenge,” Stephenson said. “He came into the world a fighter.”

This last fight was just one he couldn’t win.


20 July 2009:

An Army Ranger from Rosemount, Minnesota, died from injuries he suffered in a battle in Afghanistan earlier this month. Ben Kopp is the fifth Minnesota troop member to die in recent days.

Kopp was shot in the leg during combat July 10. He had been undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center. But over the weekend, his mother, Jill Stephenson, posted news of his death on his CaringBridge web site.

She said that he had not regained consciousness since going into cardiac arrest after being treated for heavy bleeding.

Kopp's friends were surprised to hear of his passing.

Carly Jauman said, "When I heard the news it was really, really shocking. I really thought he would be ok."

His friends said he had a big personality and an even bigger heart and he only wanted to serve. That giving spirit continued in his death. His mother said his organs were donated.

Kopp served two tours in Iraq before his tour in Afghanistan.


Rosemount soldier dies after sustaining injury in Afghanistan
By Katie Mintz - 
Courtesy of the Minnesota Sun Newspapers
Monday, July 20, 2009

 A Rosemount soldier has passed away after sustaining injuries while fighting in Afghanistan.

Army Ranger Benjamin Kopp, a 2006 Rosemount High School graduate, was removed from life support Saturday, July 18, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., according to a CaringBridge website maintained by his mother, Jill Stephenson of Rosemount.

Kopp, 21, was shot in the leg Friday, July 10, 2009, during a combat operation, according to a journal entry on CaringBridge. The bullet severed an artery, causing excessive blood lost. Kopp went into cardiac arrest while undergoing surgery at the battalion surgical center. He was transferred to Germany July 13 and arrived at Walter Reed July 14, where he was in an induced coma.

"Ben had a deep love of country and has just left a legacy of heroism for all of us to cherish," Stephenson wrote Saturday. "Be as proud of him as I was as his mother. I have been blessed for 21 years with a beautiful young man who came to be loved by thousands. I thank God for sharing him with me and for allowing him to die proud."

His organs will be donated. Kopp requested to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Benjamin Kopp, 21, died Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, according to family.

Kopp's mother, Jill Stephenson, announced her son's death Saturday night on a CaringBridge.org Web site.

Stephenson wrote in a journal entry that Kopp died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., where he had been in an induced coma and on a ventilator.

Kopp had been hit in the popliteal artery behind the knee. He went into surgery in a battalion surgical center, Stephenson wrote, and then went into cardiac arrest due to excessive blood loss. Doctors performed CPR, and he was revived, she said.

He was kept sedated and on ventilator during surgery to repair the damage to the artery and popliteal vein, she said, but he never woke up. Stephenson said as her son's condition grew worse, doctors "began preparing us to make a decision."

"In their best medical opinion, Ben's brain could not sustain itself to any level of normalcy and if he survived, his quality of life would be poor, at best," she wrote. "We came to terms with the reality of his fate and began talking about organ donation."

A service will be held in Minnesota, Stephenson said, and that Kopp has requested to be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

"Ben had a deep love of country and has just left a legacy of heroism for all of us to cherish," she wrote.

"Be as proud of him as I was as his mother. I have been blessed for 21 years with a beautiful young man who came to be loved by thousands. I thank God for sharing him with me and for allowing him to die proud."



Obituary: Corporal Benjamin Kopp 
Monday, 27 July 2009

Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp of Rosemount died July 18, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., from wounds suffered on July 10, 2009, in Afghanistan.

Ben had a deep love of country and was proud to serve and defend the freedoms of our beautiful America. Ben was a true friend to all who knew him and honored his compassion for people by being an organ donor. He had a great sense of humor, an infectious smile and loved life. He was a shining example of patriotism and selflessness and will be sorely missed. His proud and giving spirit will live on in all who knew him and in those who have received his organs.

Ben graduated from Rosemount High School in 2006 and left for Fort Benning one month later. He was assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served as a rifleman.

