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Fallen Soldier's Heart Saves Woman

The story of Corp. Benjamin Kopp's life is one about completely dedicating yourself to your country and others.

Kopp, of Rosemount, Minnesota, gave his life serving his country. The 21-year-old died July 18 from injuries he suffered after being shot in the leg in Afghanistan while saving the lives of six of his fellow soldiers on July 10.

If giving his life wasn't the ultimate sacrifice, even after his death, Kopp kept on giving.

Judy Meikle, of Chicago, says she has been long awaiting a heart transplant. Two weeks ago the 57-year-old got a call from her close friend Maria Burud, saying that her cousin, Kopp, had died and was donating his organs.

Kopp's heart was a perfect match.

"It stopped me in my tracks, I couldn't walk. I kind of go back there now just thinking about it—just to experience that joy along with my sorrow. That's got to be what a miracle, feels like it," said Jill Stephenson, the fallen soldier's mother.

"I have a heart of an Army Ranger who is a bonifided hero," Meikle said.

Stephenson says she's only been able to e-mail Meikle, but hopes to meet her in person.

Kopp served two tours in Iraq before his tour in Afghanistan as a member of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based in Fort Benning, Ga.

Kopp will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 7.

Donations to a memorial fund set up in Kopp's name can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch.

Kopp's family is asking for mourners to donate to the Lead The Way Fund, which supports the families of fallen Army Rangers, and Caring Bridge, which allows people facing critical illnesses to create websites, to stay in touch with family and friends, for free.

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Added: Aug-5-2009 Occurred On: Aug-5-2009
By: marinemom
Iraq, Afghanistan, News
Tags: benjamin kopp, heart
Location: Rosemount, Minnesota, United States (load item map)
Views: 5302 | Comments: 7 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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