The Green Bay Packers and Network Health paid special tribute to U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Justin W. Padley during Sunday afternoon's game against the Los Angeles Chargers for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, is marking its 17th season this year.
Padley is on active duty with the 115th Fighter Wing headquartered at Truax Air Force Base in Madison, Wis. While at Truax Field, he has served in Security Forces, Supply and is currently in the Inspector General's office. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force two months after he graduated high school in 2008. He always knew that he wanted to join the military and serve his country after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He has received several awards and commendations, including four Air Force achievement medals and two Air Force commendation medals. He also served on a seven-month tour in the Middle East from 2013 to 2014.
In addition to his military service, Padley is also very active in his community of DeForest, Wis. He coaches a variety of youth sports teams, including football, baseball and hockey. He has also organized a hockey team consisting of military veterans, the Madison Warriors. They play against other teams made up of military members or first responders. Padley is the captain and is always on top of game scheduling, getting uniforms and securing ice time for the team to practice.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Padley has been a Packers fan since day one. He has been going to games since he was young, looking up to iconic Hall of Famers throughout the years that have played on Lambeau Field's hallowed grounds.
Padley attended Sunday's game with his wife, Wendy, and his two children, Wyatt and Avery. Padley was nominated for recognition at this week's game by his father, William Padley.
Operation Fan Mail, which debuted in 2007, is designed to honor those who are on active duty or are veterans of the military, along with their families. In addition to being recognized on the video boards prior to the game, selected families will receive four tickets to the game, courtesy of Network Health. The Packers and Network Health will host a family at each 2023 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 183 families have been saluted during the past 15 seasons.
To choose families, the Packers and Network Health 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 this 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. Families intended for recognition are those that have a member of their family serving on active duty, or a member of their family who is a veteran. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter or sibling.