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About the new ECH: If you've got rocks in your socks, changing shoes won't help...Chinese (Texas?) proverb.
Bad pads in a good helmet isn't the answer.

First-hand reports. Not research, but REALITY.  The Limited User Evaluation asks (LUE) done by the Marines asked subjects Stateside whether or not the LWH with GI pads hurts the Marine's head over a ONE or TWO day period. We hear from Marines wearing their kevlars with the cheaper pads for days, weeks  and months on end. We call that a Combat User Evaluation, or CUE; priceless information from troops actually doing the fighting. They tell us the cheaper but harder helmet pads cause distracting headaches, build up heat in the summer, and begin to stink and fall apart after only a short while in use.

Have a video or youtube comment on the pads?  Let us know: ophelm at operation-helmet.org

IF ANY MARINE wants to official comment on their head armor/pads, click on this link to the Marine Enhancement Program. This avenue is the ONLY way to help change the system and receive the best helmet pads America can provide instead of the cheapest, so please contact them through the above website asking for comments.

Rank Abbreviations:  Pvt = Private; PFC = Private First Class; LCpl = Lance Corporal; Cpl = Corporal; Sgt = Sergeant; SSgt = Staff Sergeant; GySgt = Gunnery; 1Sgt = First Sergeant; MSgt = Master Sergeant; SGM = Sergeant Major; MGySgt = Master Gunnery Sergeant; SgtMaj = Sergeant Major; WO1 = Warrant Officer; CWO2-5 = Chief Warrant Officer 2 thru 5; 2nd Lt/1st Lt = 2nd or 1st Lieutenant; Capt = Captain; Maj = Major; Lt Col = Lt Colonel; Col = Colonel. http://www.defense.gov/specials/insignias/enlisted.html

CIF = Central Issue Facility; FMF = Fleet Marine Forces; LWH = Lightweight Helmet; Corpsman = Medic; MSA = Mine Safety Appliances; NSN = National Stock Number; PLT = Platoon; POG = Personnel Other than Grunt (which is all military MOSs other than infantry).  MT = Motor Transport (Trucks). REIN = Reinforced. A Platoon should have 42 people; a reinforced Platoon has more.


15 Apr 2014: Kits: 20. Hometown: New Berlin, WI. Duties: Training indigenous individuals and assesssing their operations in combat zones. Current Pads: Blue-ish grey pads and the suspension system without pads. Comments: All Marines on the team have different types of inserts and complain of headaches and/or poor fitting. Unfortunately, I gave my last set of these pads to another deployer, but was EXTREMELY impressed with the pads I used for my last deployment. SSgt, USMC.

6 Apr 2014: Kits: 1. Duties: Military Police. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: I've gotten headaches from wearing my kevlar. It's seriously uncomfortable. Cpl, USMC.

29 Mar 2014: Kits: 9. Hometown: Saint Louis. Heard About us: Previous unit. Duties: EOD. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: The current pads do not allow for the helmets to properly fit the heads of any of my Marines. They are extremely hard and are more of a hinderance than help. SSgt, USMC.

25 Mar 2014: Kits: 28. Heard About us: one of my marines. Duties: INFANTRY. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: CAUSES HEADACHES AND STIFFENS WHEN NOT WORN FOR A DURATION OF TIME. THEY DO NOT CUSHION IMPACT WELL. ONE MARINE HAS YOUR PADS AND THEY ARE FLAT OUT AMAZING AND A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE. Cpl, USMC.

10 Mar 2014: Kits: 2. Hometown: Fredericksburg. Heard About us: weblink. Duties: EOD tech. Current Pads: advanced combat NSN 8470-01-546-9415. Comments: They feel fine at first but soon become uncomfortable pressing into the head tightly, too stiff. SGT, USMC.

9 Mar 2014: Kits: 10. Hometown: Portsmouth Rhode Island. Heard About us: Another Marine in my plt. Duties: Security for Marines advising Afghan National Army. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: They are stiff and are not comfortable at all, they have lost all flexibility so the kevlar doesnt sit right on my head. CPL, USMC.

27 Feb 2014: Kits: 1. Hometown: CA. Heard About us: internet seach. Duties: Medic. Current Pads: NSN8470-01-546-9415. Comments: pads take up too much space inside helmet. considering getting one size bigger helmet to compensate for the pads however i am considering the extra bulk as a "con". HM2, USN (FMF)

3 Feb 2014: Kits: 35. Hometown: Ft Worth, TX. Heard About us: Friend at CACI. Duties: JTAC, Route Clearance Convoys. Current Pads: Mix of Team Wendy pads. Comments: We've noticed that our pads harden significantly in colder weather as well as issues with our headsets under the pads themselves. Capt, USMC.

2 Feb 2014: Kits: 2. Hometown: quakertown pa. Heard About us: other marine. Duties: Infantry operations. Current Pads: gray hardened pads thin lip around bottom. Comments: they harden in winter they are old and have mildew on them and even new they were very rough and uncomfortable. Also can you send helmet straps the ones we have are like leather very irritable on the chin and face and arent very adjustable. Ive seen black ones which are more cotton like or other material im not sure that are much more adjustable and comfortable. LCpl, USMC

22 Jan 2014: Kits: 1. Hometown: west bloomfield. Heard About us: google. Duties: infantry. Current Pads: standard issue pads. nsn 8470-01-646-9415. Comments: still have the same pads that I got issued 3 years ago, pads are hard and misshapen causing my kevlar to fit oddly and painfully after wearing it for a matter of hours. Cpl, USMC.

21 Jan 2014: Kits: 1. Hometown: Butler, PA. Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Infantry-Machine Gunner. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: GI pads are too hard and cause too much pressure on your head creating headaches. The poor texture of the pads also cause the helmet to fall down while using NVGs. LCpl, USMC.

21 Jan 2014: Kits: 85.  Heard About us: Google Search. Duties: Convoy operations in the AOR. Current Pads: NSN: 8470-01-545-9356. Comments: Constant operations which require long term use of the kevlar in extreme temperature change environments. 1stLt, USMC.

19 Jan 2014: Kits: 10. Heard About us: Google Search. Duties: Convoy Operations. Current Pads: Skydex. Comments: The pads we have are hard even in light cold temps. They are painful to wear as well.  Sgt, USMC.

16 Jan 2014: Kits: 1. Hometown: Philadelphia. Heard About us: Justin Meaders. Duties: Combat engineer. Current Pads: None. Comments: No padding in my current helmet. Sgt, USMC.

17 Dec 2013: Kits: 50. Duties: INFANTRY. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: UNCOMFORTABLE FIT AND POOR QUALITY. 1st Lt, USMC.

13 Dec 2013: Kits: 50. Heard About us: other platoons. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Team Wendy (grey. Comments: Current pads create uncomfortable pressure points. Marines tend to remove pads and take their helmets off more often.  SSgt, USMC.

26 Nov 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Dallas. Heard About us: another marine. Duties: infantryman. Current Pads: nsn--issued. Comments: current pads are not comfortable over extended periods of wear. LtCol, USMC.

23 Nov 2013: Kits: 25. Hometown: St. Louis. Heard About us: Prior use. Duties: EOD Technicians. Current Pads: I use Oregon Aero pads. Most of the Marines in my platoon use MSA pads. Comments: I am trying to get pad upgrades for my platoon of EOD technicians before we deploy in support of OEF. We are deploying in 2014 so we have a few months to go. I am ordering these to my address because we have had issues with shipments of equipment arriving at our shop. Most of my 29 Marines are using standard MSA pads right now. I have used the pads supplied from this wonderful organiztion and see a real benefit with supplying them to my Marines. I have heard many complaints about the standard pads including headaches, discomfort, and excess difficulty concentrating while wearing standard "foam bricks". The last worries me the most due to the fact that they are going to be handling explosives during operations. SSgt, USMC.

23 Nov 2013: Kits: 32. Hometown: Frostburg, Maryland. Heard About us: My previous unit has used your pads in the past. Duties: INFANTRY,EOD,CONVOY, SOME MEDICS. Current Pads: I currently have a set of your pads everyone else in my team has the issued pads not sure of nsn or maker. Comments: The current issued pads are as hard as a rock and very uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time on patrol. Also when current issued pads get soaked with sweat and dust and then dry when you take off your helmet they become even harder. Also current pads do not conform to the shape of your head. Sgt, USMC.

22 Nov 2013: Kits: 1. Heard About us: a fellow Marine. Duties: Intelligence Officer. Current Pads: Pad, Helmet Advanced Combat NSN 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: They are hard and give me a head-ache after a few hours. Maj, USMC.

22 Nov 2013: Kits: 60. Hometown: CORBIN KY. Heard About us: A MARINE I WORK WITH. Duties: INFANTRY AFGHANISTAN. Current Pads: ISSUED, TEAM WENDY. Comments: THEY GIVE US HEADACHES AND PUSH ON PRESSURE POINTS.  SSgt, USMC.

22 Nov 2013: Kits: 60. Heard About us: Used this site before previous deployments. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Issue grey Team Wendy. Comments: Marines are removing their uncomfortable pads to relieve pressure points, degrading their effectiveness. Sgt, USMC.

8 Nov 2013: Kits: 10. Hometown: LEESBURG, VA. Heard About us: MILITARY FRIEND. Duties: BASE SECURITY. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: THE PAD ARE HARD AND ARE GIVING MARINES HEADACHES. Cpl, USMC.

15 Oct 2013: Kits: 9. Hometown: Fontana CA. Heard About us: Our Chief Warrant Officer highly recommend your helmet pads. Duties: EOD operations. Current Pads: CIF issue ZAP Action Pad. Comments: Uncomfortable, improper fit, they wear out fast, they come out of the helmet after some wear and tear, and after some use they get hard as rocks then disintegrate. Sgt, USMC.

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, Afghanistan.  (Sent 160 helmet pad kits for the entire Company)

17 Sep 2013: Kits: 55. Hometown: MILWAUKEE WI. Heard About us: A LT FROM MY LAST UNIT. Duties: INFANTRY, FIRE SUPPORT. Current Pads: BASIC CIF ISSUE. Comments: THE CURRENT PADS MY UNIT HAS DO NOT FIT COMFORTABLY IN THE HELMETS, THIS UNIT HAS A HIGH OP TEMPO AND NEW PADS WILL BE USED ON A CONSTANT BASIS. Sgt, USMC.

21 Aug 2013: Kits: 1. Duties: UT. Current Pads: GREY HARD PADS. Comments: THE PADS ARE HARD AND GIVES ME A HEADACHE. GySgt, USMC.

