When Laurie Hinds nominated her brother, Stephen Stapel, for the FOV Giving Back Tour, she told us he wasn’t a veteran. She said he was, however, the bravest person she knows.
Stephen is in his sixth year of battling ALS. He has fought to keep this terminal disease at bay longer than most people have. This fighting spirit runs in the family: Stephen’s father, combat veteran Arthur Stapel, earned a Bronze Star with Valor during the Korean War. Stephen deeply reveres his father and his service to America.
As Stephen fights his own war with ALS, he continues to put others first, not complaining and not giving up. His strength and bravery in facing this deadly disease humbles us. In honoring him as one of our five Giving Back recipients, we presented Stephen with the Phantom Fury—a flag that commemorates the Americans who fought the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq. All of us at Flags of Valor recognize Stephen as a warrior, fighting against all odds.