The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Josh and Alicia Withers and their family during Sunday's Packers-Buccaneers game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Josh Withers, originally from Tampa, Fla., joined the U.S. Army in 2004. During his 14 years in the military, he served a combined 27 months between two tours for Operation Iraqi Freedom and a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. Since June 2016, he has been on orders for recruiting in Plover, Wis.
He has reached the rank of staff sergeant, serving in a variety of roles, including Communications Security Custodian in Germany and IT Specialist in Georgia. He has also served as Senior LAN Manager, Information Technology Team Chief, Helpdesk NCOIC for the Weapons of Mass Destruction team in Maryland, and a Senior LAN Manager in South Korea.
Alicia Withers, originally from Wausau, Wis., is a combat veteran of the Army, serving honorably as a non-commissioned officer from 2006 until 2010. She also served a 15-month tour for Operation Iraqi Freedom. She reached the rank of sergeant and after her honorable discharge in 2010, she continued to support Josh at various duty stations. She now works as a Process Analyst at WPS Health Solutions in the Military and Veterans Health program and is currently in the last year of her Master's program.
Alicia grew up as a Packers fan, and Josh quickly grew to love the Packers shortly after the two met at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., in 2007.
Josh and Alicia currently live in Wausau, Wis. They attended the game Sunday with their daughters, 7-year-old Bianca and 3-year-old Selena. Their family also includes their daughter, 9-month-old Karlee, and Josh's daughter, 14-year-old Hannah, who resides in Florida.
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 106 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.