13 August 2013: Sir,I just wanted to drop you an email and thank you so much for your generosity and support out here.  We got the box of helmet pads for the entire platoon today and let me tell you the boys couldn't have been happier with them.  Marines love getting packages but love it even more when its something that will make the mission easier.  Comfort can be a killer for morale and i can happily say that now there should be no complaints about how there helmet pads suck.  Again thank you and when I return to a base with more accessible mail options be looking for something in the mail from us. SSgt, USMC

12 Aug 2013: Kits: 45. Hometown: Dover, NJ. Heard About us: ordered previously but learned from my brother who was also a Marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: I have the Oregon Aero only because I had some from the previous order I had from you. The rest of my platoon has the old grey/black pads (if they even have them at all). They are stiff and not very comfortable. Comments: They are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, and several of my Marines don't even have the complete set of pads for their kevlars. I told them I would take care of it. We are set to leave stateside in approximately a month to Afghanistan. I was hoping to have this squared away prior to departing. Thank you for all that you do. Cpl, USMC.

31 Jul 2013: Kits: 2. Duties: artillery. Current Pads: zap. Comments: the pads arent comfortable at all, push down on my head and give no relief, in the heat they are extremely uncomfortable. SSgt, USMC.

16 Jul 2013: Kits: 30. Heard About us: Web Search. Duties: Infantry Unit. Current Pads: Varies - MSA, NSN and Unknown. Comments: For infantry units deployed forward in support of OEF, wearing your kevlar for extended periods (days) is the norm. We take EVERY opportunity that we can to remove our helmets because the pads issued with our helmets are hard and extremely uncomfortable. The cause headaches for the Marines which tend to draw from our focus when we are constantly adjusting. Thanks!  SSgt, USMC.

9 Jul 2013: Kits: 1.  Duties: human intelligence and counter intelligence. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: The current helmet and pads I am currently issued are better than the netting we had on my first deployment and was happy to have pads for my last two. During the work up for this deployment a comrade showed me the pads he got from your organization and it was exponentially more comfortable than the issued ones. SSgt, USMC.

2 Jul 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Evansville IN. Heard About us: Though another Marine. Duties: Engineer. Current Pads: MSA Pads/Team Windy, they are hard and tend to smell. Comments: It can become painful to wear for extended periods of time. 1st Lt, USMC.

27 Jun 2013: Kits: 45. Hometown: New York, NY. Heard About us: Squad Leader. Duties: Infantry, OEF deployment pushed up and we are leaving 6 weeks prior to original ship date. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Current pads are hard and Marine complain that they are uncomfortable which is leading to them taking them off when mounted in vehicles. 2nd Lt, USMC.

26 Jun 2013: Kits: 3. Hometown: Jefferson Township, NJ. Heard About us: Fellow Marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: SkyDex. Comments: Have SkyDex pads but they are an improper size, 2 of my Marines are complaining about helmet pads asking if they can cut them to let out air. We all know thats bad juju figured I would try to get them these to solve the issue safely. Sgt, USMC.

26 Jun 2013: Kits: 1. Heard About us: Co-Workers. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Grey issued pads. Comments: Current pads are hard, uncomfortable and falling part from use. 1st Lt, USMC.

18 Jun 2013: Kits: 47. Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania. Heard About us: Last Deployment. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: The old pad are causing headaches for my Marines especially when used for long duration which is expected in an operational environment. The Pads Also Stiffen in Certain climates which makes wearing the LWH difficult for certain Marines. Sgt, USMC.

17 Jun 2013: Kits: 44. Hometown: Jonesboro, Ga. Heard About us: Fellow Marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Grey. Feels like they are lined with plastic. Comments: Bad fit. Discomfort. Pads do not recover there form after being worn for awhile and the helmet isnt secured to the head.  SSgt, USMC.

14 Jun 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Six Mile, sc. Heard About us: squad leader. Duties: MP. Current Pads: nsn. Comments: headaches mainly. LCpl, USMC.

18 May 2013: Kits: 4. Hometown: ERIE. Heard About us: FRIEND. Duties: OVERWATCH, CONVOY SECURITY. Current Pads: THEY COME IN 5 PARTS, THEY KIND OF LOOK LIKE THAT PICK OUT FOAM THAT YOU GET IN PELICAN CASES. THEY FEEL LIKE PACKING STYROFOAM. Comments: THEY DONT ACTUALLY PROTECT FROM IMPACTS AND 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 I HAVE TO TAKE THEM OUT BECAUSE THE PADS HAVE NO CUSHION TO THEM. ON IMPACT THEY DONT ACTUALLY HELP AT ALL. AND I KNOW A LOT OF MY FELLOW MARINES THAT HIT IEDS IN AFGHANISTAN AND HAD SOME SERIOUS CONCUSSIONS BECAUSE THE PADS DIDNT REALLY PROTECT THEM AT ALL. AND I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE PADS BEFORE WE DEPLOY IN JULY SO THAT I CAN GO TO AFGHANISTAN WITH THEM. AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MY WHOLE CREW WITH THEM. LCpl, USMC.

10 May 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Davidson, NC. Heard About us: Google Search. Duties: Communications. Current Pads: basic PASGT generic brand unknown name. Comments: currently unassigned, being proactive. SSgt, USMC.

29 Apr 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: NEW YORK. Heard About us: wikipedia. Duties: Utilities Chief. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Headache. GySgt, USMC.

11 Apr 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Erie, PA. Heard About us: Friend in unit. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Extremely uncomfortable, I have had them in the helmet for almost two years now and they have hardened and give me a headache after minimal wear time. LCpl, USMC.

6 Apr 2013: Kits: 40. Heard About us: PRIOR DEPLOYED MARINES. Duties: ROUT CLEARING, DEMOLITIONS. Current Pads: PAD,HELMET,ADVANCED COMBAT. Comments: THE ISSUED PADS HAVE NO PADDING CAUSING MY MARINES TO HAVE A HEADACHE AFTER WEARING FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. CPL, USMC.

21 Mar 2013: Kits: 50. Hometown: San Bernardino, CA. Heard About us: Master Sergeant from an adjoining platoon. Duties: Currently we are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Our mission requires us to be outside the wire for weeks at a time in order to provide engineer support. Due to the heat and the inability to to remove our personal protective equipment, our Marines routinely suffer headaches and discomfort which cause them to lose focus on our mission. I was impressed with the outcome our adjoined platoon had when they received these pads and I would like to supply my junior Marines, many whom are deploying for the first time, with this product so we may better carry out our task in country. Thank you for any support that you may provide for us. Current Pads: NSN: 8470-01-546-9356. Comments: The pads issued to us are hard and are a one size fits all which causes discomfort and headaches to my Marines. I personally have experienced the effect of these pads in Afghanistan in the extreme heat that causes us to take our mind of our mission. I would personally like my Marines to be as fitted as possible so they may focus on our mission and come home safely. Once again any help you may provide will be greatly appreciated.  Cpl, USMC.

17 Mar 2013: Kits: 50. Hometown: Lodi. Heard About us: from a friend and used pads on deployment. Duties: security. Current Pads: standard issue usmc grey. Comments: uncomfortable, headaches, hard to clean. Cpl, USMC.

12 March 2013: Kits: 129. Hometown: BROOKSVILLE, FL. Heard About us: FROM MY OLD PLATOON COMMANDER. Duties: ENGINEER PROJECTS. Current Pads: OREGON AERO PADS. Comments: BEFORE MY LAST DEPLOYMENT WE HAD THE CIF ISSUE PADS AND THEY GAVE MY ENTIRE PLATOON HEAD ACHES. SO MY PLATOON COMMANDER DID SOME WORK AND GOT A BOX FOR MY PLATOON AND THAT WAS THE GREATEST GIFT HE COULD HAVE GIVEN US. NO MORE HEAD ACHES AND MORE CONCENTRATION ON THE ENEMY. NOW I WANT TO OUTFIT MY COMPANY WITH THEM SO WE CAN HAVE THE SAME COMFORT IN ORDER TO HAVE MARINES FOCUS ON THE ENEMY AND NOT A HEAD ACHE. THANKS YOU AGAIN FOR MAKING SUCH A GREAT PRODUCT. MSgt, USMC.

8 Mar 2013: Kits: 43. Hometown: CANTON OHIO. Heard About us: CIF. Duties: CONVOYS, PATROLS. Current Pads: WE ALL HAVE THE REGULAR NETTING ON THE TOP OF OUR KEVLARS. Comments: ME AND MY MARINES DRIVE OVER HUNDREDS OF MILES A WEEK WITH A TEMPO THAT WE HAVE AT A TECOM BASE. Sgt, USMC.

4 Mar 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Huntington Beach. Heard About us: From a friend. Duties: Radio Operator. Current Pads: Grey pads, very hard. I beleive they are the standard pads. Comments: My Cpl has these [from OpHelmet] pads and they are amazing. They actually make you want to wear your helmet, not kick it down a hill. When i go to afghanistan in may i will be going on mulitple patrols a day and would love to have these pads so i dont get migranes from the helmet that i have to live in. LCpl, USMC.

3 March 2013My Cpl has these pads and they are amazing. They actually make you want to wear your helmet, not kick it down a hill. When i go to afghanistan in may i will be going on mulitple patrols a day and would love to have these pads so i dont get migranes from the helmet that i have to live in. LCpl, USMC. 

24 Feb 2013: Kits: 5. Duties: Scout Sniper. Current Pads: Grey pads, cloth, plastic underneath cloth. standard issued for mich helmet. very hard when cold. the Ops-core helmet has hard stirafoam on the inside, with about a quarter inch of soft cloth foam on the ouside. Comments: The current pads issued to my unit are not comfortable during long missions and almost create a vise on your head because they do not give very much. Being with scout snipers, we are required to wear our kevlars and ops-core helmets for up to 96 hours straight, even when sleeping, so having comfortable padding inside the helmet is a must. Comfortability is survivability is a saying that goes around our platoon, meaning if your aren't comfortable, you will not be able to perform the mission to the best of your ability.  LCpl, USMC.

20 Feb 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Flemington, NJ. Heard About us: Google search for "ACH Helmet Pads". Duties: designated marksman. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: After 3 hours of wearing my kevlar, it feels like its trying to crush the top of my skull. I find myself wiggling my head around and moving my helmet just to relieve some of the pressure. Cpl, USMC.

16 Feb 2013: Kits: 1. Hometown: Flemington, NJ. Heard About us: Google search for "ACH Helmet Pads". Duties: designated marksman. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: After 3 hours of wearing my kevlar, it feels like its trying to crush the top of my skull. I find myself wiggling my head around and moving my helmet just to relieve some of the pressure. Cpl, USMC.

14 Feb 2013: Kits: 10. Hometown: st louis mo. Heard About us: friend. Duties: Heading to afghan to support using convoy operations helping eod. Current Pads: blue and grey. Comments: The Current pads are way to stiff and uncomfortable. SSgt, USMC.

12 Feb 2013: Kits: 20. Hometown: sonora, ca. Heard About us: other Marine units. Duties: Infantry operations. Current Pads: nsn. Comments: too stiff, especially in cold temperatures. Sgt, USMC.

