Greetings warriors, I thought I would share one of my “sea stories” with you today. As you may or may not know, I am a Green Bay Packers fan. I have been to Lambeau Field five time to see games. The first time I went was in 2002 with my dad, the following years, my mom, sister and brother-in-law have all tagged along to see the games. When we ordered our tickets we would always go through Titletown Tickets, which is endorsed by Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston. Fuzzy played for the legendary Coach Vince Lombardi, winning 5 NFL Championships, including the 1966 and 1967 Super Bowls. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1975, and also owns a sports bar in Green Bay called Fuzzy’s #63. Every time we have gone out there we always stop in at for lunch, and 9 times out of 10 Fuzzy is there. He is a very friendly, approachable person who never refuses an autograph or a picture taken with him.
When my unit was activated to deploy to Iraq, during the early stages of Operations Iraqi Freedom, before I left, I made a promise to my dad that when I got back home we would go back out to Green Bay to see a game.
While I was over there I had some down time one day, so I decided to put some of my artistic talents to use. I torn off the side off a used MRE case and made a little sign for my squad’s machine gun post. The sign read, “Welcome to FUZZY’s FIGHTIN’ HOLE” in nice big letters. Under that I had “Packer Fans Welcome, Bears, Bucs, Vikings Fans and all Iraqis will receive no warning shots.” Then at the very bottom I had my name listed as the owner, with Fuzzy listed as the co-owner. I had one of my Marines take a picture of me next to the sign, which I kept in my pack with me all the way back home.
Once we were back home, I kept my promise to my dad, and we headed out to Green Bay in December 2003 to watch the Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. During our trip we made our traditional stop at Fuzzy’s #63, only this time I came bearing gifts. When we walked in, Fuzzy was already there, so dad and I made our way over to him, gifts in hand. When I gave Fuzzy the sign and picture and explained to him where it was from, his eyes lit up and a big smile grew on his face from ear to ear. He shook my hand and gave me a hug and then dad took a picture of us with his gifts.
Then Fuzzy lead me to the bar in the middle of his restaurant, with his arm around me, and made an announcement to all the patrons that I had just returned from Iraq. Everyone there stood up and started clapping. I must say I was pretty overwhelmed, with my dad watching me stand next to a legendary Packer, who went out of his way for me. I did all I could not to get choked up. This was a moment I will never forget.
A few years later, dad and I returned to Green Bay, this time with my mom, sister and brother-in-law. We made the traditional trip to Fuzzy’s and found the the sign and picture I gave him framed and hanging on his wall amongst all of his sport photos and memorabilia. When I saw him, I walked up and said I liked his new addition to his wall. It took him a second but then he recognized me and got that big smile and his face gave me a hug. I will admit, it’s pretty cool having my picture hanging in a place surrounded by so much history and memories. Thanks, Fuzzy!