The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to U.S. Marine Jack Zimmerman during Saturday's game against the Browns for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, is marking its 15th season in 2021.
Zimmerman, originally from Kingsford, Mich., joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2019. He was present during the Aug. 26, 2021, troop evacuation in Kabul, Afghanistan. Working at the Abbey Gate to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, he was among the military personnel who were attacked by a suicide bomber wearing a 25-pound explosive vest.
Zimmerman was hit with shrapnel and shot at by gunmen, yet he carried and assisted others who were wounded or killed in action. Three of his friends were among the 13 U.S. service members and 60 Afghans killed in the attack. They were David Espinoza, Kareem Nikoui, and Zimmerman's roommate, Rylee McCollum.
Zimmerman was awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries and he is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.
In his nomination essay, Zimmerman's older brother, Zachary Zimmerman, said, "I think being recognized for his brave and selfless actions will help him understand how much of a hero he is." The Zimmermans are lifelong Packers fans and they attended Saturday's game with many of their family members.
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 2021 home game and recognize them on the video board during pregame activities. A total of 145 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.