American Military Who Continued to Save Lives in Death Through Organ, Tissue and Eye Donations to Be Honored With Special Memorials

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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to Dedicate Fallen Soldier Donor
Memorial in Richmond Companion Plaque to Be Hung at the U.S. Military
Hospital in Germany

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#fallensholdier–A unique memorial honoring United States service men and women who
unselfishly became organ, tissue and eye donors so they could continue
to save lives even after their own deaths will be dedicated today in
dual ceremonies in Richmond, Virginia, and Landstuhl Military Hospital
in Germany.

“This Fallen Soldier Donor Memorial honors members of our military, both
present and past, who made organ and tissue donation their last
courageous act of service so that others may live long and healthy lives
in a free and safe world,” said Tom Mone, chief executive officer of the
OneLegacy Foundation. The memorial was conceived and made possible
through the OneLegacy Foundation and its contributors.

The impetus for this special memorial began when lung recipient Gary
Foxen met Jill Stephenson while her son, Corporal Benjamin Kopp, was
being honored on the Tournament of Roses Donate Life float in 2011. A
member of the 75th Army Ranger Regiment, Corporal Kopp saved six of his
comrades when his unit came under small arms attack by insurgents in
Afghanistan. Although mortally wounded, he saved four more lives back in
the United States through his selfless gift of organ donation.

“Corporal Kopp’s actions saved a total of ten lives, and he is one of
nearly 100 soldiers who has been mortally injured while on duty on the
Middle East and, along with their families’ and the U.S. Military’s
support, were able to save lives in their deaths as they did in life,”
reflects Mone. “We felt it important to salute the generosity of these
incredible Americans, and we are proud to be part of honoring their
heroic deeds.”

The memorial has been nearly four years in the making. Sculptor Ann
Walsh said she wanted the memorial to be “abstract and ethereal,” so she
decided to make the statue hollow and see-through. “The lines echo the
natural growth in the garden,” she added.

The dual locations of the memorial have special meaning as well. In the
United States the Fallen Soldier Donor Memorial statue will be unveiled
at the National Donor Memorial at the United Network for Organ Sharing
(UNOS) campus in Richmond, Virginia. UNOS serves as the nation’s Organ
Procurement and Transplantation Network and matches lifesaving organs
with people awaiting transplants nationwide. It also manages the
national database of medical information about transplant candidates,
recipients and donors.

The U.S. Military hospital at Landstuhl was chosen because that is where
severely injured soldiers are taken from battlefields in the Middle
East, thus making the gift of life all the more powerful because their
donations saved the lives of desperately waiting patients in Germany and
nearby countries.

Speakers at the ceremony in Richmond will include Virginia Governor
Terry McAuliffe; UNOS CEO Brian Shepard; OneLegacy Foundation CEO Thomas
Mone; Corporal Benjamin Kopp’s mother, Jill Stephenson; Gary Foxen’s
widow, Lois; and Dr. Guenter Kirste from Landstuhl. Due to space
constraints the ceremony is by invitation only, but the public is
invited to watch the ceremony via livestream on UNOS’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedNetworkForOrganSharing/?fref=ts.

As the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the
country, OneLegacy enables 1,400 organ transplants and nearly a quarter
million tissue transplants each year by serving more than 200 hospitals,
11 transplant centers, and a diverse population of nearly 20 million
people throughout seven counties in Southern California. More
information on OneLegacy or on becoming a donor is available at www.onelegacy.org.

Contacts

For OneLegacy Foundation
Ross Goldberg, 818-597-8453, x-1
ross@kevinross.net
or
Tania
Llavaneras, 213-503-9285
tllavaneras@onelegacy.org