25 Jan 2013: Kits: 4. Hometown: ROCKY MOUNT, NC. Duties: TEAM LEADER-INFANTRY. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: CAUSING MUCH HEADACHES FROM BEING TOO STIFF. WHEN COLD THEY BECOME SO HARD THAT I FEEL I HAVE BRICKS INSTEAD OF PADS. Cpl, USMC.

17 Dec 2013: Kits: 75. Hometown: Destin Fl. Heard About us: A Friend. Duties: Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Current Pads: Issued Comments: Poor Fit, Hot Spots, and not enough sizeing options. Sgt, USMC.

27 Dec 2012: Kits: 1. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: The pads I have now give me headaches and feels like I'm wearing bricks on my head. They also get very cold and hard during the winter. Cpl, USMC.

23 Dec 2012: Kits: 13. Hometown: Lake Forest Park, WA. Heard About us: Justin. Duties: Engineer/Infantry. Current Pads: 8470-01-546-9415. Comments: I have received helmet upgrade kits from you guys before and my past platoon loved them and had zero complaints! However this is a new squad and a different deployment so I'm trying to prevent injuries before hand by giving them a set of helmet pads that will pass the test of a rigorous deployment. Sgt, USMC.

8 Dec 2012: Kits: 1.  Duties: reconnaissance Scout Fire team leader (infantry).  Comments: I will appreciate recieving new helmet pads because my current ones freeze, hold sweat and are highly uncomfortable. All the personell on my team have the same issues including head aches from the constant hard pressure held upon their heads. LCpl, USMC.

4 Dec 2012:Firstly, I'd like to say these Kevlar Pads i ordered are amazing. And i mean that.I am not some Marine sitting in an office taking advantage of the hard work we do patrolling over here in Afghanistan. The pads i have, i purchased. However, now im interested in getting a kit for my platoon. We are outside everyday and i constantly have guys asking if they can take off their optics due to the rubbing from our (for the lack of a better word) terrible pads. LCPL, USMC

23 Nov 2012: Kits: 55. Hometown: Galveston, Tx. Heard About us: Looking online for better helmet pads before deployment and came across your website. Duties: Infantry/ Mounted and Dismounted Operations. Current Pads: It looks like they say Centex. NSN# 8470-01-506-6851. Comments: Our current ones are very stiff especially in the colder weather out here. It seems that the cold may be making them worse. Most of my Marines are mentioning having headaches and being very tempted to take them off just for a minute to relieve pressure. They are just causing my Marines to lose focus on the mission due to the headaches. I am currently a Platoon Sergeant for a Platoon (REIN) hence the request for 55. Anything will help and they will be disseminated starting from the lowest rank up. Thank you in advance if you can or cannot help. Semper Fidelis! SSgt, USMC.

20 Nov 2012: Firstly, I'd like to say these Kevlar Pads i ordered are amazing. And i mean that. I am not some Marine sitting in an office taking advantage of the hard work we do patrolling over here in Afghanistan. The pads i have, i purchased. However, now im interested in getting a kit for my platoon. We are outside everyday and i constantly have guys asking if they can take off their optics due to the rubbing from our (for the lack of a better word) terrible pads ... We are a platoon of 42 Marines responsible for an area a lot bigger than we can do without having long hours out the wire wearing our issued stone pads. LCpl, USMC.

15 Nov 2012: Duties: Designated Marksman (DM). The current issued gray helmet pads create pressure points on the top of the head that are painful and extremely distracting. As my platoon's DM I need to be able to maintain focus on the surroundings while on patrol or in an overwatch position. I've completed one deployment with the issued gray pads and don't wish to complete my second dealing with the same insufficient equipment. Some buddies of mine have had the pads you generously supply and have had nothing but praise to say for them.

14 Nov 2012: Kits: 18 Hometown: Gaylord, MI. Heard About us: friend. Duties: Advising/Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: We are planning on / training for night missions, and the current pads don't support enough for the optics. We have a mix of pads in the team, and some are very bad and beat up. I would really appreciate some kits, because we will be spending a lot of time patrolling with the Afghans. 1st Lt, USMC.

4 Nov 2012: Kits: 1.  Heard About us: From a buddy. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. They are gray, and feel like they are filled with plastic like foam material. Comments: With our MICH helmets we wear MSA ear protection which has a thick band across the top creating a raging headache after a few minutes of wear. Wearing the MICH and the MSA's after countless hours is very uncomfortable. If you could supply me with some new pads I would really appreciate it. I've had Oregon Aero pads in the past and in Afghanistan and they were amazing., but after two deployments they are worn down and un-serviceable. If you have any more questions feel free to contact me. Thank you! Sgt, USMC.

28 Oct 2012: Kits: 4. Hometown: Virginia Beach. Heard About us: Friend. Duties: I am a 0331 Machine Gunner in the USMC. We are headed back to Afghanistan for the second time. Our unit just got back from a 7 month deployment and have been in the U.S for only 4 months and are headed back out in 2. Us infantry guys could really use ANY good gear we can get. With us just getting back and all, everyone's gear is torn and tattered. Good kevlar pads are a must have. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: The current pads do not last long at all. They become extremely dirty and are unable to be cleaned well. LCpl, USMC.

18 Oct 2012: Kits: 75. Hometown: Pottsboro, Texas. Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Convoy Ops. Current Pads: Bricks. Comments: Hard and uncomfortable. Helmets ride high and create discomfort even after extended period of break in time. 1Sgt, USMC.

5 Oct 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: NY, NY. Heard About us: I met your rep at charity awards event last month in San Diego. Duties: Deploying to Afghanistan (Military Police). Current Pads: SPM 1C1-09-D-F006, NSN 8470-01-546-9415. Comments: i am joining the unit in Afghanistan, so if there are others with the miserable pads I'll be sure and relay the word on your GREAT service. MUCH APPRECIATED! Semper Fi, Major, USMC.

23 Sep 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Ogema. Heard About us: a friend. Duties: 0317. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: They make your helmets uncomfortable to wear. LCpl, USMC.

17 Sept 2012a: Kits: 2. Hometown: Chicago, IL. Heard About us: a friend from a past unit who deployed to Afghanistan. Duties: Scout Sniper Security/Overwatch Operations. Comments: the pads me and my Marines currently have disrupt our concentration. We are a Scout Sniper team and we operate mostly 75% of the time at night meaning we use Night Vision Optics. these weigh heavily on our helmets and the pads we have do not provide enough cushion for them to maintain our survivability. thank you so much for what you do and God bless you all. CPL, USMC

25 Aug 2012: Kits: 1. Heard About us: online. Duties: radio operator. Current Pads: ww2 ones. Comments: the current ones i was issued hurt the top of my head and block my eye sights when running. LCpl, USMC.

20 Aug 2012: Kits: 1.  Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Seven gray pads, one large circular that goes at the bottom of the helmet, two medium square pads that go at the front and back and four small rectangular pads that go on either side. Comments: Pads have slowly been improving, but they do not compare to the pads you provide, which a fellow officer showed me while we were in the field on an exercise. 2nd Lt, USMC.

28 Jul 2012: Kits: 35. Hometown: Camp Pendleton, CA. Heard About us: An Infantry officer recommended you. Duties: Our team advises the Afghan National Army Brigade that occupies southern Helmand. We tactically advise Infantry, Recon, Artillery, Engineers, Medical, Logistics and Admin by frequently conoying to different locations and conducting operations with the Afghans in our AO. Current Pads: PAD, HELMET, ADVANCED COMBAT SIZE, SPM1C1-09-D-F006 3/4" NSN 8470-01-546-9415 9U425 LOT TW0430-4. Comments: We mostly experience headaches and hair loss from wearing the issued pads. Many of the Marines can't wait to take their helmet off and the discomfort is a continual distraction.  Capt, USMC.

24 Jul 2012: Kits: 9. Hometown: Tampa, Fl. Heard About us: From friends. Duties: EOD. Current Pads: Currently we are given the MSA pads. Comments: The MSA pads are stiff and do not allow the helmet to sit properly on the head. We are trying to get the Oregon Aero pads do to the soft get like pads. They fit the MICH helmet better and give better protection for explosive wave transfer. Sgt, USMC.

6 Jun 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Fort Worth, TX. Heard About us: online. Duties: Scout Sniper. Current Pads: Team Wendy 3/4 inch pads NSN. Comments: Pads helmet sit so high on my head even with adjusting pad placement, it is impossible to protect me at all, helmet sits above my ears. Cpl, USMC.

28 May 2012: Kits: 12.  Heard About us: friends. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSa. Comments: the ones issues are made of styrofoam and giving alot of the guys headaches and alot of times forcing use to want to take the pads out. LCpl, USMC.

13 May 2012: Kits: 2. Hometown: Houston. Heard About us: EOD. Duties: Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Current Pads: Regular Skydex pads.  Comments: My current pads are rock hard and over any extended period of time they cause headaches and pain. My old pads make it nearly impossible to wear any helmet for longer than 10 or 15 minutes. After that I would remove my head protection to work more smoothly. I badly need new pads to help me think straight and allow me to wear my helmet for longer periods of time. I am deploying shortly and I would greatly appreciate any help from this organization. SGT, EOD, USMC

8 May 2012: Kits: 10. Hometown: Westerly RI. Heard About us: google. Duties: Heavy Equipment. Current Pads: Standard USMC issue, grey. Comments: Myself and my marines have been training for the upcoming deployment, during which time being subject to the rain and cold have made the pads inside the helmet either unservicable or just plain hard as a rock. Trying to get new pads for these helmets is more of a headache then the pads themselves. the paper work and time involved to get new ones are just a hassle. If you can help out my platoon i would be forever greatful. Sgt, USMC.

4 May 2012: Kits: 10. Heard About us: from a friend here in country. Duties: Assistant Patrol Leader and Platoon sergeant. Current Pads: SMP 1C1 09 D F006 STANDARD ISSUE PADS FROM CIF NSN 8470-01-846-8415, I THINK IS HARD TO READ, TOP IS ROUND 2 SQUARE AND REST ARE RECTANGULAR. Comments: The standard pads squeeze your head and you get a headache after a couple of hours. I have a platoon of 38 Marines including myself. not sure if I could request for all. thank you. SSgt, USMC.

28 Apr 2012: Kits: 22. Hometown: PALM BAY. Heard About us: ANOTHER MARINE. Duties: INFANTRY. Current Pads: THE ONES THAT ARE ISSUED. THEY ARE GREY AND THEY ARE HORRIBLE Comments: THE CURRENT PADS THAT WE HAVE ISSUED TO US GIVE JUST ABOUT EVERY MARINE HEADACHES AND THAT IS THE LAST THING THAT WE NEED WHEN GOING ON PATROLS OVER IN AFGHANISTAN. I AM A MACHINE GUNNER AND NO MATTER HOW I PLACE THE PADS MY HELMET ALWAYS FALLS FORWARD ALONG WITH MY MARINES. I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING BUT IT DOESN'T SEEM TO HELP AND ONE OF MY BUDDIES FROM 1/8 SAID HE GOT PADS FROM Y'ALL AND THEY WORKED WONDERS. MY FELLOW MARINES AND I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE NEW PADS BEFORE WE SHIP OUT BACK TO AFGHANISTAN. CPL, USMC.

