The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Insurance paid special tribute to U.S. Army Ordinance Corps Colonel Patrick Kelly during Sunday’s Packers-Vikings game for ‘Operation Fan Mail.’
Kelly currently lives in Midlothian, Va., with his wife, Kathy, son, Patrick, and daughter, Sarah, who are all avid Packers fans. In summer 2013, Kelly will retire from the Army after 32 years of service.
Joining the Army as a Materiel Maintenance Specialist in 1976, Kelly has held many roles within the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps and, as of 2010, is the Chief of the explosive ordnance disposal directorate.
Kelly is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, the Ordnance Advanced Course and the Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Indianhead, Md., the Air Command and Staff College. He also holds a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Air War College and a master’s degree in human resources management from Troy State University.
Throughout his career, Kelly has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq several times as a Battalion and Brigade Commander. His service to the United States has earned him several awards including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge and Parachutist Badge.
Accompanying Kelly to the game were his wife and two children.
Operation Fan Mail, which debuted in 2007, is designed to recognize families with a member who is on active duty. The Packers and WPS Health Insurance will host a family at each 2012 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 53 families have been recognized with the program.
To choose families, the Packers and WPS Health Insurance are asking interested families, or friends of eligible families, to submit an essay, 500 words or less, on why a particular fan should be saluted. Essays can be sent to: Operation Fan Mail, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628. Essays also can be submitted to the Packers online at http://nfl.packers.com/gameday/gameday_promotions/operation_fan_mail.
Families intended for recognition are those that have a member serving on active duty. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter or sibling.
In addition to being recognized on-field prior to the game, selected families will receive four tickets to the game and a care package from WPS.