RDS-Southeast Office Named a Finalist in Industry Partner of the Year Category by the Georgia Restaurant Association

Atlanta, GA (June 17, 2019) – The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) is thrilled to announce the finalists and honorees for the 2019 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. All finalists are peer-nominated, ensuring the most deserving in the industry are recognized. Winners are chosen by the GRACE Academy, comprised of former GRACE finalists and honorees, as well as current GRA board members.

The GRACE Awards Gala, an exclusive event honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to Georgia’s restaurant industry, will take place at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, August 11, 2019. At the event, winners for Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent and Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year, Diversity Leadership Award and Distinguished Service Award will be announced. The GRA will also honor the Restaurant Employee of the Year, Restaurant Manager of the Year, ProStart Student of the Year, Chairman’s Award recipient and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Regynald Washington. Washington, who serves as President of the Dining Division at Paradies Lagardère, was recently named the 2019 Gold Plate Award recipient by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA).

For more details and a complete list of GRACE finalists, visit: https://www.garestaurants.org/grace-awards-gala.html.

delta flight museum
Delta Flight Museum

About the Georgia Restaurant Association

The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness.  The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.

About the GRACE Awards

The GRACE Awards is the Georgia Restaurant Association’s annual black-tie gala event recognizing excellence in Georgia’s Restaurant Industry. The GRACE awards are peer-nominated and honor the top finalists in the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent, Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year, Diversity Leadership Award and the Distinguished Service Award. The winners are announced at the event and are presented with crystal works of art created by renowned local artist Hans-Godo Frabel.


Social Engineering: Building a Scam

38016322 - social engineering on the mechanism of metal gears.

   According to the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Report, 43% of                                          all documented breaches involved social engineering.

With over 130 QIR certified technicians, Retail Data Systems invests in knowledge of the PCI compliance requirements through PCI Security Standards Council certification courses. We strive to provide the best service and equipment to meet those requirements, while also working hard to understand new threats our clients face in the cyberworld. Security awareness is one of the very first steps on the road to compliance and a crucial part of protecting your business.


Social engineering scams come in all different shapes and sizes. This works well considering the target of the scams have different levels of experience and education with technology. If you’ve ever taken a look in your email Spam folder, you are likely to see some obvious examples of phishing scam attempts. The most common (and comical) tend to be those from broken English estate lawyers reaching out about a dearly departed and wealthy relative from overseas. Luckily spam filtering exists to weed out emails like this. But as funny as those attempts may seem, the results of successful attempts are far from humorous.


An example of a more elaborate social engineering scheme began after the IRS website was breached back in 2015. Because scammers had gained access to social security numbers and sensitive information on more than 700,000 tax payers, they were able to construct a remarkably sophisticated story, unlike our spam folder friends. These predators used a tool that spoofed their phone number, making it appear  that the call originated from the IRS. Using fake IRS badge numbers, they intimidated their victims with threats of audits, property seizure, and even arrest if “back taxes” were not immediately transferred. They successfully stole money from countless victims, and that money is unrecoverable.

Over the last several years, there has been an increase in social engineering attacks for one reason: they work! As outlined in Security Through Education blog post: Why Attackers Might Use Social Engineering, “Social engineering tactics (especially phishing, vishing, and impersonation) are being used, in conjunction with digital hacking methods to make attacks more effective and inevitably more profitable for attackers.

Because these tactics have worked at such high rates, human error is deemed the largest security threat to any organization. When taking into account the variation in sophistication of social engineering attacks and their end goal, it becomes apparent why cultivating security awareness and protecting proprietary information is so important.


Source: https://www.social-engineer.org/framework/general-discussion/attackers-might-use-social-engineering/



Retail Data Systems Payment Services Receives Highest Honor from WorldPay

Alpharetta, GA:  Retail Data Systems Payment Services Division was awarded the highest honor at WorldPay’s Annual Awards Dinner last month in Alpharetta, GA. RDS General Manager Tom Wilyard accepted the honor for 1st Place MSP Volume, awarded to the #1 Independent Sales Organization (ISO) with the largest volume of card processing transactions in the U.S. with WorldPay. This collaboration spans the restaurants, grocery, retail and convenience store industries.

