See Guidestar for financials.
Our philosophy is quite close to that put forth by the noted philosopher, columnist, comedian, economist and actor, Ben Stein: "I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human."
Founder, President Robert H. Meaders,MD. CAPT, Medical Corps, USN-Retired, Viet Nam vet. Flight Surgeon, Senior Naval Parachutist, Diver (SCUBA). Pilot, SMELS, Flight Instructor, Board certified in Preventive Medicine (Aerospace) and Ophthalmology. Ex-Medical Director, International Eye Foundation. Contact: email@example.com. Wife, LaVera serves as chief mail organizer and in general keeps the old feller going.
Co-founder: SGT Justin Meaders, USMC, now IRR and going to college, Operation Iraqi Freedom vet, martial arts expert, Combat Engineer, back from his 2nd combat tour. Rolled up Ramadi bad guys first time, went back and served in Anbar Province the second time. Personally distributed over a thousand kits to his comrades-in-arms in between combat missions.
June 2011: Justin graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Biology and Spanish, aiming for a career in prosthetics, specializing in military cases.
VP Fund Raising: Robert Fellers, "Marine for Life", Viet Nam vet, Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, rides loud motorcycles, fondness for adult beverages.
VP Treasurer: Richard Vetter, Ex-Army, European theater, Certified Public Accountant. Bald. Ex-smoker (weekly).
VP Secretary: Jack Visage, CDR, USN-retired. Viet Nam vet, ship driver in past life. Plays golf about like I waltz.
VP Everything Else: Rod McMahon, North American Metals rust-jockey
Celebrity Spokesperson: Cher. What else can I say. Love that sweet gal whose face (and body) have launched a million dreams and whose generosity and love have saved the lives and futures of untold numbers of our warriors...and their families and loved ones.
East Coast Directors: Mark Meaders, Major, USAF-Retired and Carla Jean Meaders, SMSgt, USAFR. Enthusiastic, web-savvy guy who did all the work to put this stuff together. Wears glasses and a hearing aid. Fun to embarrass your kids, isn't it? note from Mark - every time I clean up the web site, my Pa messes it up again. Of course, Carla's primary job is keeping Mark out of trouble.
Miss Operation Helmet:: Candice Bennatt, past Miss Houston, present Miss Dallas, Future Miss Texas then Miss USA.
Enablers: All the Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen whose sacrifice and devotion to duty make this operation both possible and needed. And their wonderful families, including my wife, LaVera.
Key Volunteers: Rod McMahon, North American Metals, Inc. and his entire family (think WWE); Scott Henderson, Navy airplane driver in past life, Viet Nam vet. Bob Shelton, Marine Aviator, ex-grunt, Viet Nam vet.
Our Affiliated Volunteers around the country
And all the wonderful families, friends, business associates and concerned citizens who are a tremendous help and support
Operation Helmet has no connection to or association with any manufacturer of helmet suspension systems. Our only goal is added protection for our troops. If a better upgrade comes along, supported by sound scientific data from both civilian and military studies, we'd add it or switch to it in a heartbeat. We do not have an official relationship with any branch of the uniformed services, although we provide helmet upgrades to all who ask, when money allows.
All admin expenses related to the organization are still covered by Doc Bob. Our books are open to inspection by any person at our home office.
Operation Helmet's website is listed on America Supports You, the official Department of Defense website for recommended troop support agencies (see listing), as well as on the HQMC (Headquarters, Marine Corps) web site under the same banner.
Operation Helmet is an IRS approved 501-C-3 organization, making all past and future donations tax deductible to the individual or company. EIN: 20-1756585
We hope that instead of re-verification, we will be out of business because the efforts of all of us will convince our military to upgrade THEIR HELMETS with Government funds. In the meantime, let's keep our life-saving work going. Semper fi, shipmates. Love to all and God Bless America. s/Doc Bob