Call to Action: We need your help!
It’s been some time since Operation Helmet started responding to requests from our troops to upgrade their head armor. Now, with renewed impetus (and troops) in the Middle East, we are reaching out for financial help to keep on keeping on.
For the past eleven years, Operation Helmet has been working directly with troops on the battlefield to help make their head armor wearable and stable in addition to being protective.
The current GI helmet pads, brought about by political influence rather than intrinsic capability, are so hard and non-conforming that troops respond to needless headache and distraction by simply removing their helmets, even in combat situations.
The helmet pad kits we buy and send are the ones the Army started with originally. At the request of Natick Soldier’s Lab, Oregon Aero developed helmet pads that Natick touted as ‘the gold standard’ of helmet pads. These pads were used for the first 500,000+ ACH helmets before the military went cheap with the current pads by Team Wendy and/or MSA. While the current GI helmet pads pass the same laboratory tests as those by Oregon Aero, they have proven so hard and unyielding that troops take their brain buckets off or loosen the chin strap for pressure relief, severely compromising protection. In addition, The Lawrence Livermore National Research lab found that too-hard helmet pads actually add to brain damage from a blast wave, further adding to the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Since the first of 2015, we’ve sent over 1250 helmet pad upgrade kits to our troops serving ‘outside the wire’ in Iraq and Afghanistan…and the requests are coming in faster than ever as more and more units are being deployed both in-country and to ‘quick reaction’ standby by areas, ashore and afloat. Since inception, we’ve sent over 79,000, a significant number considering we only send the helmet pad upgrade kits to troops actually in contact with enemy forces.
Our coffers are nearly depleted and we would appreciate the opportunity to re-acquaint folks with what we do in response to pleas from our warriors. All of us are veterans and volunteers, taking nothing in the way of salaries or fees; 99.9% goes directly to the purchase and shipping of helmet pad upgrade kits…the remainder is due to bank charges, postal, and other minor administrative costs.
We simply need another ‘surge’ of our own to keep on sending what our troops ask for daily. Pass the hats for donations and pass the word to friends and family.
Help Protect Our Troops!
Bob Meaders, MD, CAPT, USN-RET