SpartanNash and Family Fare Partner with Northwood University to Honor Military Lost in the Line of Duty


Meredith Gremel, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, SpartanNash, 616-878-2830

SpartanNash and Family Fare Partner with Northwood University to Honor Military Lost in the Line of Duty
Families to be presented with a personalized Honor and Remember flag January 16

Grand Rapids, MI, January 15, 2016 — SpartanNash, its corporate Family Fare Supermarket in Midland, and Northwood University have joined forces to honor six brave men who have lost their lives in service to our country. On Saturday, January 16, 2016, during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game against Saginaw Valley State University, SpartanNash and Family Fare will present six families with a personalized Honor and Remember flag.  Tip-off is at 4:00 pm; the tribute is scheduled for approximately 4:30 pm.  Family members of the following fallen soldiers will be on hand to receive the flags:

  • Ryan John Burgess, Lance Corporal, USMC; graduate from Meridian High School. Ryan was killed on December 21, 2006 in Iraq.
  • Michael A. Cathcart, Sergeant First Class, Army, Special Forces, Green Beret, 3rd group A team, ODA 3314; graduate from Bay City Central High School. Michael was killed November 14, 2014 in the Kunduz Province in Afghanistan.
  • Dillon Foxx, Sergeant, Army; graduate from Traverse City West High School. Dillon was killed in Afghanistan on February 5, 2010.
  • Todd Lambka, First Lieutenant, Army, graduate from Utica Eisenhower High School. Todd was killed in Afghanistan on August 1, 2012.
  • Steven John Szymanski, Lance Corporal, USMC; graduate from Midland High School. Steven died at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on October 21, 2014.
  • Aaron Ullom, Corpsman, Navy; graduate from Midland High School. Aaron was killed in Afghanistan on July 12, 2011.

Meredith Gremel, SpartanNash VP of Corporate Affairs and Communications, and Paul Conn, Midland Family Fare Store Director, will present the personalized Honor and Remember flags to the families. “As the leading distributor to U.S. military commissaries and exchanges in the world, we see firsthand the sacrifices our military heroes and their families make to protect our freedoms,” notes Gremel,  “so we are doing all we can to honor and remember those lost in active duty to our country.”


About Honor and Remember
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.

The organization is deeply committed to promoting broad national awareness of and groundswell interest in the flag, so that military, government and educational facilities as well as households throughout the country will begin flying the Honor and Remember Flag in recognition of our nation’s fallen warriors. It is also the goal of Honor and Remember to place one personalized Honor and Remember Flag in the hands of immediate families who have lost a loved one in military service to America.

“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 never 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 is being placed on the company’s more than 1,600 semi-trailers, which distribute to 46 states.


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.

Honor-and-Remember_symbols_3 (1)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.

hnrsymb   We will always Honor their selfless sacrifice and Remember them individually by name.


“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.”


About SpartanNash
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 163 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s, Forest Hills Foods, No Frills, Bag ‘n Save, Econofoods, and Dan’s Supermarket.