Tom Wilyard

Pleased with the recognition, Wilyard had this to say, “This year’s success is due to our RDS branch partners and staff who have continuously strived for excellence with deployments, training and support for encrypted POS transactions. Worldpay continues to share our commitment to our clients by providing excellent communication, support and feature rich products to RDS and our clients.

Retail Data Systems is the largest provider of Point Of Sale Hardware and Software, in North America. Founded in 1950, RDS now operates over 25 offices serving customers across the nation providing complete Point Of Sale technology. Our team of over 400 professionals assure our customers of the best 24/7/365 service available. Our list of industry leading POS hardware and software products provide a variety of solutions for companies large and small. For more information, please visit rdspos.com.

Worldpay is a global leader in payments processing technology and solutions for our merchant customers. We operate reliable and secure proprietary technology platforms that enable merchants to accept a vast array of payment types, across multiple channels, anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit http://www.worldpay.com.

Am I required to be PCI Compliant?

Think of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) as an umbrella that covers any entity that stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data; and even extends to service providers with the ability to affect the security of the cardholder data environment.

PCI Compliance is a requirement for any entity that meets the description above, because it works for business continuity. On your journey toward compliance, it is important to remember that there is a difference between the PCI DSS Compliance and PCI DSS Compliance Validation. Complying with the PCI DSS is not a feat that can be conquered overnight; it is an IT project.

PCI Compliant graphic borrowed from Nettitude (credit https://www.nettitude.com/a-guide-to-starting-the-pci-dss-process/)

PAR Technology and RDS Press Release

PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE:PAR)

FOR RELEASE:  March 9, 2016

Giardino Gourmet Salads Selects Cloud-Based PAR Brink POS® Software to Help Maximize Profits, Loyalty and Operational Efficiency

New Hartford, NY – March 9, 2016 — ParTech Inc. (PAR), a leading global provider of point-of-sale (POS) and food safety solutions to the restaurant industry and subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation (NYSE: PAR), announced today that Giardino Gourmet Salads, has selected PAR Brink POS software for its corporate and franchised stores. Giardino’s is a premier fast casual salad chain with 12 locations, based in southern Florida. Retail Data Systems (RDS), a reseller of PAR hardware and software and a long-time partner of Giardino’s facilitated the process to find a POS solution that would best serve the needs of their growing brand. The goal was to implement a technology solution that would enable loyalty and online ordering while providing enterprise level management to efficiently and proactively support their franchisees.

The cloud-based architecture of PAR Brink POS optimizes enterprise operation management across the brand, without the need for a back office computer. The implementation of Brink POS has eliminated the need to manage menu changes from each store location, saving valuable time and resources. As a franchisor, Giardino Gourmet Salads will have access to reports and real-time data including labor and sales on individual locations chain-wide to help franchisees make informed, proactive decisions to drive revenue.

Giardino Gourmet Salads is one of the first restaurants to deploy the Punchh mobile loyalty platform that was recently integrated into Brink with the latest software release. The Punchh-powered apps will help the brand drive loyalty and guest engagement and provide powerful analytical tools to grow the business and better understand the full network of its customers.

“We were planning to franchise from the start and never wanted Giardino Gourmet Salads to be a mom-and-pop restaurant, so implementing a scalable technology platform was a priority,” said Kenny Lugo, founder of Giardino Gourmet Salads. “At an industry event, we spoke with loyalty and mobile ordering providers who both highly recommended Brink for our business model. From these interactions and our relationship with RDS, we knew PAR was the right partner for us and that using Brink POS to its fullest potential would give us a pulse on our business from anywhere, supporting our aggressive growth plans.”

“Cutting-edge, cloud-based technology, like Brink POS, offers optimal scalability through its simple deployment and enterprise management capabilities, making it an ideal solution for growing fast casual and quick service chains like Giardino Gourmet Salads,” said Matt Sutton, general manager at RDS Miami. “We believe a partnership, like the one we have with PAR, allows us to provide not only the best solutions, but also smoother installation, more in-depth training and more efficient help desk services for our customers.”

