Patriotism


bronze-certified-employer_2016One of our company’s eight core values is patriotism, and we are deeply committed to serving our military heroes and their families both at home and abroad. More than one-third of our business is the distribution of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries and exchanges around the world. In fact, our MDV military operations exist to serve the businesses that keep America — and the military members who defend us — strong.

SpartanNash proudly employs more than 700 military veterans and family members. As a company, we are committed to hiring, training and retaining veterans, Reservists, Guardsmen and their families in partnership with national and government organizations and initiatives. In 2016, we were named a bronze-level Veteran Friendly Employer by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and in 2014, SpartanNash was honored with the Patriot Award from ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) for its continued support of its associates who are deployed while working for the company.

Honoring our associates that are or have served

Each year, SpartanNash commemorates patriotic holidays with companywide tribute events. Memorial Day, Fourth of July and September 11 are all observed with honor — but it is Veterans Day when we collectively pause to recognize and thank all our associates and store guests who have served our country in the Armed Forces or are continuing to do so in the National Guard or Reserves.

Flag-raising ceremonies are held at each of our 200 facilities that have a flag pole, and a moment of silence is observed at 11 a.m.

Companywide, all SpartanNash locations also display posters recognizing and thanking associates who are veterans.

In 2016, SpartanNash also made a $5,000 donation to The Mission Continues in honor of our veteran associates. The Mission Continues empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. The nonprofit organization deploys veterans on new missions in their communities, so that their actions will inspire future generations to serve.

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Proper flag retirement

On Veterans Day 2015, SpartanNash retail stores, distribution centers and service centers companywide began collecting customers’ old, worn, faded and/or frayed American flags for retirement.

Flags are collected at each store’s customer service counter, and the stores partner with local veterans group such as the VFW and American Legion or Boy and Girl Scout troops to pick up and to properly retire the flags we collect.


Honor and Remember

SpartanNash holds a special place in its heart for Honor and Remember, a nonprofit organization founded by George Lutz, who lost his son Tony to a sniper’s bullet in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005.

The Honor and Remember flag specifically acknowledges American servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price while serving their country.

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. Personalized flags include the fallen soldier’s name, so the flag can be displayed in honor of them.

SpartanNash retail stores fly the Honor and Remember flag at their corporate-owned stores and display the flag artwork on their fleet of tractor trailers, which travel 50 million miles a year.

The company has also provided and continues to provide personalized Honor and Remember flags to some of those who have lost their loved ones in military service to America.

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Honor and Remember flag presentations

Ryan John Burgess, Lance Corporal, USMC
Ryan John Burgess, Lance Corporal, USMC, graduated from Meridian High School. He was killed on December 21, 2006, in Iraq. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game on January 16, 2016.

Michael A. Cathcart, Sergeant First Class, Army, Special Forces, Green Beret, 3rd Group A Team, ODA 3314
Michael A. Catheart, Sergeant First Class, Army, Special Forces, Green Beret, 3rd Group A Team, ODA 3314, graduated from Bay City Central High School. He was killed November 14, 2014, in the Kunduz Province in Afghanistan. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game on January 16, 2016.

Dillon Foxx, Sergeant, Army
Dillon Foxx, Sergeant, Army, graduated from Traverse City West High School. He was killed in Afghanistan on February 5, 2010. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game on January 16, 2016.

Todd Lambka, First Lieutenant, Army
Todd Lambka, First Leiutenant, Army, graduated from Utica Eisenhower High School. He was killed in Afghanistan on August 1, 2012. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game on January 16, 2016.

Steven John Szymanski, Lance Corporal, USMC
Steven John Szymanski, Lance Corporal, USMC, graduated from Midland High Scholl. He died at Fort Bragg in North Carolina on October 21, 2014. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game on January 16, 2016.

Aaron Ullom, Corpsman, Navy
Aaron Ullom, Corpsman, Navy, graduated from Midland High School. He was killed in Afghanistant on July 12, 2011. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family during a halftime tribute at a Northwood University Timberwolves home basketball game on January 16, 2016.

Brian Keith Derks, Army Specialist 4th Class
Brian Keith Derks of White, Cloud, Michigan, was killed in action on August 13, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq. He was 21 years old when he died from injuries he received when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on mounted patrol in Baghdad. He was assigned to the Fox Group Second Squadron of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and was based in Fort Irwin, California. Derks was the 56th member of the U.S. armed forces with known Michigan ties to be killed in Iraq. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his parents and fiancée during the evening ceremonies of the 9/11 Community Day of Remembrance at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum on September 11, 2015.

David John Warsen, Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer Second Class David John Warsen was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1985. He joined the Navy in 2009 and became a Navy SEAL (Special Warfare Operator Second Class) in October 2010. Warsen lost his life, along with ten others, while on a mission on August 16, 2012, when his helicopter was shot down over Kandahar, Afghanistan. SpartanNash presented a personalized Honor and Remember flag to his family at the David John Warsen Memorial Highway dedication on August 15, 2015.

LaVaughn Van Brocklin, World War II
LaVaughn Van Brocklin was from Elberta, Michigan, and was killed on May 11, 1945, in the Pacific Theater on Mindanao in the Philippine Islands. SpartanNash presented his son, Glen Van Brocklin, with a personalized Honor and Remember flag on July 1, 2015 at the Family Fare Supermarket in Manistee, Michigan. Representatives from VFW Post 4499 Walsh led the proceedings.