Residents at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Chippewa Falls were preparing for a visit from an unknown guest when the team from the Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour walked in and offered hearty hellos.
That’s a nice surprise on what was to be a relatively ordinary Tuesday afternoon for the 59 veterans who make their residence at this beautiful facility that opened in 2013.
The tour team appreciated the visit with the residents, which included 23 veterans who served in World War II.
After a welcome gathering that included a question-and-answer session, the players had the opportunity to serve afternoon food and desserts, as well as take in some games, including bean bag toss. Some the contests seem to spark the competitive spirit of Bill Schroeder and Gilbert Brown.
Jerry Kramer enjoyed hearing stories from one elderly veteran about his favorite player, Don Hutson.
Mark Wilson, the commandant of the facility and a veteran himself, took in the activity with a smile.
“What joy this visit has brought,” he observed. “These moments will live on in scrap books for years to come. It was great for these guys to do this.
For Andrew Quarless, who spends much of his regular work time receiving passes from Aaron Rodgers, some of today’s session was about receiving the veterans stories, about their service and also how much they enjoy being fans of the Packers.
“It was fun to hear about their experiences as a fan, all the different stories they had,” he said. “Especially some of the older veterans stories about Vince Lombardi.”
Quarless appreciated even more the opportunity to meet the veterans and offer his thanks.
“I’ve never met a World War II vet. It was incredible to see so many here and speak to them.”
The Tailgate Tour team is experiencing some down time before the first tailgate party of the tour at the Dunn County Fairgrounds to benefit the Bridge to Hope.
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour