Please pause for a moment every day to honor
those who have done so much for all of us With
your help, we've sent 74,501
pad upgrade kits to our Warriors risking their lives for YOU 'outside the wire'
facing the enemy
Traumatic Brain Injury is still the
number one cause of death or disability in our warriors stationed in Afghanistan
Government Issue (GI) military helmet pads
are much too hard and cause severe headaches
under the weight of the combat helmet. As a result, combat troops on patrol or
convoy take their helmets off or release the chins strap for pain relief. Hard to concentrate on a dangerous job when you
have a migraine-type headache. IED's, RPG's and ambushes pop up anytime, anywhere. Removing or
loosening helmets to deal with severe distracting headache = needless injury or
The helmet pads you help us buy and send
combat troops operating in Afghanistan pass the same protective
tests but are also comfortably conform to the warrior's head. With these helmet
pads, head armor is no longer a dangerous distraction and troops are once
again maximally protected.
Make a Donation
PLEASE...we're down to the bottom of our sparse bank account and troops in
combat are waiting your/our help. If everyone waits for 'someone else' to do it,
it won't get done. YOU and I are that 'someone' and we appreciate your help.
See the emails below
our warriors heartfelt requests for your help. We redact name and unit for Operational Security...and to prevent back-blast from the Pentagon, everything
else is unchanged except the occasional deletion of expletives.
Click on each Service (on the left) to see email
excerpts specific to that branch.
going outside the wire, in Afghanistan, please)
Make a Donation
(Tax Deductable)...Please help us shake the money trees.
Feel free to ask clubs, leagues, schools, churches, companies you may work
for, etc. for donations as well.
The IRS only requires a confirmation/receipt if the amount is $250 or greater.
For donations less than $250, your cancelled check or bank statement is
sufficient for the Government. ALL donations will be acknowledged by email if
your email address is included...takes seconds to do. I'd love to be able
to answer each of the hundreds of letters we get and shake your hand...know I've
read each and every note and Thank God for patriotic and generous Americans.
PS: Sometimes I can't read the
return address or mis-type it and the letter comes back. I'm sorry, and if you
don't get the required 'receipt in a reasonable time, please email or write me and I'll resend.
Combat is NOT over and will extend until at least
the end of
Even then, the US will have troops in-country and exposed to danger as they
train and lead Afghan Army and Police into action.
As of February, 2014, there
are still 38,000 US troops in Afghanistan
HELMET provides helmet upgrade kits
of charge to troops in Afghanistan and
other dangerous areas, as well as to those ordered
to deploy in the near future.
These helmet upgrades do four
Protection - Shock-absorbing pads keep the helmet from slapping the skull when hit with
blast forces, fragments, or being tumbled along the ground or inside a
vehicle. Keeps blast-wave from transmitting flexure of the Kevlar shell
directly to the skull via too-stiff pads. This decreases the chance of brain injury from IED's, bombs, RPG's,
vehicle accidents, falls, etc.
Comfort - If it is
comfortable, it will stay on troop's head longer and more often.
Stability - Keeps the
helmet firmly on the head and out of the eyes.
Durability – Doesn’t need to be replaced after one month of wear
– hard to do when at a Combat Outpost or Forward Operating Base an eternity
from a logistics supply point.
Operation Helmet doesn't design or manufacture helmet pads, just
identifies and buys the best ones we have found that meet operational as
well as protective needs of combat troops and have been proven in service by
US troops, then send the helmet pad kits free to requesting troops 'outside
Answered gladly 8AM-5PM CST Monday through Friday (sorry, English only) Reluctantly answered before and
after... (this is our home phone
also, but if you think it's an emergency, go ahead and call at other times)
We are a
non-partisan, charitable organization headquartered in Montgomery, Texas
(near Houston) with volunteer operations around the country. 99.96% of all
contributions are used to send upgrade kits to our troops! We have less than one-half of one percent overhead
which is used to for very limited expenses related to bank charges
or resending upgrade kits that didn't reach the addressee. This is a labor of love.
We have no salaries or payroll. Doc Bob covers all office expenses.
(Not from 'desk warriors' in their
air-conditioned foxholes !)