15 Apr 2012: from Facebook: Wanted to say thanks again for the ongoing support from Operation Helmet. In 2009, I received ~20 pads for my platoon. This year, Operation Helmet supported my entire company of ~150. I spread the word that the Marines should write to Operation Helmet with testimonials, but in case they don't, I can personally attest that every single Marine fell in love with the OA pads. Not one person wasn't appreciative of your gesture. Thanks!

25 Apr 2012: Kits: 13. Hometown: readfield maine. Duties: infantry. Current Pads: nsn (gray pads). Comments: headaches, cause alot of my guys to remove all but the bare minimum pads required to hold it on their heads. They have also become hard and cause chafing. LCpl, USMC.

25 Apr 2012: Kits: 1 Hometown: Heard About us: another Marine Duties: EOD Current Pads: msa. Comments: not only are the brick pads uncomfortable they also fall apart or come unstitched when moving their placement in the helmet to accommodate headsets. we are also given one size pad and then are issued a larger helmet if it is too tight instead of having the propper size helmet and pads. i have also tried many configurations and they all put pressure on certain spots that after extended wear becomes painful. the only option for this is to have a loose helmet and let it rattle around and reduce protection from impacts.  Sgt, USMC.

22 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: boyertown, PA. Heard About us: another EOD tech. Duties: EOD. Current Pads: stock mich pads, 2 grey and 3 black, sewn seam. Comments: my helmet sits higher even with most of the pads out. plus over long times it is even more cumbersom. due to my job we are outside of the wire for extended timeframes and im trying to get something a little more comfortable.  SSgt, USMC.

22 Apr 2012: Kits: 40. Hometown: Boerne, T.X Heard About us: Marine. Duties: Field Artillery. Current Pads: Helmets do not have pads currently. Comments: Any donations of helmet pads would be greatly appreciated. This will improve operations greatly for the Marines.  SSgt, USMC.

21 Apr 2012: Kits: 2 .Hometown: El Paso, TX. Heard About us: Co Worker Duties: EOD. Current Pads: Advanced combat Size They are grey with a glued seam and soft texture. Comments: I am deploying in october and we started work ups already. The current pads make my helmet feel like it is way too small even though I know its the right size. Not to mention the headaches I get from the rock hard foam that is in them. As an EOD tech I need the least amount of things distracting me while in the job. I have worn one of my team members helmet with your pads in it, and on a 15 hour training op, I never had to think about the helmet or the nvg's moving around. You guys are doing a great service, thank you. Sgt, USMC.

20 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio. Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Infantry advisor to the Afghan National Army in Helmand. Current Pads: Pad, Helmet Advanced Combat Size spm1c1-09-d-f008 3/4" NSN 8470-01-546-9415. Comments: Just headaches from extended wear. Capt, USMC.

18 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: houston, tx. Heard About us: friend. Duties: EOD. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: too hard, not enough cushion in the right places. Mainly, over the eyebrows.  Sgt, USMC.

15 Apr 2012: Kits: 26. Heard About us: BUDDY OF MINE ORDERED FROM HERE LAST DEPLOYMENT. Duties: INFANTRY PATROLLING. Current Pads: GREY PADS COME STANDARD ISSUE OTHER SIDE IS BLACK IN COLOR. Comments: VERY HARD AND ITCHY CAUSES HEADACHES IF WORN FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME, i wouldve given the apo/fp but we leave in a week from now hopefully they get here before then. LCpl, USMC.

9 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Fulton. Heard About us: internet. Duties: 92y supply tec. Current Pads: regular. Comments: I have ben trying to find a kevlar upgrade kit on the internet. i have weapons qual pretty soon need improvment kit asap. Please. LCpl, USMC.

9 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Worcester, Mass. Heard About us: Google. Duties: Embedded with the Afghan National Army as an Advisor/Trainer for 12 months in Afghanistan. Current Pads: Oregon Aero pad kit. Comments: The older issue pads were worthless. Just a space filler. I upgraded to the Oregon Aero and they are great pads but the strap system isn't great and the helmet fits loosely. Capt, USMC.

7 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Ocean, NJ. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: grey. Comments: cause headaches. LCpl, USMC.

3 April 2012: During my  last deployment to Afghanistan several marines in my unit had the helmet pads sent to them from your org. and even without using them i can tell that they are of much better quality than the issued pads. The issued pads quickly get compressed and turn into a very hard foam block which is very uncomfortable and often times fall apart to the point that they wont even stay inside the helmet. I would appreciate it very much if you could outfit our Assault section with a better helmet pad.

The current helmet pads have many issues that effect mission performance. They cause terrible migraine headaches. The last thing you need to be doing after returning from a patrol that often times is several hours long is dealing with a migraine. Also this is an issue while standing post, being distracted by a migraine while you need to be as alert as possible is another unnecessary problem. When the issued pads get quickly worn out and compressed they no longer hold the helmet in place on your head properly, this poses an obvious issue with things such as running, laying in the prone, employing your weapons system, and using helmet mounted night vision optics. I notified my local church about your need for donations. They will be posing a flyer this week on the bulletin board.

1 Apr 2012: Kits: 1. Heard About us: a friend. Duties: I am a team leader for a team of machine gunners in 3rd battalion 8th marines. Current Pads: usmc brick pads? grey sewn seam extremely hard. Comments: My last deployment to Afghanistan one of my senior marines had ordered pads for are machine gun section mid way threw are deployment. i could not believe how much better these pads were i use to regret putting on my kevlar just because of the headache that i knew would follow it after the patrol. that all changed when i had received the ones you had sent us. they are amazing and it is sad that the government will not issue them out. i would like to be able to give my jr. marines new pads just how my seniors did for us. there is 8 of them in are section. i am not deployed yet but will be b y next month to Afghanistan. i still have my pads and are in amazing condition after being washed 3 times. LCpl, USMC.

28 Mar 2012: Kits: 30. Hometown: Falls Church, VA. Heard About us: Last Deployment. Duties: Infantry - Dismounted Patrols, Helo Raids. Current Pads: Standard hard grey pads that come from supply. I dont have my issued pads to look at for the specifics. The ones you sent 2 years ago are still holding strong. Im just trying to request these for the guys who have joined since our last deployment. Comments: I requested pads for my squad last year and it was amazing what a difference they made! No more head aches or taking off our kevlars to rub our temples. I can't for the life of me understand why the military wont provide these for us in the first year. I'd like to request enough bad for the new guys in my platoon, as well as replacements for a handful of senior guys who had there Kevlars damaged last deployment. If This is too many than whatever you can provide would be great. Thank you so much for the service you provide! Its great to have one less headache (literal) to deal with on deployments!! LCpl, USMC.

17 Mar 2012: Kits: 1. Duties: radio. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: my current pads are uncomfortable. LCpl, USMC.

15 March 2012:  The pads got in approximately two weeks ago, but the majority of us had to go to the range for annual rifle qualification. I distributed the pads this week just in time for convoy operations training yesterday. We spent a whole day at the training area running multiple drills and every Marine that was with me in Afghanistan last year commented on what a marked improvement these pads were on the ones we were issued. Corporal Hartman even mentioned to me that the old pads used to give him migraines and that these pads provided a nice snug fit without the pain. We had agreed that just about the only down side was that the junior Marines would have no idea just how good they have it with these pads. LCpl USMC.

7 Mar 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Mamou, LA. Heard About us: Google. Duties: Adviser to 215th Corps. Current Pads: green, greyish pads that stick to old patches. Comments: My GI pads were great but are very old and I haven't been able to find replacements. Additionally one has fallen out so the set is not complete. The velcro is no longer sticking as well. 1st Lt, USMC.

29 Feb 2012: Kits: 1. Heard About us: Word of mouth. Duties: Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). Current Pads: Current pads are grey in color and are very stiff. Comments: They do not compress enough for my helmet to fit properly. They do not conform to my skull and cause pressure points along the sides of my head. Sgt, USMC.

26 Feb 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Pipestone, MN. Heard About us: Fellow Marine recommended it. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Gentex (gray, top pad is circular, 6 on the sides are rectangular). Comments: Extremely firm initially, compress slowly after extended use to cause improper fit as well as becoming even harder from compression. LCpl, USMC.

24 Feb 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: fort worth. Heard About us: internet search for new helmet pads. Duties: Infantry Assault/MAP. Current Pads: sentex [gentex?]. Comments: pads crush in causing them fit improperly after extended wear. CPL, USMC.

21 Feb 2012: Kits: 1.  Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-506-6626, Gentex Corp. Comments: Lack of comfort - headaches and lack of solid fit - slides around. Capt, USMC.

18 Feb 2012: Kits: 1.  Duties: Infantry Bn. Current Pads: Standard ACH pad. Comments: The standard pads cause the helmet to sit high. Capt, USMC.

15 Feb 2012: Kits: 2. Hometown: Las Vegas, NV. Heard About us: Google Duties: Motor Transport. Current Pads: Gentex Corporation 3/4" 8470-01-545-9415 x1 8470-01-546-9356 x4 8470-01-546-9407 x2. Comments: After my first deployment with over 60 Combat Logistics Patrols, I would like to find an alternative suspension/pad system that offers better fit and feel. Despite wearing the pads in, I still found myself removing my kevlar during security halts to catch a "breather". Any improvement in fit and comfort would be greatly appreciated. LCpl, USMC.

14 Feb 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: MA. Duties: Logistical Embarkation and Combat Service Support. Current Pads: i do not have any pads or straps on my kevlar. i got an old kevlar from supply and was told to fix it! Comments: don't have any [pads]!  LCpl, USMC.

3 Feb 2012: Kits: 2. Hometown: Hendersonville, NC. Heard About us: another Marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN Issued 3/4 pad. Comments: They are thick and don't conform very well. They rip easily. Lt Col, USMC.

24 Jan 2012: Kits: 20. Heard About us: Last Deployment. Duties: The platoon is broken down into MT and HE Operators as well as Docs and Engineers. Current Pads: Current pads are grey and thick. They are extremely hard and come in two sizes of thickness according to CIF. Comments: Current pads make extended operations extremely unconfortable. Pads are too thick and stiff. Thank you in advance. Sgt, USMC.

