The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to U.S. Navy veterans Omar and Laura Azmitia during Sunday's game against Washington for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, is marking its 15th season in 2021.
Omar and Laura have served a combined 49 years of military service for the U.S. Navy. Both served as Hospital Corpsmen, taking care of countless service men and women who were injured while serving. Laura, a native of Georgia, enlisted in October of 1993 and eventually achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. She deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom aboard various naval vessels and she retired after 22 years of service in March of 2016.
Omar, who moved to the United States from Guatemala when he was a child, enlisted in August of 1994. He achieved the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer and was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was involved in combat operations during the height of the insurgency in Fallujah, and was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005, 2007 and 2008. After serving 27 years, he just celebrated his retirement ceremony on Oct. 15.
The couple met in late 2002 while both were stationed in San Diego. Omar had become a Packers fan as a teenager, after researching American football as a newcomer to the States and discovering the history surrounding the Packers. After he met Laura, she became a fan, as well, and they've passed their love of the team on to their children. They now live in Pensacola, Fla., with their two daughters and one son.
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 or group at each 2021 home game and recognize them on the video board during pregame activities. A total of 141 individuals, families or groups 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 online at packers.com/lambeau-field/operation-fan-mail.
In addition to being recognized on-field prior to the game, selected families will receive four tickets to the game and a $150 Packers Pro Shop gift card courtesy of WPS Health Solutions.