See also Service sections (on left: US Army, USMC,
etc) and Doc
22 March 2014:.
The helmet upgrades first and foremost provide a great cushion
between the cranium and the Advanced Combat Helmet. Many service
members wear the ACH out of second nature due to training with
gear. Comfort is the SMs concern. These amazing pad upgrades
provide the comfort a soldier wants in order to wear their ACH
for extended periods of time. Allowing them to keep the
necessary ACH on during their mission. These pads are soft not
stiff like others, allow breath ability not over heating the
head, and stay snug and fit to the SMs individual head shape
without having them adjust their chin strap for a break. From
what our Soldier Medics here in XXXXX state that with these pads
they would wear their ACH all the time. SSG, US Army
5 March 2014: : THE PADS DO NOT ALLOW FOR GOOD AIR FLOW
TRAPPING HEAT, INCREASING THE CHANCE OF HEAT INJURIES. ALSO THE
HARD CARDBOARD IN THE ISSUED PADS AGITATE PRESSURE POINTS AFTER
18+ HOURS OF WEAR, GIVING THE EOD OPERATOR HEAD ACHES. NOT
BEING 100% DECREASES THE CHANCE OF SAFELY OPERATING IN A
2014: I run a battalion aid station and travel to different
countries that my brigade is supporting and have had multiple
patients with head pain/abrasions due to poor ACH padding. My
motto is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Please
send as many ounces as you can and I will disseminate them
throughout my deployment to those in need.
4 March 2014:
I have been blown up several times, the GI pads put a lot of
pressure on my temples and forehead causing a headache with as
little as 30 minutes of wear time. If I take out pads to
relieve the pressure points the helmet doesn't stay on my head
securely. If it is cold outside the pads are hard as rock and
you have to constantly adjust your chin strap as the warm up.
This is especially frustrating when you are moving at night
under NODS. I have had to glue the backs of several of my pads
because they started to tear away from the pad when I removed
them for cleaning.
20 Feb 2014: On
behalf of my men in the 3XXth, I would like to thank you for the OpHelmet Kits that you sent us. We have been receiving the
boxes over the last couple of days and my troopers absolutely
love them. I even had one say that he had bought an after
market kit at the PX before deployment but the OpHelmet kit was
100x better. Thanks again, you have really increased morale
here. Captain, US Army.
5 Feb 2014: The current pads I have in my ACH
are so stiff that I have had to loosen my chin straps to the max
allowable length just to be able to wear my helmet. I realize
that most pads take a little while to break in, but I've had
these for 5 months now, and they're still as stiff as the day I
was issued my helmet. They're uncomfortable on top, and I have
had to remove two of the side pads, along with loosening the
chin straps, to be able to wear my helmet somewhat comfortably
for the length of time I have to wear it while on missions.
10 Jan 2014: You
guys are awesome. My team received the helmet pads the day
prior to a 12hr mission and it was like Christmas. Everyone was
so excited and replaced their helmet pads right away,
immediately noticing how much more comfortable they were.
During the mission helmets stayed on the entire time which was a
first, most likely leading to a far safer mission and we also
noticed the lack of headache we would typically get about 3hrs
in. These helmet pads and this organization are excellent. My
team wants to thank you sincerely. SSG, US Army
30 Dec 2013:
Thank you very much Captain Meaders and your wonderful wife for
doing this for God and Country. I will pass your information to
any Soldiers that ask for it. And be assured that the kits will
be used and passed out during our missions. I also know where
you are coming from by using all of your resources to make your
ministry happen. I just bought a few items for Soldiers that I
couldn't get donated because the Army is in such short supply
of monies. God always gives us more to give. Thank you again and
14 Oct 2013: I am
writing this today with regard to the amazing work done for our
Armed Service members by OperationHelmet.org. As an active duty
Marine, my primary duties as an NCO is to ensure my Marines are
trained for combat and my unit's mission success followed
closely by ensuring everyone under my charge makes it home
safely to their loved ones and family. With the ever increasing
amount of gear and technology needed to complete our mission in
the austere environments that we are required to operate in,
something as simple as a comfortable kevlar pad is almost always
overlooked when it comes to personal protection equiment.
However, a tool is only effective when properly utilized and
with the "standard" G.I. pads given to troops, kevlars are seen
more as a headache to Marines and soldiers than a tool--both
figuratively and literally. The issued pads are uncomfortable,
ill-fitting, and get hard after being exposed to sweat and dirt
causing headaches after only a short period of time. This leads
to people taking some of the pads out to loosen the fit,
loosening the straps holding them on and generally making them
less effective but temporarily bearable to wear, or taking their
kevlars off completely rendering them useless. Responsible for
the well-being of someone's son, brother, father or husband,
this was unacceptable to me. Thankfully, my brother, also a
former Marine, recommended I get in contact with
OperationHelmet.org and they would be able to remedy our
"headache". Within only a week's time, I had new Oregon Aero
pads and the response was immediate. My Marines didn't mind
wearing their kevlars, they fit properly and they no longer got
headaches for wearing them. Without the work of this great
organization, I can safely assume their would be many more
members of our armed services who would not be home with their
loved ones today, all because of a seemingly insignificant pad.