23 Jan 2012: Duties: convoy. Current Pads: gray. Comments: the ones i have are just getting old and worn out. Sgt, USMC.

21 Jan 2012: Kits: 2. Hometown: POINT PLEASANT, NJ. Heard About us: ACCIDENT, CAME ACROSS YOUR WEBSITE. Duties: COMMO, CONVOY. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: I only have 4 small pads in my helmet at the moment, no top round pad. PO3, USN.

16 Jan 2012: Kits: 1. Hometown: Fort Walton Beach Florida. Heard About us: Google. Duties: Infantry, I am a rifleman 0311. Current Pads: The old skullcap suspension system. I have no pads. Comments: Well considering that they are not pads, I will just state what is wrong with the suspension system. One main problem is that when you are in heat for 24/7 your head sweats which makes the leather on the system wet which them makes the helmet fall down onto your face when running and sweat is dripping in eyes when shooting. Not Good. Then it is an old system with cracks and tears.  PFC, USMC.

14 Jan 2012: Kits: 1. Duties: convoy ops/mechanic/route clearing. Current Pads: grey rock solid pad. Comments: the helmet pads will not allow the helmet to sit on my head properly also it feels very tight around my head causing major discomfort. LCpl, USMC.

11 Jan 2012: Kits: 4. Duties: Comm. Current Pads: None. Comments: Our current helmets have no pads at all, and I would like to spare my Marines the misery of a tour with the old helmet suspensions. Sgt, USMC.

5 Jan 2012: Kits: 70. Hometown: Palm Harbor, FL. Heard About us: Peer Mentorship. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: They cut off circulation and retain heat. 1st Lt, USMC.

22 Dec 2011: Kits: 1. Duties: Afghan Army Liaison Officer. Current Pads: NSN starting in 8470 3/4 inch "Advanced Combat" Helmet Pad. Comments: Current configuration DOES cause distracting pain after several hours of wear - especially with the additon of night vision equipment. Just looking to try something that MAY be better . . . Capt, USMC.

20 Dec 2011: Kits: 1. Hometown: Phoenix, AZ. Heard About us: google search. Duties: Sniper/SAW gunner. Current Pads: gray, feels like cloth, the set is 2 big squares with a big circle one and 4 smaller rectangles. Comments: they're just not soft enough. it feels like they're crushing my skull sometimes, especially with NVGs on. its a pain in the ass.  LCpl, USMC.

20 Dec 2011: Kits: 2. Hometown: tampa. Heard About us: fellow eod marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: grey issued hard pad. Comments: there to thick and give me bad migranes. Sgt, USMC.

20 Dec 2011: Kits: 10. Hometown: Atlanta, GA. Heard About us: Google Search: MICH Helmet, USMC. Duties: Supply Officer. Current Pads: Current pads are standard issue MSA 3/4" "Bricks". Comments: Currently the Marines are operating with the standard MSA helmet pads. On the last deployment they came back looking for different sizes or new pads due to the pain and discomfort they were experiencing. The Marines’ mission requires them to operate outside of the FOB sometimes months on end, and their focus is taken away from mission accomplishment and directed toward the pressure points and headaches caused by sub-standard padding. Additionally, the Marines are sizing their MICH helmets wrong, and it's due to the MSA pads - this could ultimately result in a lack in effectiveness of the helmet system. As the Supply Officer I want to ensure that these Marines are taken care of so that they can operate effectively. Requesting a trial set. Will push to outfit the entire battalion if we find success in these. Thank you!  2nd Lt USMC.

13 Dec 2011: Kits: 12. Hometown: Stockton, CA. Heard About us: Google Search. Duties: Infantry. Comments: The Marines in my squad are complaining of head aches, "hot heads" and the Helmet not fiting right. It has been such a big issue during field ops and LFAM ranges that some Marines are only putting in the top round pad to relieve pressure on their temples, forehead and rear of the head.  LCpl, USMC.

13 Dec 2011: Heard About us: surfing web for pads. Duties: Peacekeeping Mission . Current Pads: NO PADS! I am still on straps! Comments: A Individual Augmentee (IA) Marine that is deployed on a Peacekeeping  Mission. As an IA, got OLD helmet/equipment because of "peacekeeping" environment.  Lt Col, USMC.

12 Dec 2011:Kits: 1. Hometown: Lewisburg TN. Heard About us: Giving back to those who serve website. Duties: Operation Enduring Freeedom. Current Pads: green soft texture. Comments: uncomfortable. LCpl, USMC.

11 Dec 2011: Kits: 24 Hometown: Colby, Kansas Heard About us: A friend told me his platoon got pads from you guys. Duties: Infantry Current Pads: The issued pads that we get with the kevlar from CIF. Comments: The issued pads are horrible, they get hard when they're cold. They create uncomfortable pressure points on your head and give you a headache. If you could send us Oregon Aero pads that would be great! We've heard really good things about those. We really appreciate what you guys are doing for us, thank you! LCpl, USMC.

10 Dec 2011: Kits: 45. Hometown: Jacksonville, NC. Heard About us: From other infantry Marines who have received the helmet pads. Duties: Infantry. Current pads: The pads are issued and black in color. They take too long to form to the head. They are uncomfortable and cause the Marines in my platoon pain if worn for extended periods of time. In order for the Marines in my platoon to wear the helmets they remove some of the pads to relieve the pressure and pain; however, this reduces the safety of the kevlar helmet. Comments. My Marines ability to effectively operate outside the wire is negatively affected. In training, I see Marines constantly adjusting their helmets while patrolling on foot or in a vehicle. Their focus is not 100% on the mission while wearing the helmets. There is a noticeable difference in my Marines when they train with and without their kevlar helmets. 1st Lt, USMC.

10 Dec 2011: Kits: 24. Hometown: Colby, Kansas. Heard About us: A guy in my platoon. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: The issued pads that come with kevlars. Comments: When it gets cold the pads are stiff. They're just generally uncomfortable all the time. They create pressure points on your head and give you a headache. Cpl xxx is with my platoon and he put in a request a while ago for this, but he never supplied a shipping address. He asked me to jump on here and make another request and enter one of the married guy's addresses. Thanks, we appreciate it so much!!! LCpl, USMC.

8 Dec 2011: Kits: 5. Hometown: Levittown, PA. Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: gray. Comments: THANK YOU!!! LCpl, USMC.

7 Dec 2011: Kits: 1 Hometown: Bemidji Heard About us: one of my buddies that were raving about the pads Duties: Infantry Current Pads: nsn 8470-01-546-9407 they are greenish tan Comments: The reason why I am in need of new pads are that our supply is out and my kevlar is missing the main top one and the others are falling apart. SSgt, USMC.

7 Dec 2011: Kits: 1. Hometown: Bellevue, WA. Heard About us: Marine Parents website. Duties: Infantry - on patrol outside the wire. Current Pads: Grey color pads. Comments: I am Matt's dad, filling this out for him. He said the pads were grey and his technical term for them was "they suck" :) wish I knew more. LCpl, USMC.

6 Dec 2011: Kits: 30. Heard About us: Referral. Duties: Myself and 29 of my fellow military working dog handlers will be conducting explosive detection operations in Helmand Province Afghanistan with our military working dogs. Current Pads: Grey in color pads that were issued with the helmet. Comments: I realize this is a hefty amount of pads to request but an individual I worked with has the pads that your organization provided and they are far more comfortable to wear for sustained combat operations and for use during long missions. Cpl, USMC

6 Dec 2011: Kits: 4. Hometown: Palo Cedro CA. Heard About us: My Ssgt. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: the number is worn off but it is like a gray cloth with plastc wrapping underneath the outer shell. Comments: First off they fall out everytime one of my guys takes his kevlar off, secondly they hurt! walking for hours they give me and my guys headaches. I know one squad that takes off their kevlars and puts on boonies just after they step out on patrol.  CPL, USMC

1 Dec 2011: Kits: 14.  Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Special Operations. Current Pads: Team Wendy / Oregon Aero. Comments: Currently my team has a mix of pads with some having issued pads and others the Oregon Aero pads, although they are extremeley worn out. We are starting our workup and then will be deploying early next year and could greatly benefit from all members of the team having these awesome pads. I personally have been using these pads for about a year and a half and they are awesome, it truly makes a complete difference in the wearing of a helmet. Sgt, USMC. [OpHelmet comment: doesn't matter who makes the pads, they are like any other item, they need to be replaced as they wear out - at least annually]

29 Nov 2011: Kits: 100. Hometown: Danville, PA. Heard About us: Through the [xxx] Company Artillery Officer. Duties: I am the Executive Officer for [xxx] Company and will be throughout deployment. Current Pads: No writing on current pads but they are grey in color and no more than 1 inch thick made to velcro to the stickers inside the helmet. Comments: The current pad systems for the Marines are not comfortable whatsoever nor do they allow for flex to fit a Marine to his personal size. The helmets have improved bit by bit, however its the insufficient padding that distracts our Marines to think about taking off their gear more than finishing the task at hand. Any help from your Company would be greatly appreciated as we are one of the last Marine units deploying for OEF. 1st Lt, USMC.

29 Nov 2011: Kits: 1. Hometown: Davenport, FL. Heard About us: Random Search. Duties: Military Intel. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Just feels too hard. Sgt, USMC.

23 Nov 2011: Kits: 1. Hometown: Plainfield, IL. Heard About us: Google. Duties: Infantry Dismounted. Current Pads: nsn 8470-01-346-9407. Comments: Old, smelly, and worn to nothing. I have had the same pads for my last deployment and our supply is saying they dont know when more are coming in... The old pads dont opperate as a pad anymore they are molded to the size and shape of my head with little to no padding all around. I found you page and thought id give it a shot. If good things happen i will be sure to tell my marines all about it and point them your direction !! Thankyou!  Sgt, USMC.

14 Nov 2011: Kits: 12. Hometown: Orlando, Fl. Heard About us: Fellow Marines. Duties: I am the Senior Enlisted Advisor for [xxx] Afghanistan Security Force Advisor Team. Current Pads: NSN Gray Pads which are pure garbage!!! Comments: The NSN issued Gray Pads are size 3/4" which are too big, and they are too hard. The Oregon Aero Size 4 Pads are the best ones as they fit correctly and dont cause headaches. Please send Oregon Aero size 4.  GySgt, USMC [OpHelmet note: we don't send size 4 (1/2 inch) pads; doesn't provide enough protection.  We recommend upsizing the helmet]

11 Nov 2011: Hometown: ESCONDIDO, CA. Heard About us: FRIENDS. Duties: RECONNAISSANCE. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: PADS WEAR VERY QUICKLY, DON'T DO WELL WITH SWEAT, AND DON'T PROVIDE MUCH COMFORT/SHOCK ABSORPTION. LCpl, USMC.