He distinguished himself with the Army Achievement Medal with two awards, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab.

Posthumously, Ben has been awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, The Meritorious Service Medal and a Purple Heart.

He is survived by mother, Jill Stephenson; father, Duane Kopp; maternal grandfather, John Burud; maternal grandmother, Mary (Ray) Barnes; paternal grandmother, Donna (and the late Paul) Kopp; special great-grandmother, Marian Rogers; brothers-in-arms of the 75th Ranger Regiment of the United States Army; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, August 1, 2009, at Rosemount High School, 3335 142nd Street West. Visitation and reviewal is Friday, July 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Henry W. Anderson Mortuary, 14850 Garrett Ave., Apple Valley. Interment with full military honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Memorials are requested to the Lead The Way Fund, www.leadthewayfund.org , Caring Bridge, www.caringbridge.org and The Ben Kopp Memorial Fund in care of Wells Fargo Bank.



2 August 2009:

A woman from Winnetka has received a life-saving transplant, thanks to a fallen soldier's family. It's a story of dual sacrifice.

Judy Meikle was recovering at home Sunday, just a few days after a heart transplant she had less than two weeks ago. The very active 57-year-old says she feels like the luckiest person in the world.

"I have a heart of a 22-year-old Army Ranger who was a bonafide hero in me. It is so amazing," she told ABC7 Chicago in an exclusive interview.

The heart now beating strongly inside Meikel is that of Ben Kopp, an Army ranger from Minnesota. While serving in Afghanistan, Kopp was involved in a firefight with the Taliban on July 10. After saving the lives of six of his comrades, Kopp was shot. Days later, he died.

However, Kopp's heroism on the battlefield continued in death. He wanted to be an organ donor, and his mother made sure it happened.

"It's absolutely amazing that she, in the darkest hours of life, put other people first," Meikle said.

After being diagnosed with a heart condition she never knew she had, Meikel was placed on a transplant list a few months ago. Two weeks ago, she got a phone call from her close friend, Maria Burud, saying that her cousin, Ben Kopp, had died and was donating his organs.

"I just didn't think it was going to happen," said Meikle. "This is one shot in a million. Forget about it."

Despite the doubts, Ben's heart was a match. Meikel was in and out of surgery in less than five hours, and now, she's home with friends, thankful for her second chance and grateful for a soldier who was a true hero.

"Ben's life was fighting for his country. He died with honor saving lives, but then to add this-- it's icing on the cake," Maria Burud said.

"I never exercised. I keep saying when I jog on the street, they know it is Ben and not me," Meikle said.

Ben Kopp's funeral was held Saturday, and he will be buried Friday in Arlington National Cemetery.

Kopp enlisted in the Army three years ago. He served several tours of duty in the Mideast and eventually joined the Army's Elite Light Infrantry Corps., the Rangers. His unit was assigned to Afghanistan in May.

So far, Kopp's mother, Jill Stephenson, and Judy Meikel have communicated via email only, but they plan to meet sometime this year. Stephenson says she wants to spend the holidays in Chicago where her son's heart is.



The Heart of a Hero Beats On
'The Worst Thing That Could Happen' Becomes Another's Chance to Live
By Mark Berman
Courtesy of The Washington Post
Saturday, August 8, 2009

 An Army Ranger who had been on his third tour of duty, Kopp was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. Sadly, it's a familiar story: a young man dead before his time, shot by unnamed enemies on the other side of the world.

BS Kopp PHOTO

But this time, there was a renewed life, too. Kopp wanted to be an organ donor. And after he died, his heart was transplanted into a family member's friend who had a rare form of congenital heart disease.

Judy Meikle PHOTO

"How can you have a better heart?" said a grateful Judy Meikle, 57, of Winnetka, Illinois, who is still recovering from the surgery. "I have the heart of a 21-year-old Army Ranger war hero beating in me."

Kopp's mother, Jill Stephenson of Rosemount, Minnesota, said that in addition to her son's heart, doctors removed his kidneys, pancreas and liver for transplant.

