The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Dustin Crane during Monday's Packers-49ers game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
The Spokane, Wash., native joined the U.S. Army at age 17 in 2005. Following basic training, he was deployed to Germany with the 1st Infantry Division. After more than two years in Germany, he was stationed in California as an infantry team leader until he was honorably discharged in 2009.
During his time in the U.S. Army, Crane received several awards including the Global War on Terrorism Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Overseas Ribbon and the National Defense Ribbon.
Crane now works as a senior carrier sales executive for Schneider, and lives in Green Bay. He attended the game with fellow veteran Mark Delano, with whom he was stationed with in Germany, and Delano's son, Ryan. Also joining Crane at the game was his friend Dennis Kinchen, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Operation Fan Mail, which debuted in 2007, is designed to honor families with a member who is on active duty, or a member who is a veteran. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter or sibling. The Packers and WPS Health Solutions will host a family at each 2018 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 113 individuals or families have been recognized through the program thus far.
To choose families, the Packers and WPS Health Solutions 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 next season. Essays can be sent to: Operation Fan Mail, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628 or submitted online at nfl.packers.com/gameday/gameday_promotions/operation_fan_mail.
In addition to being recognized on-field prior to the game, selected families receive four tickets to the game.