FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, SpartanNash, 616-878-2830
Honor and Remember Flag to Be Presented to Family of WWII Veteran
Veteran the Subject of Award-winning Essay by Frankfort-Elberta High School Student
Grand Rapids, MI, June 29, 2015 — SpartanNash will present the family of World War II veteran LaVaughn Van Brocklin with a personalized Honor and Remember flag on Wednesday, July 1, at 10:00 a.m. EDT, at the Family Fare Supermarket on 1057 US-31, Manistee, Michigan 49660. LaVaughn Van Brocklin was from Elberta, Michigan, and was killed on May 11, 1945, in the Pacific Theater on Mindanao in the Philippine Islands.
Representatives from the local VFW post (4499 Walsh) will attend the flag presentation ceremony. Receiving the flag will be LaVaughn’s son, Glen Van Brocklin, and Glen’s daughter, Cindy Anderson. Both are residents of Onekama, Michigan.
“Our family is proud of LaVaughn’s service,” said A.J. Swander, Store Director, Family Fare (Manistee). “It’s an honor to receive this flag and to have his sacrifice recognized.”
Swander’s son J. J. took first place for an essay he wrote about his great-uncle LaVaughn for the 2014 Bruce Catton Historical Awards. The essay told Van Brocklin’s story and how his life and death affected the people around him. SpartanNash featured J.J.’s essay in a 2014 commemorative book featuring the stories of SpartanNash associates’ relatives who served in World War II.
“SpartanNash cares deeply for those who defend our freedom and protect our families,” said Ed Brunot, EVP and President of SpartanNash’s MDV military division based in Norfolk, VA. “We are committed to ensuring that these brave men and women’s sacrifices and stories are not forgotten.”
Brunot serves on the Board of Directors of Honor and Remember and has been instrumental in raising awareness of and funds for Honor and Remember flags. SpartanNash is the world’s largest supplier to U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, in terms of revenue, and the Honor and Remember flag will be displayed soon on the company’s more than 1,600 semi-trailers, which distribute to 46 states.
The Honor and Remember flag specifically acknowledges American service men and women who paid the ultimate price with their life while serving their country. Honor and Remember is a nonprofit organization founded by George Lutz, who lost his son Tony to a sniper’s bullet in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005. A unique feature of the flag design is the option to personalize it to carry the name of a friend or loved one as part of its structure, so the flag can be displayed in specific honor of one lost. (http://www.honorandremember.org/our-mission/)
The Honor and Remember Flag’s design is distinctive, yet simple. Each detail on the flag symbolizes an important part of the overall meaning of the flag’s message.
The Red Field represents the blood spilled by brave men and women in America’s military throughout our history, who willingly gave their lives so that we all would remain free.
The Blue Star represents active service in military conflict. This symbol originated with World War I, but on this flag it signifies service through all generations from the American Revolution to present day.
The White Border beneath and surrounding the gold star recognizes the purity of sacrifice. There is no greater price an American can pay than to give his or her life in service to our country.
The Gold Star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who will not return home. Gold reflects the value of the life that was given.
The Folded Flag signifies the final tribute to an individual life that a family sacrificed and gave to the nation.
The Flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.
“Words cannot express how important it is to recognize families who’ve lost those who’ve paid the ultimate price,” said George Lutz, founder of the Honor and Remember flag. “I’m grateful that a company the size of SpartanNash has recognized this flag and is committed to carrying its message.”
SpartanNash (SPTN) is a Fortune 400 company and the largest food distributor serving US military commissaries and exchanges in the world, in terms of revenue. The Company’s core businesses include distributing food to military commissaries and exchanges and independent and corporate-owned retail stores located in 46 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 165 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, D & W Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods, VG’s and ValuLand in Michigan and Supermercado Nuestra Familia, No Frills, Bag ‘n Save, Econofoods, and Dan’s Supermarket in other states.