Ben deployed twice to Iraq before going to Afghanistan in May of 2009. On July 10th, during a firefight with the Taliban, he saved six of his fellow Rangers before being shot in the leg. His leg was surgically repaired, but the injury caused trauma his body wasn’t able to recover from. He died on July 18th at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Prior to his death Ben had written in a living will that he wished to be an organ donor. His heart still beats in Judy Miekle of Winnetka, Illinois. His liver and kidneys went to a gentleman in the Washington DC area. In addition to the major organs, he also donated bones, skin and tissue. It is estimated that Ben’s gifts of organ donation saved or enhanced the lives of 60 people.
Several of his Ranger and civilian friends have had the privilege of putting their hand on Judy’s heart to feel Ben marching on.
In life and in death, Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp is a HERO. His selfless spirit lives on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.