Program is sponsored by WPS Health Solutions and the Green Bay Packers
MADISON, Wis.—Jan. 4, 2022—The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute this week to now-retired Chief Master Sgt. Bridgett Manning in conjunction with the Jan. 2 game against Minnesota. Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, marks its 15th season in 2021.
Manning, originally from Muskego, Wis., joined the U.S. Air Force in 1995. During the next two decades, she spent time serving around the world in Afghanistan, Africa, Alaska, Georgia, and Germany. She worked not only as an airman, but as a humanitarian, asking for donations of shoes, toys, and toiletries to donate to local orphanages.
Through her hard work, Manning earned the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and oversaw hundreds of enlisted men and women. She officially retired this weekend after serving for 26 years.
Aside from her military career, Manning advocates for veterans as an intern at VETS2PM, where she assists veterans in finding employment. She also serves on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Veterans Chamber of Commerce as the vice president of external affairs and career development.
In her nomination essay, Manning’s best friend, Michelle Pinkert, said, “She is a shining example of a woman overcoming substantial odds and emerging triumphant.”
Manning’s husband, Casey, is also a veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. A lifelong Packers fan, Manning attended Sunday’s game with Casey, Pinkert, and Pinkert’s husband, Matt.
As the honorees for Operation Fan Mail this week, the Manning family also received four tickets to the game and 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 2021–22 season home game and recognize the members on the video boards during pregame activities. A total of 146 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.