The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Insurance paid special tribute to Sergeant Michael Kimmerling during Sunday's Packers-Bears game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Kimmerling, originally from Phelps, Wis., enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps in December 2006 and graduated from the School of Infantry – West as a meritorious lance corporal and machine gunner.
After his first two deployments to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009, he re-enlisted and attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) School in February of 2011. After graduating, he spent two deployments in Afghanistan as an EOD Technician in 2012 and 2014, where he worked to locate, assess, neutralize and dispose of high-yield explosives, hazards and weapons of mass destruction.
He recently returned to the U.S. from his fourth deployment, his third spent in Afghanistan, and is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. He has received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat V, as well as the Combat Action Ribbon and has won the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal twice.
Kimmerling, who was scheduled to arrive back in Wisconsin soon, returned early to surprise his wife, Cassie, at Lambeau Field prior to Sunday's game. They are expecting their first child soon and will be returning to California together after their son is born.
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 2014 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 69 families have been recognized through the program thus far.
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 packers.com/gameday/gamedaypromotions/operationfan_mail.
In addition to being recognized on-field prior to the game, selected families receive four tickets to the game and a care package from WPS.
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.