In 2009, Jill Stephenson experienced the cruelest and most hurtful pain a parent can experience with their child deployed overseas — U.S. Army Ranger Benjamin Kopp — has been shot by a gunshot and wounded his leg.
He first thought that he was going to lose the leg, but unfortunately it turned into the worst-ever scenario. Kopp died from his injuries eight days after he was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center.
Though the incident happened eight years ago, Stephenson still lives with the memory every day and she is sharing her son’s son story of selfless sacrifice as a way to cope and heal easily.
Therefore, Stephenson joined A TAPS, a program that helps military families to go through healing and grieving process. To this day, she still advocates for veterans’ issues all across the country.
While social media repeatedly trashing President Donald Trump for his remarks about Barack Obama, Stephenson told Independent Journal that she never got a call from Obama.
“I never got a call,” Stephenson said, “The Obamas never sent these, either.”
Then she shared a powerful and heartfelt letter she received from First Lady Melania Trump just after Memorial Day:
The letter reads:
St. Petersburg, Florida
Dear Ms. Stephenson,
I wish to offer my heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifices you have made and the high price you and your family have paid to help ensure our freedom.
As a mother, you bear the burden of war in a very personal way. I want to take a moment, on Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day, to honor you and your son, Corporal Benjamin Kopp, who laid down his life to protect us, our country, and all we hold dear. His sacrifice will never be forgotten.
I hold you close to my heart and keep you in my prayers.
Not much else needs to be said, as the first lady’s personalized message to Stephenson speaks volumes.