GREEN BAY, Wis.—Sept. 26, 2019—The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute to Army veteran Mike Klas and his family during Thursday’s Packers-Eagles game for Operation Fan Mail.
Klas, a Fredonia, Wis., native, served in the Army from 1976-79 and 1983-2001. He was a military helicopter co-pilot in the Gulf War and also served as an aerial observer, fire support specialist, and senior instructor at the Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
He achieved the rank of First Sergeant, and was awarded numerous awards and medals, including the National Defense Service Medal, Southeast Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and Air Assault Badge. He was deployed to Germany, Korea, and Saudi Arabia, and was stationed in Kentucky and Washington.
Following his retirement from the military, Klas worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs, assisting homeless veterans in overcoming substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as helping them find medical care, housing, and employment.
Klas, a lifelong Packers fan who now lives in Lakewood, Wash., is undergoing rigorous treatment for stage 4 brain cancer, but dreamed of returning to Lambeau Field to see the Packers play. He attended Thursday’s game with his wife, Joyce; son, Kevin; and daughter-in-law, Christina.
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 at each 2019 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 122 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 submit online.
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.
The appearance of U.S. military visual information does not imply or constitute endorsement by the U.S. military.
To see a gallery of past honorees, visit OperationFanMail.com.
Army veteran Mike Klas is shown on the field with his wife, Joyce; son, Kevin; and daughter-in-law, Christina. (Photo by Katie Hermsen/Green Bay Packers)