“It is a true example of partnership between PAR, RDS, and our integration partners to provide Giardino Gourmet Salads with a POS solution that will support their business and drive their brand growth,” said Karen Sammon, President and CEO of PAR Technology Corporation. “The selection of PAR Brink POS by Giardino Gourmet Salads, a company that has been included on FastCasual.com’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers list for the past three years, further strengthens our position in the market as the POS solution for the growing fast casual operator. We are honored to add them to the PAR family and grateful to RDS for the continued support and expertise they provide to our collective customers.”

Giardino Gourmet Salads expects to have 14 stores open by the spring of 2016 and franchise commitments to open an additional seven additional locations in South Florida, Nashville, TN and Raleigh, NC.

About Giardino Gourmet Salads

Giardino Gourmet Salads is the premier fast casual salad concept in South Florida. Founded in 2004, the gardener chefs at Giardino serve the widest variety of individually hand-crafted, great-tasting salads and menu offerings using premium ingredients like freshly baked croutons and homemade deli salads. Currently with 11 South Florida locations and one in Nashville, TN, please visit http://www.giardinosalads.com for more information.

About PAR Technology Corporation

PAR Technology Corporation’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PAR.  PAR’s Hospitality segment has been a leading provider of restaurant and retail technology for more than 30 years.  PAR offers technology solutions for the full spectrum of restaurant operations, from large chain and independent table service restaurants to international quick service chains. Products from PAR also can be found in retailers, cinemas, cruise lines, stadiums and food service companies. PAR’s Government Business is a leader in providing computer-based system design, engineering and technical services to the Department of Defense and various federal agencies.  Visit http://www.partech.com for more information.

About Retail Data Systems

Retail Data Systems is the largest provider of point-of-sale hardware and software in North America. Founded in 1950, RDS now operates over 25 offices serving customers across the nation providing complete point of sale technology.

Our list of industry leading POS hardware and software products provide a variety of solutions for companies large and small. For more information, visit www.rdspos.com.


Microsoft Windows Operating System XP Embedded Approaching End of Life

An Issue You Will Need to Deal With Sooner Than Later – Microsoft Windows XP Embedded‘s End of Life is in January.

XP Embedded, the workhorse of the modern Point of Sale age is going away.  After a more than 14 year run, extended support for the product is ending.  The reason?  Vulnerabilities in older encryption protocols such as TLS 1 will no longer be supported by Microsoft as they cannot get them to new standards on Windows XP based operating systems.  This will essentially render all systems with the XP operating system to be non-PCI compliant effective January 13, 2016.EndofLife

Included in this group are:

  • Microsoft Windows Embedded XP

Not updating your POS system to a compliant operating system will put your POS environment in violation of PCI compliance in at least 3 areas (quoted from PCI DSS v3: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/documents/PCI_DSS_v3-1.pdf):

  • “6.2 Ensure that all system components and software are protected from known vulnerabilities by installing applicable vendor-supplied security patches.”
  • “11.2.1 Perform quarterly internal vulnerability scans and rescans as needed, until all “high-risk” vulnerabilities (as identified in Requirement 6.1) are resolved.”
  • “11.3.3 Exploitable vulnerabilities found during penetration testing are corrected and testing is repeated to verify the corrections

This means if you are running a POS system with Windows XP, you have to do something now.   Please contact us (http://www.rdspos.com) for an assessment on if your environment is at risk.

By Patrick Solum

The Busiest Airport in the World – Catches Restaurant Thieves with Our Help!

RDS Southeast has about 20 restaurant customers in the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Recently, we invited one of our restaurant group customers to install Restaurant Guard by NCR Hosted Solutions. With Restaurant Guard installed for only two weeks, yesterday we were told that our customer had caught three employees stealing red-handed and fired them!

Two employees immediately confessed and the third denied the charges but RG reports and video surveillance confirmed all three were thieves.  Police escorted the three out of the airport and charges are pending.

The scam the thieves were using was the “Reprint” scam. When a guest would order a common menu item like “Combo Number Two” and pay cash, the employees would reprint several copies of the receipt. Then, whenever another guest would come along later and order the same menu item the cashier would ring in the sale and hand the guest the pre-printed receipt. After the guest paid and walked away with their food, the cashier would simply clear/delete the items on the ticket without ever completing the sale. The $8.00 cash would go right in the cashier’s pocket!

