The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Senior Airman Taylor Manz and his family during Sunday's Packers-Ravens game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Manz, originally from West Allis, Wis., joined the U.S. Air Force in 2013. After completing basic training, he assumed the role of boom operator aboard the KC-135 Stratotanker. Filling an undermanned position with a highly sought after skill set, he has since deployed four times to the Middle East, and is currently stationed in Tampa, Fla.
He now serves as an in-flight refueling specialist and will soon be training to be an instructor. He has received four aerial combat medals and one aerial achievement medal.
A lifelong Packers fan, Manz counts attending the NFC Championship game during the 1996 season, when the Packers defeated the Carolina Panthers to reach Super Bowl XXXI, as one of his favorite Packers memories.
Manz attended the game Sunday with his father, Mark, and friends Jenny Eickhorst and Taylor Tomczak.
Operation Fan Mail, which debuted in 2007, is designed to recognize families with a member who is on active duty. The Packers and WPS Health Solutions will host a family at each 2017 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 105 individuals or families 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. Essays can be sent to: Operation Fan Mail, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628 or submitted online at packers.com/gameday/gamedaypromotions/operationfan_mail.
In addition to being recognized on-field prior to the game, selected families receive four tickets to the game. Families intended for recognition are those that have a member serving on active duty. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter or sibling.