The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Insurance paid special tribute to U.S. Army Reserve Specialist Justin Lane during Sunday's Packers-Jaguars game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Lane, 23, is currently living in San Antonio, Texas, and is in the 428th Division of the U.S. Army Reserves. In fall 2010, Lane was deployed to Afghanistan as a part of the 21 Bravo Combat Engineers and was responsible for clearing IEDs.
In July 2011, the Green Bay, Wis., native was patrolling the roads of Afghanistan when an IED exploded directly underneath his vehicle. The explosion resulted in numerous injuries for Lane, including the loss of his legs (one at the knee, one just below), brain trauma, massive internal injuries, his spinal cord being separated from his pelvis, multiple compound fractures in his right arm, a fractured jaw and a compound fracture of the left femur. To date he has experienced more than 20 surgeries to repair the damage that was done during this explosion.
While living in Texas, Lane is currently receiving care for his injuries and is adjusting to his new life. He received two prosthetics and his car is being converted so he can drive again.
Accompanying Jeffers to the game were his father, Art, his mother, Kristi and his uncle, Wayne.
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 51 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/gamedaypromotions/operationfan_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.