Here’s the Astronomical effect of this “petty” theft:

Combo meal price:          $8.00

Reprint Scam if used only 5 times a day = ($8 x 5 times a day) = $40 a day

20 restaurants in the airport. Be conservative and say it only happens in half of them…

10 restaurants = ($40 a day x 10 restaurants) = $400 a day

7 days a week= (7 days x $400) = $2,800 a week

50 weeks a year = (50 weeks x $2,800) = $140,000 a year!!!!!    This restaurant group was losing over $140,000 in revenue a year to theft!
Restaurant Guard Price: $125 a month per location x 10 stores = $1,250 a month

$1,250 a month (10 stores) x 12 months = $15,000 a year.

Pay $15,000 a year to get $140,000 increase in sales? Not a bad investment! Remember also, this was just one scam caught. It may be just “the-tip-of-the-iceberg”.

The other employees saw the police lead the thieves away in handcuffs. What effect will that have to stopping other theft?

The moral of this real-life experience is that RDS is our customer’s friend and consultant. Don’t be shy about asking about and listening to what worries our customers the most. It’s often not about being high-tech, email marketing, tablets or new social media apps. It’s about cutting their costs, improving their profits and making their quality of life better!

We have some of the best people in the industry around us. Bring them with you when you visit your friends (customers) and you will be successful! Good Selling!

E-M-V: What does it mean to me?

By October 2015, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) has a deadline that all merchants should be able to accept EMV payment cards or face charge backs and bad transaction fees.  So what is EMV?

EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, a global standard utilizing an integrated circuit embedded within a plastic payment card (Chip). EMV has been the payment standard in Europe since 2002.  The combination of the card (Chip) with a PIN number provides a strong level of protection for the consumer against identity theft.

So how will this technology effect your business or your pocket book. Let’s exam a few Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. If I don’t make the October 15th date will I go to prison or face fines? No, EMV is not a law, requirement, or a mandate. The only penalty imposed will be a charge back if you the merchant accept a fraudulent EMV capable credit card without using the EMV reader.  So if you accept an EMV capable card for $25.00 and the EMV card is found to be fraudulent days later, you will lose that money plus pay a $20.00 bad card fee total loss would be $45.00. This is the shifting of liability the payment card industry is talking about.
  1. Don’t I have to do EMV to be PCI compliant? EMV is only one component of PCI protection but it is not mandated because it does not stop Cybercriminals from hacking your system and stealing your customer’s sensitive data. It merely reduces the threat of someone recreating a fraudulent credit card. EMV will not reduce your cost of PCI compliance.
  1. If I don’t have an EMV reader, I won’t be able to accept Chip embedded cards? Not true. Only 20-30% of card holders in the US will even possess a chip card by October 15th and if they do all of them still have the magnetic stripe to be used in the event the merchant cannot read the card. Most industry experts anticipate a 3-5 year adoption rate to move completely away from the traditional Magnetic stripe card.
  1. So, all I have to do is purchase a device to read the EMV card and my restaurant is ready to go? Not True. Not all EMV devices may be compatible with your POS system. So, your first step should be to contact your POS provider. They will be able to tell you the devices and processor’s they are compatible too.   If you do not know your POS provider then contact your credit card processor they will be able to recommend a solution for your business.
  1. How great is my risk if I don’t make the deadline? The risk you face is an individual decision. The main basis is you will be responsible for the amount charged in your restaurant on the fraudulent card plus you will pay a bad card fee.  If your average check is $100.00 you are at greater risk than restaurants with a $15.00 Average check.  You have to decide on your own.

Currently there is a lot of confusion surrounding EMV. If you would like to speak with an RDS representative about EMV, please fill out the form on this page.

A Day in the Life of an RDS Hospitality Help Desk Support Technician

View the PDF.

“I Feel Like My Job Matters”

A Day in the Life of an RDS Hospitality Help Desk Support Technician

One of the most highly valued services we offer is our Skilled Help Desk Support. Manned around the clock by over 30 trained technicians, the help desk is here to provide troubleshooting and support for your Point of Sale system. As much as we would prefer them to be completely infallible, software and hardware do sometimes encounter problems. If you have a maintenance contract with RDS, you can pick up the phone and speak with one of our skilled technicians like Chris (pictured here).






