FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dr. Bob Meaders, President, Operation Helmet,
ophelm@operation-helmet.org
www.Operation-Helmet.org
(936) 449-9706

Operation Helmet Seeks Donations to Help Protect U.S. Troops

Less than $100 provides a trooper added comfort and protection from deadly blasts

DENVER – Dec 1, 2005 – Operation Helmet, a nonpartisan charitable organization, dedicated to providing free helmet pad upgrade kits to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, is seeking donations this holiday season.

The majority of today’s helmets, particularly those worn by most Marines and Airmen, are designed to protect our troops from gunfire and flying debris—not blasts—which have accounted for 65 percent of U.S. military deaths in Iraq since May, according to figures compiled by the Associated Press.  The standard issue helmets, which can be worn for many hours and sometimes days without a break, are uncomfortable and often don’t fit properly so they can slip off when a solider runs, says Robert Meaders, founder of Operation Helmet.

A helmet upgrade kit consists of shock-absorbing pads and a new strap system. Adding shock-absorbing pads to combat helmets can reduce fatal impact forces to a survivable level.  The strap system provides a snug, comfortable fit and helps prevent the helmet from sliding forward on a trooper’s head.

Primarily for budget reasons, the U.S. Military does not issue upgrade kits to most Marines, although other branches of the military are outfitted with them.  Troopers can purchase their own upgrade kits for around $100, but the cost is prohibitive to many.

“We get e-mails every day from young troopers with families who can’t afford to buy their own helmet kits,” says Robert Meaders, M.D., who founded Operation Helmet after his Marine grandson requested upgrade kits to make his company’s helmets safer in Iraq. 

 “As much as our troops appreciate care packages, they can only use so many baby wipes, socks and beef jerky.  What they tell us they really want is equipment to help them come home safe.”

Operation Helmet deducts no administrative costs so 100 percent of donations go toward providing kits to the troops.  Meaders and his wife personally contribute $500 a month, feeling that they can’t ask others to give if they don’t. 

SKYDEX Technologies, one manufacturer of helmet upgrade kits, is donating 500 kits and will donate an additional kit for every 10 that are sent through donations to Operation Helmet from now through Dec. 31, 2005. Other manufacturers also pitch in when demand is high and funds are low. These generous contributions and those of our donors demonstrate the American spirit of helping our troops when the Government is overloaded with demands.

To make a donation of any size or to learn more, visit www.operation-helmet.org.

About Operation Helmet

A charitable grassroots effort that provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Operation Helmet was founded by retired Navy physician Robert H. Meaders, M.D., after his Marine grandson requested helmet upgrade kits to keep his company safe in combat in Iraq.  Since its inception in 2004, the organization has provided 2,500 kits to the troops.

About SKYDEX Technologies, Inc.

SKYDEX™ shock absorbing technology is redefining cushioning and protective capabilities in a wide variety of products, from helmets and running shoes to stadium outfield walls.  SKYDEX materials have been proven to outperform and significantly outlast foams, gels and other products.  Patented SKYDEX technology combines high performance polymers with proprietary geometry for superior cushioning power, and the technology can be endlessly customized for specific applications.  Slated to become a household name in cushioning and impact protection, SKYDEX technology is used by some of the world’s most innovative consumer brands, including Schutt, Nike and Burton, as well as by the U.S. Military.  SKYDEX Technologies, Inc. is a privately held company based in Centennial, Colo.  For more information visit www.skydex.com.

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