2009 Blog

19 April 09: I have been in Iraq for over 3 months now and we conduct night route clearance.  I have to constantly adjust and shift my current pads around due to headaches, which in turn takes my eyes away from searching for IED’s. (SSG, USA-R)

4/8/09 … the new pads are awful, they are too hard and most Marines get headaches. ( they just don’t compress enough) Sgt, USMC

4/3/09: Sir, I am happy to tell you that I did a little.. ‘Which one would you like to wear’. Almost a type of blind taste test. In every case they all said that they would want to wear your pads vs the ones issued to us. As a matter of fact I was talking to a Sgt who said that she had to take a knife and stab the issued pads to get them softer and more comfortable. Thank you again! (Combat Medic, Afghanistan). SPC, USArmy, Medic.  OpHelmet Note: DON’T DO THIS!  It destroys the pad integrity including the waterproof plastic bag that surrounds the pad.

4/2/09: My unit is using the Skydex pads that are currently in issue and they have been literally nothing but a headache.  I was told by a friend that your organization was giving the better, more comfortable Oregon Aero pads to Soldiers who are deployed.  If there is any way that you could help us out, I would very genuinely appreciate it; the hot months are coming and the headaches that come in those months are terrible. Thank you for your consideration and patriotism. SPC, USArmy, Combat Medic

2 April 2009: I’m currently using Oregon Aero pads I received from the Army in 2005.  I love them and think that they’re the best type of pads for the ACH/MICH; especially with the coming summer heat.  The other 11 guys on my team have the newer MSA pads.  My guys are constantly complaining about hot spots and a few of the pads have failed due to the material separating from the pad and ripping.  We’re in a very isolated area along the Iranian border and our water usage is extremely limited.  Without the ability to take care of ourselves and our equipment some things don’t get cleaned like they should. I’ve got a couple of guys that have helmet pads that smell very, very bad. I don’t know what exactly caused this but I’ve been using my OA pads for closed to 4 years and have had no such problems.  I’ve been on a quest to get my guys set up with the Oregon Aero pads for a couple of weeks now but due to OP tempo haven’t had internet access.  We appreciate what you and your organization are doing for us.  The tasks we face we do for our nation and the support people like you provide can make a man’s allergies act up. Thanks for all that you do. SFC, USArmy, BTT

28 March 2009: I currently have the Oregon Aero BLSS kit and have been using it for 4 years. I love this kit and would like to get a replacement Oregon Aero kit since this one is on its last legs and every vendor I’ve tried says there is a 3-4 week backorder. If you have any of these available I would be very appreciative. Thank you. !Lt USA.

21 March 2009: I received them yesterday in the mail and the Marines had a 20k hike last night and put them in before they left.  They said it was awesome not to have their heads hurting after the hike.  We greatly appreciate all that you guys are doing for the Marine. Semper fi.

19 March 2009 Convoys, Security.. The current pads are hard and can lead to headaches with prolonged wear

14 March 2009I just tried on a helmet with the pads you sent to another unit I’m attached to, what a difference, I have never used those pads. Thanks for taking care of the troops in the sand box.

29 February 2009:  THE SYSTEM THEY GAVE US IS HORRIBLE

23 Feb 2009: We are part of a crt (combat repair team) and we are constantly wearing our ach’s and many of us continue to get headaches… We just arrived in Iraq and I would like the rest of my team to be comfortable and less irritable at times when we are on recovery

20 Feb 2009: Hey, Everyone at Operation Helmet, God, I can’t begin to explain to you how much better my head feels in the pads you so graciously gave me and members of my squad here in Afghanistan. We wear these things 6-8 hours a day and when in vehicles I have to put a radio headset in my webbing and at night NVG’s on top. Usually I would get major head pains and headaches from the cheap, old, worn out pads. My squad loves them too. I know I’ve been sending email correspondence back and forth but I haven’t seen the internet for months & so I’ll get back to those soon. I hate to ask, but I know a bunch of the members of my platoon have seen our pads and heard how we felt in them and would like some. (Actually someone I gave pads to just came off-post and was praising how much better they are).  I don’t know what you can do and I don’t want to impose, but those of us who have them love them and frankly others are jealous. I really can’t express how much I am gracious for the gift; definitely better than any care package. Thank you all and keep up the good work. I will be praising your organization and spreading the word so you get the recognition you deserve. Sincerely, LCPL xxxxxxxxx, (Afghanistan Marine)

NOTE: We may worry about the economy here Stateside, but that seems awfully petty compared to what these young warriors face every day. Please, please help me keep on helping them by donating some hard-earned and scarce cash TODAY. I’m sending these Marines more pads in spite of our bank account being so slim that if it turned sideways it’d disappear.

12 Jan 09:  Doc, I gotta tell you, these new pads are the best thing since sliced bread!  My Soldiers are now finding it comfortable and bearable, compared to the pads we were issued.  No more headaches, no more sweaty smell, gotta love it.  Finally, these really make the ACH feel more stable and a more natural feeling on your head, the best you can get while wearing a helmet.  Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to Soldiers and their well being.  Bottom line, these are definately a 10 out of 10!

09 Jan 09: Being a Paratrooper, I have seen my share of concussions with the pads that come with the ACH helmet.  A few guys I know have jumped from an airplane and landed hard enough to knock themselves out cause the pads are so hard and stiff.  Now that we are back in Iraq, I am more worried about TBI from IED strikes while inside the new MRAP vehicles. Thanks for what you are doing.  I think what you are doing is very relevant but I believe the word needs to get out to more soldiers.  I  have been here in Iraq three times and this is the first I have heard of your program. Thanks again!!

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