MADISON, Wis.—Oct. 18, 2022—The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid special tribute this week to U.S. Army Col. Israel “Izzy” Thompson and his family in conjunction with the Oct. 16 game against the New York Jets. Operation Fan Mail, the program that recognizes military families and veterans at each Packers home game, marks its 16th season in 2022.
A native of south Milwaukee and a lifelong Packers fan, Thompson was an Eagle Scout and played for Marquette University High School’s 1995 state championship football team. He earned an ROTC scholarship and was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Marquette University.
Following his college graduation in 1999, Thompson continued his military career, going on to serve three tours in Afghanistan, two tours in Korea and one to Iraq during which he commanded a company in combat. Most recently, he was deployed to Germany to support current operations in Ukraine. Thompson also served two no-notice deployments to the Pentagon immediately following 9/11. He has served in the Army for 23 years.
His family says he has always exemplified selfless service, one of the seven Army values, and he has always prioritized the safety and comfort of his team over his own, whether that team be his unit or family. Thompson has also earned many awards throughout his career, including two Bronze Star Medals and a Legion of Merit; however, what he values the most is when the soldiers he has led in the past reach out to him as a mentor.
Thompson attended Sunday’s game with his mom, Susan, his wife, Janet, who nominated him for Operation Fan Mail, as well as their son, Sam.
As the honorees for Operation Fan Mail this week, the Thompson 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 2022 season home game and recognize the members on the video boards during pregame activities. A total of 152 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 packers.com/lambeau-field/operation-fan-mail.