Thank you OperationHelmet.org for all you do. Semper Fidelis,
Corporal of Marines
26 Sep 2013: I am
currently deployed with the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
What does this mean for me? Endless hours on the rough roads and
I will tell you what the ENTIRE platoon used to get headaches or
migraines, numbness, throbbing and just straight up pain when
using our ballistic helmets. Then by some miracle we received an
entire box of Oregon Aero helmet pad replacement kits. I tell
you now that this is the honest to goodness truth, I was one day
away from removing the pads in my helmet and driving without
them so that I could actually concentrate on the task at hand
"DRIVING A 68,000 LBS VEHICLE!" The pads we are issued are what
feels like solid cardboard and hard plastic wrapped in felt, the
pads we received from Oregon Aero are pliable but firm, soft but
supportive and they mold to the shape of your head and
communications gear. Goodbye headaches, goodbye distraction! The
moment I got the new pads I literally ripped my pads out and
threw them in the trash "And I have a photo I would like to send
showing that" You make (actually we just buy and send)
a great product and you make our lives so much more comfortable!
Appreciate you guys from the frontlines!
9 Sep 2013: Sir, Sorry, It has been a hectic day
here. On the good side my soldiers received the helmet pads yesterday
evening and the first thing they did was rip out there old ones for the ones
you sent them and started wearing their ACH to break in the pads prior to
mission! They keep saying how comfortable they are and wanted to thank you
and your organization for what you do. It makes a big difference while out
on mission, no more stiff neck/heavy head feeling, no more headaches, no
more uncomfortable pressure being applied. Those pads are needed across the
battlefield! I hope you have the resources available to be able to keep your
operation in business! The pads make such a huge difference. My Soldiers
have already noticed it from one mission so far! I cant thank you enough! SSG, Army
5 Sept 2013Thank you again! My team and I
went out on an op the night after we received your shipment, and they really
do make a difference. The pads are much softer and distribute the pressure
evenly around my head, especially when I have my NVGs on. I asked the guys
what they thought and they loved them! A lot of people who don't go OTW
don't understand how the little things like helmet pads make a huge
difference! I see some guys who have all this really cool and fancy
"tactical" gear, but I'm an advocate of less is more. Carefully chosen
equipment is way more important than bulk. USAF Special Agent
24 Aug 2013: I am writing this email to
request a few helmet pad kits. I attempted to request some online; however,
the communications squadron blocked my request. My name is xxxx and I am
currently attached to Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI),
Expeditionary Detachment (EDET) 2413 "Task Force Black". The members of my
unit and I conduct daily OTW missions here in Kandahar, AFG. We have run
into some serious issues with the current pads we were issued, "Team Wendy,
NSN 8470-01-546-0415" they are causing headaches and guys are having trouble
focusing while out on objectives, especially while conducting night
operations with NVGs. Any chance we get we take our helmets off or loosen
the chin straps to relieve some of the pressure, this is obviously a huge
safety concern because the areas we are operating in are extremely hostile.
Any help you can provide is GREATLY appreciated! Ten days later:
Doc Bob! We just got the shipment of pads in today, we can't thank you
enough for your support! The team and I are going to carry a flag out on our
next capture op for you. We will have a certificate made and send it out to
you,along with our unit patch. Again, thank you so much for your help!
Doc Bob's Blog for more information and reports
on how we're trying to get the military to 'do the right thing' and provide the
best, not the cheapest helmet pads to our troops in harm's way. Hard to do your
dangerous job when distracted by a blinding headache.
We hear that DOD (and some vendors) is (are)
convinced we're some sort of agent for Oregon Aero because we don't point
out that their pads used to be more expensive than the competition. I have NO idea
what OA charges the military nor do I care. That's not my business. All we
want is for our troops to have the best, not the cheapest, equipment that
makes their jobs safer and more effectively performed. If an item costs, for
example, 3/4 as much as another but lasts only 1/2 as long, where is the
savings? I also don't know how
much a UAV costs, or even the M4 carbine. Attention
DOD: Don't shoot the messenger, fix the problem!
We have heard from troops in the field that some
pad systems are really hard, hot, and/or uncomfortable
(but not the ones we send).
Fill out an anonymous survey here.
Operation Helmet, Inc. is a
501-c-3 charity; our EIN is 20-1756585. Donations are tax-deductible. If
requested, we send a
letter/email for proof of donation. If you can provide an email address, it is
easier, quicker and cheaper for us to respond.
Once all troops are provided appropriate blast/impact protecting helmet
upgrades, we will utilize residual funds to help other charities providing for
rehabilitation and support of our wounded troops and their families. We are
researching several charities and will support those we find to be well
managed, little or AT LEAST MINIMAL administrative fees and have a proven track record of
helping our wounded warriors cope with their injuries and return to either
civilian or military life.