Battlefield Cross wins People’s Choice

— Eleven-year-old Kole Balvanz creates it out of love


Howard County - Perhaps you saw it in the Featherlite Center during the Mighty Howard County Fair. It probably evoked feelings. You most likely were curious about the story behind it.
The Battlefield Cross of the helmet, rifle and boots, signifying the death of a Marine, was submitted by Kole Balvanz, age 11, of Bonair. It says, “In loving memory Staff Sergeant Lindsay Michael Stupp.”
Staff Sergeant Stupp joined the Army National Guard and was deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq. He was killed in an ATV accident near his home in Steamboat Rock, Iowa on May 12, 2017.
Kole’s mom, Amber, noted, “The last time Lindsay went overseas, Kole gave him two duct tape roses made with military tape. He let Kole know they were with him the entire time.”
His death crushed Kole. He wanted to do something to honor Stupp and for his family; fiance, Britt; and daughter, Teagan.
“When he came up with the idea, he made me cry,” said Amber.
Kole was hoping to get a ribbon at the fair. He got that and the People’s Choice Ribbon. He plans to give the ribbons and the Battlefield Cross project to Stupp’s family at a fund-raising event on July 7.
“Kole is very emotional and caring,” his mom said. “When he was given the People’s Choice, he started crying.” 
Kole idolized his friend, who was a very community-oriented person. Stupp was on the fire department and helped at the local non-profit community breakfast on Sundays. Amber added he was the type of person to give the shirt off his back if someone was in need.
Kole has those same qualities. When the popular fidget spinners first came out, Kole “had to have one . . . had to have one.” Well, he got one, but then saw that a kid in his class didn’t have one, so he gave it to him! “He has a heart of gold,” his mom explained.
So that’s the story behind the Battlefield Cross made out of duct tape.
It was made out of love and will be given away in love as well by a young man whose goal is to join the military when he is older.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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