The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Colonel Israel "Izzy" Thompson during Sunday's game against the Jets for 'Operation Fan Mail'.
Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, is marking its 16th season this year.
A native of South Milwaukee and a lifelong Packers fan, Thompson was an Eagle Scout and played for Marquette University High School's 1995 state championship football team. He earned an ROTC scholarship and was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Marquette University.
Following his college graduation in 1999, Thompson continued his military career, going on to serve three tours in Afghanistan, two tours in Korea and one to Iraq during which he commanded a company in combat. Most recently, he was deployed to Germany to support current operations in Ukraine. Thompson also served two no-notice deployments to the Pentagon immediately following 9/11. He has served in the U.S. Army for 23 years.
His family says he has always exemplified selfless service, one of the seven Army values, and he has always prioritized the safety and comfort of his team over his own, whether that team be his unit or family. Thompson has also earned many awards throughout his career, including two Bronze Star Medals and a Legion of Merit; however, what he values the most is when the soldiers he has led in the past reach out to him as a mentor.
Thompson attended Sunday's game with his mom, Susan, his wife, Janet, who nominated him for Operation Fan Mail, as well as their son, Sam.
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 2022 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 152 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.