Steve Bannon asked me to come on Monday at 11:30EST. We will talk about Ranger Ben Kopp.
Ben was shot and killed in Afghanistan. Ben donated his heart to Judy Meikle. Judy survived and is alive today with Ben’s Ranger heart. Rangers are hard to kill.
Later, I named the Kopp-Etchells Effect after Corporal Ben Kopp and Corporal Joseph Etchells.
Joseph was a combat Soldier in a British unit I was embedded with in Sangin, Afghanistan. Sangin was the most dangerous district of about 400 districts in Afghanistan, and so it was difficult to get war correspondents out there. The British Army asked if I would go. I was on the next helicopter I could find.
Joseph was leading the way and came to a compound wall. He had no ladder to scale the wall and so took point through a doorway and stepped on a bomb. I was not on this mission. There were bombs everywhere. We got into firefights daily.
The helicopter landing zone at Sangin ranged from warm to hot. One helicopter was shot down by RPG killing the occupants and some Afghans on the ground. And so the birds normally came quickly at night. Rotors kicked up a tremendous glow that was brighter than I had seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, America, or anywhere.
I talked with many pilots, helicopter designers, and scientists. There was no name for the phenomenon. So I named it after American and British Soldiers Benjamin Kopp and Joseph Etchells. Kopp-Etchells Effect. The name stuck and now the Smithsonian and others use this name.
Ben’s mother, Jill, realized I am in Washington, D.C., and asked me a few hours ago to come place a wreath on Ben’s grave in Arlington on Sunday, seven days from now. We will go together to honor her son, Ranger Benjamin Kopp, shot in Afghanistan, but still alive and growing.
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