"It helps my sorrow; it eases my pain. It really does," Stephenson said. "I know that Ben wanted to help save lives . . . and it really prolongs Ben's life and honors his memory so much and honors me in that we could save other lives."

Kopp had served two tours of duty in Iraq when he left this spring for Afghanistan. On July 10, 2009, his unit attacked a Taliban safe haven in Helmand province, according to the 75th Ranger Regiment. The fight lasted several hours, resulting in the deaths of more than 10 Taliban fighters, but Kopp was shot in the leg.

He was flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany before being transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District.

"Initially, it was really comforting to have him be there" on U.S. soil, Stephenson said. "And then it was tough to see him in that condition. . . . He looked like a big strong guy. But he was full of tubes and cords and wires."

The doctors at Walter Reed raised the possibility of organ donation with Stephenson, but she said there was never much question that it would happen. Kopp had talked about it and indicated his preference both on his driver's license and in his living will with the Rangers. And organ donation wasn't something new for the family.

"I lost a brother 27 years ago. He was only 11, and our family donated his organs," Stephenson said. "And I had that sitting in my heart all these years."

On July 18, Stephenson posted an online journal entry telling family and friends about Kopp's passing and said that they were going to donate his organs.

Maria Burud, Stephenson's first cousin in Chicago, had been following Kopp's condition on the Web site. What occurred next was happenstance.

Burud and Meikle are friends who had worked together in the 1980s. Burud knew that Meikle needed a heart transplant, and Stephenson happened to see her cousin's message in time.

Stephenson had been told that the family could designate an organ recipient if the person was eligible for a transplant. At the time, Stephenson didn't think she knew anyone on the eligibility list.

"It's a pretty unusual coincidence that somebody knows somebody who needs a heart," said Dr. Michael Shapiro, chair of the Organ Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing ethics committee.

Meikle knew it might not work out, that Kopp's heart might not be a match. "It's a million-to-one shot," she said. It had taken her seven months to get on the eligibility list because she needed to build up a tolerance for heparin, a drug used to prevent blood clots during heart surgery. But she got a call later that day from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

In the early hours of July 20 -- two days after Kopp died -- Meikle had her transplant surgery at Northwestern. She is resting at home in Winnetka, a Chicago suburb. She was on the heart transplant waiting list for 77 days, less than a third of the national average time. (Across the country there were 2,861 candidates on the waiting list for a heart transplant as of July 31, the latest data available from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.)

"Ben and Jill were so courageous that something good came out of something that was the worst thing that could happen to someone," Meikle said. "I'm just the luckiest woman alive."

At Arlington on Friday, Kopp's friends and family gathered on the southern side of Section 60, where many of the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Among the mourners were Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren and Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D), who is from St. Louis Park, the same town as Kopp's mother.

Kopp's mother and father, Duane Kopp, were handed folded flags. Stephenson clutched her flag as her boyfriend, Pat Vos, tried to console her. Kopp's father slowly ran his hands over the blue material dotted with white stars.

Several Rangers from Kopp's unit had come up from Fort Benning on Thursday. "They're Ben's brothers. Those are his brothers-in-arms, and those guys are all very shook up about losing Ben," Stephenson said. "They've all sworn that I've gained them as sons now."

As the funeral ended, they lined up to greet their comrade's parents, a series of uniformed men in tan berets, bowing as they offered hands and hugs from aching hearts.



NOTE:  With regard to the following story, the Webmaster has learned that what the family saw on the day of Corporal Kopp's funeral was not a caisson platoon practicing, but rather a caisson platoon returning to the barn at Fort Myer after taking part in a funeral at the Columbarium near Section 60 in Arlington National Cemetery.  The reason that they saw a black-covered casket on the caisson is that when cremated remains are transported to the Columbarium, they are contained in an empty casket covered with the American Flag.  The burial flag is removed at the Columbarium with the urn containing the individual's remains and the caisson then returns the Fort Myer with the empty casket which is then covered only in black mourning cloth.
Senators seek answers
By Bob Baird
Courtesy of LoHud.Com
August 13, 2009 

There was no horse-drawn caisson for Army Ranger Ben Kopp, who gave his life to save several members of his unit during a firefight in Afghanistan.