11 Nov 2011: Hometown: Greenville, SC. Heard About us: GySgt of Marines. Duties: Advisor Training for Afgan National Army. Current Pads: Grey Pads, Advanced Combat. Comments: Marines currently are being issued MICH helmets with new pads... issue is that the pads are so thick, a young Marine who normally wears a MED goes for a LRG thinking that its due to the helmet. With Oregon Aero Pads (what was tested at the time), the helmet sits proper and can be issued as the right size. [our unit] is out of LRG because ALL personnel are thinking that a MED is too small. 2nd Lt, USMC.

11 Nov 2011: Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Arty FO [artillery forward observer]. Current Pads: Gray issued pads. Comments: The issued pads are too firm and do not allow the helmet to sit on the head correctly. I am ordering them for the entire Plt. Lt, USMC.

10 Nov 2011: Hometown: PARLIER,CA. Heard About us: GOOGLE. Duties: LIGHT ARMORED VEHICLE CREWMAN SOON DEPLOYING TO AFGHANISTAN. Current Pads: STOCK CVC USMC PADS , NOT VERY COMFORTABLE. Comments: [our] BN WILL SOON BE DEPLOYING TO AFGHANISTAN AND REQUESTED AN ISSUE FOR [our platoon]. THE CURRENT PADDING WE HAVE ON THE CVD HELMETS ARE VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, A LOT OF IRRITATION. Sgt, USMC.

7 Nov 2011: Hometown: Easley SC. Heard About us: Another Marine. Duties: Combat Engineer. Current Pads: Grey, 2 square, 4 rectangle, 1 round. Comments: The pads are way too thick, I've tried to get smaller pads but couldn't, a larger kevlar is just too big. I have 5 other Marines that have the same problem in my platoon. We are deploying in a week, the Marines have been dealing with the pads they have all through training I would like to get them some new ones before we leave. I know personally they kevlar with the current pads gives me a massive headache after just two or three minutes of wearing it. I have worn my share of kevlars and have never had this problem with the older LWK with the net inside or even the first kevlar. One of my squad leaders order some of the pads for his entire squad, I wore his kevlar around and the difference is pheonominal. Thank you for what youre doing!! SSgt, USMC.

7 Nov 2011: Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL. Heard About us: I ordered some kits for our section for our last deployment. Duties: EOD. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: The MSA pads that the Marine Corps issues are very hard and after a short amount of time on patrol I get bad headaches towards the back of my head. We got your pads for last deployment and they really helped. Not having a headache while you are trying to process an IED call is extremely important!  Sgt, USMC.

6 Nov 2011: Hometown: Charlotte, NC. Heard About us: Other Marines in unit. Duties: Marine Corps Infantry- Helmand Province (Sangin) Afghanistan. Current Pads: Orinigal Issue Pads- Green in color, very firm and uncomfortable. Comments: The current pads were using are very uncomfortable, hard to form and create very uncomfortable hot/pain spots on our heads after extended wear/use... I am a Platoon Sergeant for xxx Co. I was wondering if I can get enough sets for my entire platoon to change out their horrible pads? I requested 30 to cover from our Platoon Commander down to the Corpsman and dog handlers. We are leaving for Afghanistan soon and these sure would make wearing our helmets more comfortable. SSgt, USMC.

5 Nov 2011: Hometown: LaGrange MO. Heard About us: From a instructor and infantry squad leaders course. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Gentex Corporation, Advanced Combat. Comments: The current pads me and my guys are using take awhile to break in and once they get broke in and take in alot of sweat they start to get stiff and form in awkward shapes. The current pads give alot of the guys headaches after prolong use. Cpl, USMC.

30 Oct 2011: Hometown: Menlo Park CA. Heard About us: You sent me 20+ kits before last years deployment. Duties: Conducting reconnasaince, survailance and precision fires in support of combat operations. Current Pads: Currently using the CIF issue Grey pads. Theres a few of us that are still in the platoon from last year using the Oregon Aero pads that you supplied us with last year that would have been a headache without!!! Comments: The issued pads just plain suck. They are hard, unforgiving and place pressure points all over the head. When they are cold, they are rock hard. They simply are unservicable to a Marine who wears a helmet 12 hours a day.  CPL, USMC.

30 Oct 2011: Hometown: Huntington Beach, Ca. Heard About us: While looking for kevlar insert on google. Duties: Infantry, foot patrols. Current Pads: Advance Combat 8470015489356. Comments: The current pads are too regid and press against my had reuslting in a headache. I have tried removing a couple of the inserts, but then it doesnt sit properly.  1st Lt, USMC.  [Followup: Many marines in the company would like to get one. I don't know how many you can send, but we could use at least 100. But if you can't send that many, if I could get 50 and I can distribute them to priority cases. Also, is your organization a 501C3? I may be able to nominate it to receive donations from a family foundation. I appreciate your support, have a nice day.]

25 Oct 2011: Hello, My name is CPL xxx. I have received a set of helm pads from SGT xxx, just like to thank you for the donation and how much better these pads are. Its a lot more comfortable to wear my kevlar now and I actually dont mind having them on. Big difference and greatly appreciated. I'm currently with xxx co, in Sangin, Afghanistan, a lot of the marines out here could use these! Thanks again! -From CPL xxx, USMC.

25 Oct 2011: I have received a set of helm pads from SGT xx, just like to thank you for the donation and how much better these pads are. Its a lot more comfortable to wear my kevlar now and I actually dont mind having them on. Big difference and greatly appreciated. I'm currently with XXXXXX, in Sangin, Afghanistan, a lot of the Marines out here could use these!

24 Oct 2011: Hometown: Conroe, Tx. Heard About us: Word of mouth. Duties: Radio Operator. Current Pads: 8470-01-546-9366. Comments: My boss knows Marines that have used this and has had nothing but great reviews. Sgt, USMC.

20 Oct 2011: Hometown: Keller, TX. Heard About us: Marine Parents. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Grey, like the inside of a football helmet but soft. Comments: Lack of comfort. LCpl, USMC.

18 Oct 2011:Hometown: Milwaukee. Heard About us: internet. Duties: SF Translator. Current Pads: Aero square pads. Comments: Thank you again Dr. Bob for your work and dedication. CPT, US Army.

18 Oct 2011: Hometown: Holiday Hills. Heard About us: Parents. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Used these last year in Afghanistan. Very comfortable, made keeping helmets on for long periods of time more bearable. LCpl, USMC.

13 Oct 2011: Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA. Heard About us: marines from prior deployment. Duties: MP type work. Current Pads: Gray, hard, uncomfortable and they hold sweat. Comments: They are too big and dont form to your head. The helmet then doesnt sit properly on your head and is way too high. Cpl, USMC.

12 Oct 2011: For my son's last deployment, you donated enough for all 50 Marines in the 81s.  At homecoming, Marines I didn't know came up and thanked me for arranging the donation -- they said they were awesome, and actually allowed them to wear their helmets on their 12-13 hours patrols.  When I asked my son if I should ask for them again, he said, "Hell, yes." Thank you so much for your support of our Marines.  With my son being a dog handler this deployment, I know that he is at even higher risk of encountering IEDs, so I am trying to do everything I can to help protect him. Marine Mom

7 Oct 2011:  Hometown: Rialto, CA. Heard About us: Fellow Comat Marine. Duties: I'm in the process of PCSing to xxx Bn, xxx Marines in December 2011. I will be deploying to Afghan and will be filling the billet of CAAT Plt Section Leader. Current Pads: 84740-01-546-9407 (Small Helmet Size). Comments: I'm going to be deploying to an AO that constantly have seen IED's and Small Arms Fire. I personally know a Marine that survived a potentially traumatic head wound because of your pads. GySgt, USMC.

30 Sep 2011: Hometown: Lewisburg, TN. Heard About us: Operation Thank you. Duties: INFANTRY. Current Pads: Gray, rough texture, a little soft. Comments: they dont really help the texture sucks we all hate them.  LCpl, USMC.

28 Sep 2011: Hometown: prescott. Heard About us: other gunfighters. Duties: Infantry, gunfighting. Current Pads: CIF issue. Comments: i hate the ones they give us wtih our helmets. my last tour in afghanistan my pads didnt last long and were uncomfortable.. im going back to AFG in a couple months and i would really appreciate some pads that actually work, cause the marine corps gets the most worthless stuff for us to fight wars.. p.s. i hate pogs.  LCpl, USMC.

28 Sep 2011: Hometown: Dallas TX. Heard About us: Google. Duties: Joint Forward Observer. Current Pads: 1 inch issued pads, gray. Comments: They squeeze your head and give you a head ache after wearing them for an hour. Really uncomfortable. Sgt, USMC.

28 Sep 2011: Heard About us: I purchased one of your kits when I was in Iraq. Duties: Battalion Chaplain- traveling to 20+ posts providing chaplain services. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-546-9415. Comments: It's a very "hard fit", in less than an hour an its creating discomfort, and headaches. LCDR, USN (FMF)

27 Sep 2011: Duties: Ordnance. Current Pads: gentex NSN- 8470-01-546-9416. Comments: i think that the standard pads that i got issued are uncomfortable. they give me an itchy head and make my head feel dirty. Cpl, USMC.

25 Sep 2011: Heard About us: Google search for helmet pads. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: nsn. Comments: causes pain in temples and pressure on skin when worn for more than an hour. SSgt, USMC.

25 Sep 2011: Heard About us: friend. Duties: 0311, Squad Leader. Current Pads: issued pads. standard. Comments: The current pads are hard and uncomfortable especially after wearing them for long periods of time. Sgt, USMC.

22 Sep 2011: Heard About us: I was given a pair of your pads in afghanistan and they were a relief. Duties: Infantry Rifleman. Current Pads: Marine Corps Issue green and black pads glued together. Comments: The issued pads lose cushion and become hard. After about an hour into our patrols my head starts to ache. Causing not only me but the rest of our squad to take our helmets off when we are behind cover. It causes a safety issue and oncce i received a used pair of the oregon aero pads the pain was totally gone. Cpl, USMC.

22 Sep 2011: Heard About us: I previously received pads. Duties: Dismounted/mounted patrols. Current Pads: Standard Issue, grey, falling apart from repeated un-velcroing. Comments: Operation Helmet sent my squad approx. 20 pads in early 2009. I have since changed units and have nine teammates that are still using the standard GI pads. I have retained my Oregon Aero pads and am requesting kits for my teammates. My team is in direct support of an infantry battalion and conduct dismounted patrols and convoys in volatile region. The IED threat is extremely high, and I have personally witnessed/ experienced IED blasts with the donated pads with no resulting concussions. Sgt, USMC.

20 Sep 2011: Heard About us: Senior Staff NCO. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: don't know. gray. can feel plastic underneath fabric. Comments: very rough and can be uncomfortable. sweat through them. mold can develop easily.  Cpl, USMC.

