Army Sgt. Daniel Schafer and his family were recognized by the Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Insurance at today's game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Schafer, a Kaukauna, Wis., resident, began his military career in 2004 with the Army National Guard while a junior in high school, serving as a transportation specialist. He was deployed with the 1157 Transportation Company out of Oshkosh in Iraq for 15 months during 2006-07. He currently is deployed as a prisoner guard in Iraq with the 127th out of Ripon.
Schafer surprised his family members today at Lambeau Field with his return to be recognized for Operation Fan Mail. He had not told his family he was on leave and returning for the game. Joining him were his mother, Lisa Van Deraa; his grandmother, Phyllis; his stepfather, Keith Van Deraa; and brother.
Now in its third season at Lambeau Field, Operation Fan Mailthis year is a partnership between the Packers and WPS Health Insurance. Designed to recognize families with a member who is on active duty, the Packers and WPS Health Insurance will host a family at each 2009 home game and introduce them on the field during pregame activities.
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 family 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 online via Packers.com by clicking here.
Families intended for recognition are those that have a member serving on active duty. The family member can be a 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.