The Green Bay Packers and Arise Health Plan paid special tribute to seven combat-disabled and wounded veterans during Sunday's Packers-Seahawks game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
The veterans, all of whom served in the U.S. Marine Corps, include:
- 1st Sgt. Timothy La Sage from Johnson Creek, Wis.
- Cpl. Bruce Brandon from Kenosha, Wis.
- Sgt. Ryan Baudhuin from Door County, Wis.
- 1st Lt. Dera Marcel from Port au Prince, Haiti
- Sgt. Michael Gillitzer from Waterloo, Wis.
- Cpl. Craig Goldsmith from Madison, Wis.
- Gunnery Sgt. John Matter from Lisbon, Wis.
Between them, the veterans served for a total of more than 60 years of combined military service. Their collective service includes deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and the western Pacific.
Many members of the group served together, and currently work closely with veterans organizations.
As highly decorated veterans, their awards include numerous meritorious service medals, ribbons, bronze stars and purple hearts.
Operation Fan Mail, which debuted in 2007, is designed to recognize families with a member who is on active duty. The Packers and Arise Health Plan will host a family at each 2015 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 78 individuals or families have been recognized through the program thus far.
To choose families, the Packers and Arise Health Plan 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/gameday_promotions/operation_fan_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 Arise Health Plan.
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.