Trouble Tickets

When our clients call with a question, our phone technicians open a file in our system called a “trouble ticket.” We use this tool to document our interactions with customers to track the details of all calls and to keep customers informed of the status. To be sure each problem is handled efficiently, we evaluate and handle the calls based upon levels of severity. A site being unable to accept payment, or 50% of terminals on site being down would be examples of the highest severity level warranting the most immediate response. After opening a trouble ticket with detailed notes, the technician would end the phone call and would begin a series of problem-­‐solving exercises. Calls that have the lowest level of critical need such as custom reports or changes in contact information for the files would still be resolved from 4 hours to the next business day.

Once an issue is resolved, we “close” the trouble ticket. There are many advantages to using this system. When the support desk receives multiple calls from a client, technicians are able to address any patterns that may need to be addressed through extra training, or that point to deeper investigation into system issues.

Typical Day for a Hospitality Support Desk Technician

Chris comes in at 9am. Light call traffic before 9:30 allows him to handle any non-­‐emergency calls from the overnight shift. Call volume picks up and is at its heaviest between 9:30-­‐1:30pm. He grabs a late lunch around 2pm at his desk during this slower pace. During the lighter afternoon call traffic, he moves on to address any open cases from the prior business day. Additionally, he helps other technicians requiring assistance on more difficult calls. He leaves the office at 6pm when the next shift takes over.

“I take pride in helping my customers by working to exceed the standards for call-­‐back times.” He can relate to issues at restaurants since he worked in that industry for 10 years. “I know what it’s like,” he says. “This is their livelihood. Their businesses cannot function without their equipment. We need to quickly help them get their problems resolved. I feel like my job matters.”

csrep 2





Most Common Calls

The top three most frequently received calls in the hospitality call center are concerning forgotten passwords, Internet connectivity-­‐related credit card processing problems and reporting issues. Roughly 85% of all calls are resolved within 30 minutes without being escalated to a higher priority. That’s good news for our clients.

RDS conducts regular training activities to keep our Help Support Desk technicians up to speed on all equipment, and the best ways to communicate solutions with our clients in locations all across the country.

RDS Veterans and July 4th

View the PDF.

July 4th is the quintessential American holiday complete with picnics, parades and fireworks. It’s a great time to kick back with family and enjoy a patriotic celebration. Of course, the holiday is about our nation’s independence, and we celebrate our founding fathers and their blueprint for the extravagant freedoms we enjoy today.

Have you read the Declaration of Independence lately? You can see the text and learn more about this living document by clicking here.

Protecting these freedoms has been an ongoing endeavor for our nation’s military. So as we sing about the “free,” we also think of our “brave.” We see them on the news all the time-—the touching homecoming videos of the soldiers who have served on the front lines of freedom. But after these stories run their courses, these same brave men and women transition back to civilian life. If your company is lucky, you might have a veteran or two working in your ranks.

We would like to thank all veterans for their service in protecting our citizens and our freedoms. In the RDS family, we have the good fortune to have 11 veterans working among our ranks and one highly decorated spouse. July 4th is a great time to be reminded of their service.

Santiago Arango, Installer – Southeast | Marine Corps

Anthony Basile, Service – Southeast | Marine Corps

Mike Belden, Warehouse – Southeast | Navy

Nathan Collins, Service- Southeast | Army and Air Force

Jewell Hannibal, RPOS Help Desk | Air Force

Eric Hanson, General Manager, Iowa | Army

Nathan Kerr, Sales – Southeast | Marine Corps

Daniel Lister, Army | Husband of Inside Sales Team Member Veronica Belden-Lister – Southeast

Jerry Pelzel, Service Technician, KS | US Navy

Alex Rodriguez, Staging – Southeast | Air Force

Derek Sutton, RPOS Help Desk – Southeast | Marine Corps

Matt Sutton, General Manager, Miami | Air Force

Harold Stout, Bench Technician, KS | US Navy

John Trimble, IT – Southeast | Marine Corps


A Glimpse at Service


Santiago Arango, Marine Sergeant, served 5 years attached to Medium Tiltrotor Squadron VMM -162 working on Osprey military aircraft providing assault support of combat troops, supplies, and equipment. He was deployed to Afghanistan earned him a Sea Service medal. Arango was also recognized for his performance with a number of awards including 3-time Expert Marksman, Marine of the Quarter, Good Conduct and a Meritorious Promotion. These days, he stays on the go as an installer working out of the Southeast Office.