When he was buried Friday in Arlington National Cemetery, a hearse carried his casket to his grave, followed by a long procession.

His mother, Jill Stephenson, had wanted a full honor funeral for her son, in view of his sacrifice for his country. But despite her wishes and the efforts of many to see that happen, she was forced — amid her grief — to settle for less.

She had been advised that the full honor funeral was not possible because there simply wasn’t a horse and caisson available unless she was prepared to delay her son’s burial for as long as six to eight weeks.

Kopp, who grew up in Minnesota, was shot through his leg and lost so much blood that his heart stopped. Brought back to life on the battlefield, he was taken to Germany, then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

His mom was at his side, joined by Greg Tobin, a retired Clarkstown police officer and Nanuet Fire Department Volunteer. Tobin had met Kopp and other Rangers when visiting his Ranger son, now on his third deployment in the war zone.

Tobin took up the cause of getting a horse and caisson — elements of a full honor funeral — for a young man who called him “Pops.” Not succeeding, even after contacting anyone he could think of, including Rep. Eliot Engel and Sen. Charles Schumer, he says, “is perhaps one of the biggest failures of my life.”

But Stephenson has been appreciative of his efforts, telling him in an e-mail, “I’m giving you an A+++, a blue ribbon, a gold medal and anything else that rewards tenacious efforts.” She had never, she wrote, had anything in her life brought to the attention of senators and congresmen.

“I can only hope that my full story will bring the issue to light,” she wrote to him. “It makes me wonder why our national cemetery has only two caissons available for use with full honor funerals, forcing families to wait a ridiculous amount of time to have their loved one’s service.”

She just couldn’t wait.

And Friday there was more reason for pain — a reason that registered even with the newest senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, Ben Kopp’s home state.

He attended the funeral and became aware of the caisson issue from Greg Tobin in the family waiting area at Arlington. Franken had no idea of the injustice, Tobin says, and promised to do what he could to correct it.

Of course, that couldn’t come in time for Ben Kopp or his mother, but what happened on the way to his grave only worsened matters.

As the procession moved toward Arlington’s Section 60, Tobin says, they saw a horse-drawn caisson about 100 yards away on a training detail.

What they saw wasn’t lost on Franken. On Tuesday, Franken wrote to John C. Metzler, superintendent of Arlington Cemetery.

Kopp’s mother had been told he would receive a full honor funeral, Franken wrote, only to be informed later that “there would be no horse and caisson available until October and so received a standard honor burial.”

“But on Friday,” Franken’s letter goes on, “and to their dismay, the family viewed the horse and caisson unit practicing their procedural routine on the periphery of Corporal Kopp’s funeral.”

That was, he went on, “an intolerable and undue burden on a family that is already mourning the loss of a loved one, and the perception left by this incident is unbecoming and unacceptable.” Franken asked “why the same, or similar, horse and caisson unit that was unavailable for Corporal Kopp’s funeral was practicing near his funeral procession.”

He further wants steps taken to “significantly reduce the unacceptably long wait for a full honor procession for those who have given so much to our country.”

Schumer, whose office had been working with Greg Tobin, also wrote Metzler, noting a policy change early this year. “As I understand it, there was a change in policy effective January 1, 2009 where all soldiers killed in action (KIA) would receive full military honors at Arlington. To provide these honors requires the availability of horse and caisson, band, colors team and escort platoon. Since the change in policy, has there been any increase in resources available to provide full military honors at funerals? If not, what are your estimates for resources you would require to expedite the too-long wait for full military honor interments?”

Schumer went on: “I know you share my belief that our military families deserve the best, especially during what is usually the most agonizing time of their lives. But drawing out this period with extensive wait times to properly honor an American hero ... is unacceptable.”

