The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Chief Master Sergeant Aaron Thornsen, along with his family, during Sunday's Packers-Bears game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
A DeForest, Wisconsin, native, Thornsen is a full-time member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard and he recently returned from Afghanistan, where he was serving his eighth deployment. Since joining the Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1997, he has been deployed to Iraq, Africa and Afghanistan, with two of his deployments coming with different units than the one with which he serves, as the units requested support and he volunteered.
Thornsen currently serves as an Operations Group Superintendent, and he is part of a proud military family, as his grandfather served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II.
A lifelong Packers fan, Thornsen attended Sunday's game with his wife, Nicole, and their two sons, Phillip and Dominic, who always support Thornsen while he is home and when he is deployed. Sunday was Dominic's fifth birthday, and the family was thrilled to be celebrating it at Lambeau Field.
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 2019 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 128 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.