The Green Bay Packers and Network Health paid special tribute to U.S. Air Force veteran Shelli Harris during Sunday afternoon's game against the New Orleans Saints 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.
Harris enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1988 and served for nearly 24 years. She began as an enlisted member and went on to retrain as a paralegal. During her time serving, she was assigned to bases in England, Italy, Holland and Iceland, as well as Washington state. She was deployed to Iraq from November 2007 until June of 2008. She retired at the rank of Master Sergeant and now works as a paralegal for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
During her time in the U.S. Air Force, Harris was recognized through countless awards for various aspects of her service, including the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Air Force Overseas Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with four Oak Leaf Clusters and NATO Medal.
A Wisconsin native, Harris was born in Beloit, but now resides in Brandywine, Md., with her family. Growing up in the state, Harris has always been a loyal Packers fan. She attended Sunday's game with her husband, Keith, who nominated her to be recognized at this week's game. Keith is also an U.S. Air Force veteran who served on active duty for eight years and later as an Air Force civilian. He now works in marine biology for the U.S. Coast Guard.
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 179 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.