MADISON, Wis.—Aug. 23, 2022—The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute this week to Army veteran Mike Colligan and his family in conjunction with the Aug. 19 game against the New Orleans Saints. Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, marks 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.
After leaving the service, Colligan returned to Wild Rose and worked for FedEx and started a storage unit business. The lifelong Packers fan also survived cancer and multiple heart surgeries. Colligan was nominated by a fellow veteran who served with him in Vietnam, Dr. John Hofer.
“I know he’s a big Packers fan and that’s why I wanted to do this for him,” Hofer said. “He just deserved it.”
Colligan attended the Aug. 19 game with his wife, Genny, and his two daughters, Molly and Caitlin. He and Genny also spent 23 years as devoted foster parents to 60 kids.
As the honorees for Operation Fan Mail, the Colligan family also received a $150 Packers Pro Shop gift card, courtesy of WPS.
The program, 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 Packers and WPS Health Solutions will host a family at each 2022 season home game and recognize the members on the video boards during pregame activities. A total of 149 individuals, families, or groups have been recognized through the program since it began.
The Packers and WPS Health Solutions invite interested families, or friends of eligible families, to submit an essay, 500 words or less, on why a particular family should be saluted this year. Families intended for recognition are those that have a member serving on active duty, or a member who is a veteran. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, or sibling.
Essays can be sent to Operation Fan Mail, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628 or online at operationfanmail.com.