Alex Rodriguez was attached to the 402nd Electronics Maintenance Group at Warner-Robins Air Force Base. His unit was part of larger logistical team that executed aircraft maintenance, repair, overhauling and other support activities. As someone always interested in the mechanics of how things work, the opportunity to work on sophisticated systems of military planes was the ultimate experience. Awarded Marksman and Razor Sharp medals, Rodriguez focuses on keeping a razor sharp Staging Department at the Southeast office these days.

Eric Hanson graduated top of his class in the ROTC program at Iowa State University. He was a 2nd Lieutenant serving the US Army for 6 years. His military involvement and encouragement lead to an incredible 4 of his 6 children serving in different branches of the military. RDS Veterans 2

Daniel Lister, Retired US Army Corps of Engineers, husband of Southeast’s Veronica Belden-Lister, began his military career in 2002. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom II, III, V and X. During his last deployment, he encountered an IED at close range. As a result, he spent 1-½ years in Walter Reed Army Hospital healing from an amputation and other life-threatening injuries. Lister was awarded the rare Bronze Star for valor and a Purple Heart Medal. He was also awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal, NATO Medal, Army Commendation Medal 6x, Iraq Campaign Medal 4x, Army Achievement Medal 3x, Good Conduct Medal 3x, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and more. This true American hero and father of now 5 children married RDS Southeast’s Veronica Lister in 2014. Together they promote the importance of treating PTSD for returning veterans. As for July 4, 2015, the couple will celebrate their first wedding anniversary on that day. RDS Veterans 1

How Will You Spend the Day?

We asked some of our veterans what the holiday means to them and how they’ll be spending the day.

Anthony Basile, Service Department Manager at RDS-Southeast and former Marine Corps Sergeant says the significance of the holiday has changed for him since his service. “You can’t have people you know and serve with come home in boxes without coming to terms with why we choose to serve. We were willing to lay our lives down for this country.” Worried that Americans have become complacent, he says, “we train hard and fight harder against those who search for ways to do us harm, and come home to a nation that is losing it’s will to survive. There will always be those people that will fight to enslave you for their own benefit.  The 4th of July is when we honor the Americans that valued free lives for their families and communities more than they held to their own comfort or even survival.  Whereas others in this world go to war for the right to rule over you, Americans got to war for your right to rule over yourself.” He plans to spend the day celebrating with his wife and four children.

Nathan Kerr, Account Manager for ALOHA/Counterpoint and former Marine Captain, shared his thoughts. “l was raised in a small town in Tennessee, and patriotism was not in short supply.  The 2 holidays that changed for me after my service are Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.  I always knew Memorial Day was a day to honor those that died for our freedom (NOT those who served, like me, but those who DIED).  But it really hits home when you serve with those heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.  Veteran’s Day is now a holiday for me.  I haven’t worked on Veteran’s Day since I got out, and I never will again.  That’s the day I remember friends I served with, living and dead, and the good times and bad I had during my tour.” His July 4th plans are usually low key, but as he says, “I do make sure Old Glory is flying that day. Semper Fi!!”

Matt Sutton, Miami GM and former Air Force Staff Sergeant, said his level of patriotism grew with his Air Force service. “I joined the military right after high school as I was still very upset about 9/11. I have always been very patriotic, but joining the military has increased my patriotism. 4th of July, Memorial Day and Veterans Day mean a lot to me and I am glad I had the opportunity to serve this great country. I met many friends I will have for a lifetime.” On how he will spend the day, the married father of a new baby girl said, “I usually spend the day with friends and family up in MN. I prefer to be on the lake, and of course around the BBQ. This 4th of July will be special as we will be with our friends in MN and our new addition.”

Want to show support for our troops overseas? Click here to learn more.