20 Sep 2011: Heard About us: Sign in the USO. Duties: Corpsman. Current Pads: No Pads...old style web suspension. Comments: The webbing causes massive headaches when fitted properly.  HM3, USN (FMF)

19 Sep 2011: Heard About us: from Marines at 3/1. Duties: Engineer- Explosives tech and IED exploitation. Current Pads: The NSN is 8470-01-545-9415, they are the grey pads issued with the helmets. Comments: It is very difficult to concentrate when we're on patrol and sweeping when the current pads we have give us all headaches. They take away from situational awareness. the new pads would be greatly appreciated, Thank you all for everything you do and the considerations you've made for all of us!  Cpl, USMC.

19 Sept 2011: It is very difficult to concentrate when we're on patrol and sweeping when the current pads we have give us all headaches. They take away from situational awareness. the new pads would be greatly appreciated, Thank you all for everything you do and the considerations you've made for all of us! SGT, USMC, EOD.

13 Sep 2011: Heard About us: Fellow Marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: No pads. currently have the old harness. Comments: the harness is uncomfortable and causes headaches over long periods of use generally anything over an hour or two of continued wear for most marines. 2nd Lt, USMC.

13 Sep 2011:  By far the most comfort in a Helmet I have ever Had I have seen these pads put to the test and marines that should of had severe concusions had very minor or no concusion at all while others wearing the older harnness were rattled something fierce. If you care about you troops you'll get these pads and spread the word for donations. SSGT, USMC, EOD.

10 Sep 2011: Heard About us: through the infantry grape vine Duties: plt sgt. Current Pads: pad helmet advanced combat nsn 8470-01-546-9356. Comments: i get major headaches. ive moved them around but still get them. so bad it affects my performance. SSgt, USMC.

9 Sep 2011: Heard About us: Ares Armor. Duties: Corpsman. Current Pads: Issued. Comments: They cause headaches.  HM3, USN (FMF) (USMC Corpsman)

9 Sep 2011: Heard About us: MSGT. Duties: I am infantry. Current Pads: Black, silk like cover over them, sewn with single stich around the base, one round pad on top, four oval pads on side and a square pad in the front and back. Comments: My current pads let my kevlar slip over eyes when wearing NVG's, causes sores on my scalp and are generally uncomfortable. LCpl, USMC.

9 Sep 2011: Heard About us: MILITARY MEMBER. Duties: SQUAD LEADER. Current Pads: 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: They tend to get bunched up and become inoperable through extensive use and sweating.  Sgt, USMC.

9 Sep 2011:  Heard About us: my master sgt told me about it.  Duties: infantry.  Current Pads: nsn-8470-01-646-9415. Comments: i'm currently a squad ldrs instructor over here at the school of infantry and we conduct constant patrolling exercises, demolitions, live fire ranges, i think it would benefit me in my day to day activitys as a squad instructor.  Sgt, USMC.

5 Sep 2011: Heard About us: google. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: green pads, tan on bottom, original issue. Comments: I am requesting 4 sets total, one for myself and each of my team members. The GI pads are hard, do not have enough give, and come in only one thickness, which makes it difficult when I have a large head.  Sgt, USMC.

2 Sep 2011: Heard About us: www.operationwearehere.com. Duties: Regimental Chaplain doing Battlefield Circulation to FOBs/PBs in Afghanistan. Current Pads: Green velcro attached pads - not as comfortable as my old Oregon Aero. Comments: Rqst 1 set for myself and 1 set for my RP (Chaplain's Assistant). My old Oregon Aero pads felt like a good motorcycle helmet -these cause headaches after long usage.  CDR, US Navy (FMF)  Update 18 Sep 2011:  Doc Bob, We received our Kevlar inserts this afternoon. I have not had an opportunity to install them yet, but I will complete your feedback once we evaluate them. I am sure we will love the Oregon Aero inserts since I used the same ones in Iraq (I passed them on to another chaplain). It made the Kevlar helmet as comfortable as a motorcycle helmet and actually made you want to wear it. Of course, the more we wear our helmets the safer we are! Thanks for your commitment to our troops! God bless!

26 Aug 2011: Heard About us: Fellow Marine. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Gentex Corp. Comments: Helmet pads are too stiff, no give to them. They seem to be to big.  Sgt, USMC.

23 Aug 2011: Heard About us: Mom found it on the internet. Duties: Machine Gunner 0331. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Uncomfortable.  LCpl, USMC

19 Aug 2011: Heard About us: Friend. Duties: Convoy Commander/Truck Commander/Driver. Current Pads: NSN 8476-01-546-9415. Comments: Hard on the head, Give personnel headaces at times. Sometimes dont fit right. Sgt, USMC.

17 Aug 2011: Heard About us: online. Duties: Convoy outside the wire, Infantry, and Medic. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: cause discomfort, headaches, and can not be worn for a long time.  Sgt, USMC.

14 Aug 2011: Heard About us: A Marine. Duties: Infantry/radio operator. Current Pads: Army pattern green standard issue with helmet. Comments: They are painful to wear over time extremely uncomfortable to wear and hits certain spots on my head to wear they wont conform to my head and stay. i was told about this web site for these i have done 2 deployments and got a new kevlar and it still does the same thing thanks. CPL, USMC.

7 Aug 2011: The biggest problem is that they tend to not fit properly and allow my helmet to slip around when I lay down or turn too fast. However, if I put all of the pads in, the helmet is too tight and I get a stress headache and become useless as I cannot concentrate on doing my job, either taking photos or listening to media and advising commander when on battlefield circulation. Major, USMC

6 Aug 2011: Heard About us: Chaplain. Duties: Public Affairs Officer for xxx. Current Pads: Advance Combat Helmet 3/4", Greyish/Green. Comments: The biggest problem is that they tend to not fit properly and allow my helmet to slip around when I lay down or turn too fast. However, if I put all of the pads in, the helmet is too tight and I get a stress headache and become useless as I cannot concentrate on doing my job, either taking photos or listening to media and advising commander when on battlefield circulation. Maj, USMC.

2 Aug 2011: Heard About us: OTHER MARINES. Duties: INFANTRY PLATOON SERGEANT. Current Pads: GRAY PADS STANDARD ISSUE IN THE USMC. Comments: I AM TRYING TO FIELD 10 SETS FOR MY MARINES IN MY PLATOON BEING THAT WE ARE SHORT ON FUNDS AND SUPPLIES. MOST MARINES DO NOT HAVE ANY PADS BUT MAIN COMPLAINTS ARE HEADACHES AFTER PROLONGED WEAR. IF YOU CAN SEND ANY MORE IT WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED BUT WHAT EVER YOU CAN GIVE IS GREAT. I CURRENTLY HAVE 36 MARINES AND CORPSMAN IN MY PLATOON. IF POSSIBLE CAN YOU SEND ANY CHIN STRAPS IF YOU HAVE ANY, THEY ARE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  SSgt, USMC.

1 Aug 2011: Thank you so much for doing this for us. The helmet pads that we currently have are extremely uncomfortable, and are well known to cause pressure headaches, which makes it hard to concentrate and perform accurately during our missions that require us to wear our helmets for days on end. I would say the most dangerous aspect is that the pads make the helmet so uncomfortable, that in a dangerous situation some Marines will remove their helmets for relief and therefore expose their head to gunfire, explosions, etc. I've even seen truck convoys where vehicle occupants remove their helmets for relief in spite of imminent IED threats. When night vision goggles are attached to the front of the helmet, the front bears down on the pads and pushes on the pressure points on the forehead. I hope this gives you a better understanding of the difficulties we face with the current pads that we have. SSgt, USMC, (Recon)

31 Jul 2011: Heard About us: online. Duties: infantry and weapons security. Current Pads: current pads are olive drab in color and missing a couple pieces. issued with the kevlar helmet and look like theyve been in service for years. Comments: current pads are torn, misshapen, and very very dirty. impossible to clean properly as some of them have the outer layer removed.  LCpl, USMC.

30 Jul 2011: Heard About us: Google. Duties: Ground Reconnaisance. Current Pads: NSN and some Oregon Aeros that I salvaged from another helmet. Comments: Currently I have NSN pads, but they are extremely uncomfortable. I know that there are better helmet pads out there, like the few Oregon Aero pads that I have salvaged, but there is no money in our unit to issue these pads. I would really appreciate your help so that our platoon can upgrade to better pads, like Oregon Aero. If at all possible, could we please receive 23 kits of helmet pads? Your help is really appreciated by all of us. Thank you. SGT, US Army.

29 Jul 2011: Heard About us: a friend of mine from my old plt. Duties: infantry. Current Pads: grey and feels like fake suede. Comments: the current pads that i have now have become so compacted from wearing it for so long that they arent soft and cause head aches with exessive use. and i dont want my junior marines to have to deal with the same issues and iv'e heard many stories about you helping squads and platoons with similar issues.  LCpl, USMC.

28 Jul 2011: Heard About us: Justin Meaders, He was my first team leader in the Fleet. Duties: Combat Engineering. Current Pads: PAD, HELMET, ADVANCED COMBAT SIZE SPM1C1-09-D-F006 3/4" NSN 8470-01-546-9415 9U425 LOT TW2449-1. Comments: headaches, helmet doesn't sit right on head, CIF won't exchange current pads for new pads. Sgt, USMC.

26 Jul 2011 (Followup):  First, I would like to thank you for providing our unit with these helmet pads. They arrived quickly through the mail to Afghanistan! All the members of my unit said they like the way they feel. They say their helmet are fitting better and more comfortably. After I took out my old helmet pads, I realized how much better the pads you provided us feel. They provide more cushion and conform to my head. When I shook my head back and forth, the helmet stayed put. We have not had any blasts while wearing these pads, but if they do occur, I will write back to let you know how we fair. Thank you again for helping us out over here! We appreciate what you are doing to keep us safe and comfortable (relatively speaking). Respectfully, 2ndLt USMC.

23 Jul 2011: Duties: I am deploying as an IA to OEF. Will be doing sensitive site exploitation, raids, training host nation military Current Pads: The pads I have now are NSN 8470-01-548-9415. Comments: I wear a size Large kevlar but the pads make it difficult to achieve a good fit. My kevlar wobbles on my head and I have to put the pads in really strange spots to get it to sit right. An XL is way too big for me but the L is so tight when I cinch it down with the chin strap that I get headaches after a half hour of wearing them. I am currently in Japan so hot weather is a problem but on my last deployment when it got cold the pads got really hard and the sizing got even more difficult! A friend of mine who used to have these problems got the soft pads and he swears by them. I just want to thank you guys for the support and for the incredible amount of time and effort you have obviously put into this project!  SSgt, USMC.

21 Jul 2011: Duties: Engineers with MT Security. Current Pads: Skydex. Comments: Will be running heavy equipment and conducting security patrols for long hours and current pads are stiff and uncomfortable. Sgt, USMC.

