The Green Bay Packers and WPS Heath Solutions paid special tribute to Vietnam veteran Mike Colligan during Friday's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
The Operation Fan Mail program recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game and is marking its 16th season in 2022.
Colligan, originally from Wild Rose, Wis., was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970 and spent two years serving, including 11 months in an infantry unit in Vietnam. He was a machine gunner for his first three months in Vietnam and was then promoted to a squad leader, eventually earning the rank of specialist 4th class.
Since leaving the service, Colligan has worked for FedEx and owned a storage unit business. A lifelong Packers fan, he has also survived cancer and multiple heart surgeries. Colligan was nominated by a fellow veteran who served with him in Vietnam, Dr. John Hofer.
He attended Friday's game with his wife, Genny, and his two daughters, Molly and Caitlin. He and Genny also served for 23 years as devoted foster parents to 60 kids.
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 video board during pregame activities. A total of 147 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 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.
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.