He offered to work with Metzler to identify resources that could address what he described as “this unfortunate situation.” 

He concluded: “Families should never need to choose between full military honors and a timely funeral.”

Jill Stephenson hopes their interest and pressure will prevent other parents having to wait in line for weeks, maybe months.

“If Ben’s passing changes this, then I will add it to the list of prayers he gave away to help others.”

And help others he did, in life and death.

There are those buddies, the ones wounded in the firefight where he suffered what would prove to be mortal wounds.

And there’s Judy Meikle, who lives in the suburbs of Chicago. Meikle was a robust, active woman until about a year ago, when her health took a turn as a result of what proved to be a congenital heart problem. Before long, it became clear she would need a heart transplant, and soon.

Last month, in Ben Kopp’s final hours, one of Stephenson’s relatives told her about her friend, Judy Meikle.

When the time came to fulfill her son’s wish to donate his organs to benefit others, Stephenson made his heart available to Meikle through the transplant protocol.

On Monday, the two women met each other when they were interviewed by Harry Smith on the CBS “Early Show.” Meikle was thankful for her gift of life and Stephenson was honored that part of her son was living, making Meikle healthy again.

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Members of the U.S. Army 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment march during the funeral of U.S. Army 
Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 7, 2009

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
The casket of Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, is carried during 
funeral services, Friday, August 7, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, center, left, and Army Secretary Pete Geren, center, attend funeral services 
for Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Friday, August 7, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (C) places his hand on his heart as members of the U.S. Army 3rd U.S. Infantry 
Regiment carry the casket containing U.S. Army Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp during his funeral 
at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 7, 2009

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Members of the U.S. Army 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment carry the casket containing U.S. Army Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp
during his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 7, 2009

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Members of the U.S. Army 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment fold the flag draping the casket containing U.S. Army 
Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp during his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 7, 2009

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Members of the U.S. Army 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment fold the flag draping the casket containing U.S. Army 
Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp during s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 7, 2009

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Jill Stephenson, (2nd R), mother of U.S. Army Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of Defense 
Robert Gates (R) while Kopp's father, Duane Kopp, (L), sits during his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, August 7, 2009

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Defense Secretary Robert Gates talks with Duane Kopp, father of Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp of the 3rd Battalion, 75th 
Ranger Regiment, during funeral services, Friday, August 7, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Specialist Ryan Lundeby, gives Duane Kopp, father of Corp. Benjamin Stephen Kopp of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger 
Regiment, a hug during funeral services, Friday, August 7, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Specialist Ryan Lundeby, right, gives Jill Stephenson, hidden, mother of Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp 
of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, a hug during funeral services, Friday, August 7, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery

BS Kopp Funeral Services, Arlington National Cemetery, 4 August 2009 PHOTO
Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment, right, greet Jill Stephenson, mother of Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp of the 
3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, during funeral services, Friday, August 7, 2009, at Arlington National Cemetery

KOPP, BENJAMIN STEPHEN
CPL   US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 01/20/1988
DATE OF DEATH: 07/18/2009
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 9088
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted:  20 July 2009 Updated: 23 July 2009 Updated: 27 July 2009 Updated: 3 August 2009 Updated: 7 August 2009 Updted: 13 August 2009 Updated: 26 September 2009 Updated: 30 April 2010 Updated: 10 February 2011  Updated: 8 July 2011
US Army Rangers TAB
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bronze Star Medal With Valor Device
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

BS Kopp Gravesite PHOTO By MR Patterson 4 July 2011
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 4 July 2011

BS Kopp Graveste PHOTO By Eileen Horan February 2011
Photo By Eileen Horan, February 2011

BS Kopp Gravesite PHOTO 2010 Rose Event
2010 Rose Event Photo By M. R. Patterson

BS Kopp Gravesite PHOTO September 2009 By Holly

BS Kopp Gravesite PHOTO September 2009 By Holly
Photos by Holly, September 2009