The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Dustin and Natalie Wenzel and their family during Sunday's Packers-Saints game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Dustin Wenzel, originally from Wausau, Wis., joined the U.S. Army in 2005. He has served in a variety of areas, previously as a local area network manager in Korea, information systems analyst in Colorado and Army cyber command readiness non-commissioned officer in Virginia.
He also served a 15-month tour for Operation Iraqi Freedom and a 12-month tour for Operation Enduring Freedom, and was recently selected to be promoted to sergeant first class. He was chosen in December of 2016 to become an Army recruiter, and currently serves in Wisconsin, having received recruiting duty orders to his hometown of Wausau.
Natalie Wenzel is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving honorably from 2000 to 2008. After leaving the Navy, she moved to South Carolina for an engineering position.
Both grew up as Packers fans, and met by chance in 2009, when Natalie noticed Dustin enter the room wearing a Packers jersey and hat. The couple has two daughters, 7-year-old Charlotte and 3-year-old Vanessa.
The Wenzels attended the game Sunday with Dustin's brothers, Mitch and Cody Witzeling.
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 103 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.