The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to U.S. Army Sergeant Major James Arnold Cook during Sunday's game against the Patriots 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.
Cook enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 18 and has served his country for the past 22 years. He enlisted as an E1 Private and eventually worked his way up to E9 Sergeant Major, the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Army. He has done several tours overseas, including multiple deployments in Afghanistan and Africa and he has been a member of the 82nd Airborne, 75th Ranger Regiment and the US Army Pacific. During his service, he also earned his college degree, double majoring in homeland security and emergency management.
Cook was born and raised in Wisconsin with an adoration for the Packers from a young age. Each time he moves to a different base, he decorates his house with countless Green Bay items. He has an impressive collection of Packers jerseys and has named his dogs after the team's players. Cook, his wife Kaleena, and four children Ben, Sierra, Brayden and Lilyanna are currently stationed in Fort Shafter, Hawaii, his last station of duty as an enlisted member of the U.S. Army. He is set to retire from military service at 41 years old in October 2023.
Cook attended Sunday's game with his sister, Jessica Basile, who nominated him for Operation Fan Mail, as well as their parents, Mary and Mike Cook. He said he was honored to have followed in the footsteps of so many who served before him, and he's proud to carry on the tradition of military service.
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 151 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.