Back in 2009, Jill Stephenson received the horrible news that no parent wants to ever hear about their child that has been deployed overseas. It turned out that her son, U.S. Army Ranger Benjamin Kopp, had suffered a gunshot wound to his leg.
And while at first she thought that he was going to lose his leg, the situation quickly escalated into the worst possible case scenario, as just eight days after he received the wound and was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center, Kopp passed away from his injuries.
While the experience happened eight years ago, Stephenson still lives with the memory every day. She has found coping mechanisms and healing through sharing her son’s story of selfless sacrifice.
Through that healing, Stephenson became part of TAPS, a program that helps military families with the grieving process. To this day, she still advocates for veterans’ issues all across the country.
As some of the media keeps bashing President Donald Trump for his comments about Barack Obama not calling families of the fallen, Stephenson shared her experience with Independent Journal Review.
“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.
In her letter, the FLOTUS wrote that she wanted to take a moment to honor the mother and her son, who laid down his life to protect our nation and keep us all safe, explaining how her son’s sacrifice will never be forgotten, before she sent out her prayers.
The comparison between the former first lady and Melania is obvious, and there isn’t much that needs to be said.
There is nothing more to be said, as the first lady’s personalized message to Stephenson speaks volumes for itself.