United States Army Special Operations Command recently announced an Army Ranger died Saturday from wounds sustained July 10 during combat operations in southern Afghanistan.
Corp. Benjamin Stephen Kopp, 21, was severely injured while serving with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning.
Kopp was medically evacuated through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany to Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington, D.C., where he later died as a result of his wounds, according to a USASOC press release.
His unit had attacked a Taliban safe haven where they fought a determined enemy from multiple directions for several hours, resulting in the killing of more than 10 Taliban fighters, according to official military reports.
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“Cpl. Kopp gave his life fighting against a tenacious, malevolent, and determined enemy during a sustained firefight, under incredibly difficult conditions, with his fellow Rangers,” said Col. Richard D. Clarke, commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. “His actions on that day are in keeping with the finest traditions of the 75th Ranger Regiment and his loss will be felt by all.”
“Ranger Kopp was a best friend to everyone in his platoon and he never hesitated to lead the way to go where others would not. He was a great Ranger and a great American citizen that the Nation can be proud of,” said Lt. Col. Daniel R. Walrath, 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment battalion commander.
After graduating from Rosemount High School, Kopp enlisted in the U.S. Army from his hometown of Rosemont, Minn., July 2006. He began his Army Ranger career when he was assigned to Company C, 3rd Bn., where he served as a rifleman.
Kopp was on his third deployment in support of the War on Terror with two previous deployments to Iraq.
He is survived by his mother Jill Stephenson of Rosemont, Minn., and his father Duane Kopp of Minnetonka, Minn.