20 Jul 2011: Duties: Personal Security for Roman Catholic Priest. Current Pads: Gentex Corporation. Comments: Hard on the head. Not very comfortable. RP1, USN (FMF)

17 Jul 2011: Duties: Convoy. Current Pads: Issued velcro pads. Grey bricks. Comments: These pads are supposed to decrease the likelyhood of concussion. 2nd Lt, USMC.

17 Jul 2011: Duties: Convoy. Current Pads: Little Grey Bricks. Comments: Massive headaches.  LCpl, USMC.

17 Jul 2011: Duties: Air Liason Officer, convoy. Current Pads: little square gray pads. very hard. Comments: The gray pads give me a headache and I would like extra protection from a concussion in the event of a blast. 2nd Lt, USMC.

7 Jul 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: Our helmets are not bad until hour four of a patrol. I want to have my guys test these out - I am sure at LEAST 10 in my platoon will want to keep the ones you send - then order more if they are good. 2nd Lt, USMC.

7 Jul 2011: Duties: Counter Intelligence. Current Pads: We are currently using the issued MSA pads. Comments: My team will be supporting an infantry unit who have already received the pads. While doing our "work-up" with the unit we were able to try out their helmet pads and instantly realized the added comfort that the pads provide. It is because of this that I am asking for one set per member of my team (ten total sets). We will be deploying within the next 30 days and could really use the new pads. I am having them sent directly to me so that I can disseminate them amongst my team members in a timely manner.  SSgt, USMC.

7 Jul 2011: Duties: Infantry and Infantry support. Current Pads: MSA. Last year I was in Afghanistan supporting 3/1.  There were several Marines who had received the pads and swore by their comfort.   Comfort may not sound like much, but when Marines are standing post for 8 hours at a time, or conducting 12 Kilometer patrols in 135 degree heat, comfort can ensure a Marine is focused on his mission and the task before him, and not how uncomfortable in helmet is or how bad or a headache he has.  I am deploying to Afghanistan again soon with 9 other Marines, and I would like to ensure we are able to perform at the best of our abilities to accomplish our mission without the distracting headaches caused by our current helmet pads.  Thank you very much.  Sgt, USMC.

30 Jun 2011: Duties: I'm an infantry team leader. Current Pads: NSN: 8470-01-546-9415 Notes: The ones I have are pretty old, did not get issued new ones prior to leaving for Afghanistan. Would appreciate any help you can make to send some replacement pads. Thank you!  Update 19 Jul 2011: I received the helmet pad upgrades today. Thank you guys very much for your generous donation and I will inform the guys about filling out the survey online after they have tested the products. The invoice says 19 but I received 20, I don't know if that helps with your inventory. Also, I understand that you may only be able to supply so many units with these pads, however, if your services can provide it, we would like to request for 11 more in order to complete our platoon of infantrymen/ mortarmen that regularly patrol in our AO. If you're unable to do so, I completely understand. It's just that some of the guys have seen them and would also like some for the rest of their squad members, thank you for all your support, it is very appreciated! Sgt, USMC

28 Jun 2011: Duties: EOD. Current Pads: 3 Year old Oregon Aero. Comments: Do you have any size 4 oregon aero pads available? I tried my friends size 6 pads and they are just a little too thick for my helmet/head combination. Thanks for doing this, the issued pad are rock hard and so thick that the helmet sits on top of my head instead of around my head.  SSgt, USMC. [OpHelmet note: we do not provide Size 4 (1/2 inch) pads anymore]

26 Jun 2011: Duties: Personal Security Officer. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Pads become uncomfortable after a short period of time.  GySgt, USMC.

26 Jun 2011: Duties: Infantry, convoy. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: My current pads are hard. There is no cushion what so ever. Without any cushion I get a headache after a short period of time. While running with the bouncing it makes it even worse. The reason I am requesting 150 is because I will have 300 Marines within my company but half of them will be going outside the wire.  1st Sgt, USMC.

23 Jun 2011:  Duties: Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians. Current Pads: oregon aero's. Comments: We used the pads last year in Afghan and they worked very well for us. However a few of the pads stiching have come loose over time. To be honest with every thing we put our helmets through i'm surprised any of them made it back. The only reason i'm asking for these kits are because my teams going back soon and our shops budgets fading fast. Every little bit we can save helps us get the tools and gear we need to have a safe and successful deployment. I know from personal experience that when leaning over an IED, our helmets placement and comfort definitely comes into play. If only we could get the higher up to understand that we'll be doing great. Helmet pads are not on their list of necessities. Any assistance you could offer my team would greatly appreciated. Thank you.  Sgt, USMC.

15 Jun 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: they cause discomfort on my Marines heads after wearing the helmet for an extended period of time.  SSgt, USMC.

13 June 2011: Hey Doc Bob, Essentially, we go on resupply convoys through rough, rocky terrain, sometimes driving for up to 20 hours straight on a drive that can last up to 3 days. The level of concentration and alertness needed to make it through some of this terrain and not get a vehicle stuck is pretty high. If a vehicle gets stuck, that means someone has to get out of their armored truck to recover the stuck truck, and that makes them a target of opportunity to an enemy that is always watching us. It has happened once already in our time here. For some Marines in our platoon, their helmet pads have deteriorated to the point where their head is almost against the helmet itself. Some operators still have leather bands in their helmets instead of pads. The pads issued to replace the leather bands are so stiff, they couldn't even get the helmet on their heads and put the leather band back in. This discomfort causes headaches, and it requires more energy to concentrate on the road or terrain instead of our heads. We cannot take any kind of drug because we don't want to risk getting drowsy, nor can we take our helmets off because if we get hit by an explosive, we want our heads to make it back home in one piece. Every driver and gunner has the responsibility to get each Marine in his truck and our convoy to our destination safely, and since we wear helmets 100% of the time while on the road, new, more comfortable helmet pads sound like the greatest thing we could ask for. My platoon and I would be very grateful. Thank you very much for your support. Cpl, USMC.

13 Jun 2011: Duties: Motor Transport Convoys. Current Pads: Gray issued pads, NSN. Comments: The pads we have now are stiff and absorb a lot of sweat over time, which causes them to deteriorate.  Cpl, USMC.

13 Jun 2011: Duties: EOD. Current Pads: Stock pads that came with helmet. Comments: Stock pads are too thin and causes discomfort. Sgt, USMC.

10 Jun 2011: Duties: Fire Support. Current Pads: None. Comments: was not issued any pads.  Maj, USMC.

10 Jun 2011: Duties: Convoy Current Pads: Grey foam. Comments: Headaches causing members to remove helmets for relief.  2nd Lt, USMC.

2 Jun 2011: Duties: Mechanic, Convoy. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-546-9356. Comments: My whole platoon is going outside the wire, and I wanted to get more comfortable pads for them. The ones that are currently being worn are very uncomfortable and cause headaches. The pads are really stiff.  The pads are not form fitting to your head, they cause headaches and they tend to not be comfortable. Our whole Platoon is going out side the wire. I am just making sure that everyone would be able to get more comfortable pads. Sgt, USMC.

31 May 2011: Duties: Security.  Current Pads: None. Comments: I currently dont even have any pads. My unit is too cheap to issue them, there's days after wearing the Helmet the whole day that my skin turns into bear flesh.  PFC, USMC.

29 May 2011: Duties: Infantry, Machin gun Section Leader. Current Pads: Grey, square sewn on edges, back is Velcro. Comments: The pads are to hard and rip easily.  SSgt, USMC.

21 May 2011: Duties: MOUNTED INFANTRY. Current Pads: ???. Comments: I'M A COMPANY XO AND LOOKING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE TO HAVING THE MARINES BUY NEW HELMET PADS OR GOING TO TO CIF AND GETTING INFERIOR HELMET PADS. WE'RE SET TO LEAVE IN NOVEMBER AND THE TRAINING SCHEDULE IS PACKED UNTIL THEN. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR PADS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SHIPPED OVERSEAS BUT WAS INQUIRING AS TO WHETHER YOU COULD SEND ME PADS FOR THE LWH AND PADS FOR THE CVC HELMET. THAT WAY MYSELF AND THE COMPANY GUNNY CAN TRY AND GET THEM SHIPPED HERE BEFORE WE DEPLOY.  1st Lt, USMC.

20 May 2011: I believe that anything that distracts you from the mission at hand, and in this case, poor fitting kevlars we wear endless hours on end, affects mission performance. Anyone might suggest that as trained military, nothing as insignificant as poor fitting kevlars and/or uncomfortable shouldn't affect performance, probably hasn't been in our situations.

19 May 2011: Heard About us: My son called and asked for pads for his helmet, found you online. Duties: Bomb dog handler, 0311. Current Pads: unknown. Comments: he stated he needed more padding in his helment , it was 109 degrees where he is.  LCpl, USMC.

18 May 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: Pads are hard and uncomfortable and give headaches after long periods of time. The backing material is ripping/tearing off and as a result, many in our plt are missing some. LCpl, USMC.

17 May 2011: Duties: Resupply convoy commander and radio chief for the company. Current Pads: skydex. Comments: coming apart at the edges and starting to get flat after 1 month of constant use.  SSgt, USMC.

16 May 2011: Duties: Tank Crewman. Current Pads: SkyDex. Comments: Loss of Velcro Effectiveness.  SSgt, USMC.

16 May 2011: Duties: Platoon Commander - Tank Company. Current Pads: Grey Pads, NSN 5470-01-546-9415. Comments: These pads are more comfortable than the leather suspension band, but are still not comfortable for long periods of time. 2nd Lt, USMC.

12 May 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Light grey with a sewn seam - CIF issue. Comments: Highly recommended - looking forward to replacing lowest bidder's pads. Current pads are only adequate - not high quality. 2nd Lt, USMC.

12 May 2011: Duties: MOTO T. Current Pads: OREGON AERO. Comments: ORDERING FOR ENTIRE PLATOON, MY PARENTS PURCHASED YOUR PADS FOR ME, WANT ALL THE GUYS TO HAVE THEM. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL MY MOM, DEBI xxxx, AT xxx-xxx-xxxx. THANK YOU!  LCpl, USMC.

3 May 2011: Duties: Infantry: 0331 Machine gunner. Current Pads: General issue gentex 3/4". Comments: The current issue pads are rock hard and very uncomfortable. A lot of Marines complain about their helmet sitting to high or not fitting right because of how hard the GI pads are. I had the opportunity to use oregon aero pads in country (AFG) and was very impressed by how comfortable they were. It truly made a difference and I wished that I had more pad kits to give to my squad. I was a squad leader and now that my contract is coming to an end I'm requesting the pad kits to hand out to my former squad members (who are now the squad leaders) who are currently doing the work up for another AFG deployment in the fall. Thank you. I hope that your organization is able to send the kits so I can hand them out to my brothers. Your service to those who serve is very deeply appreciated. Cpl, USMC.

2 May 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN . Comments: Current pads are too hard, no cushion/comfort.  Many times you are unable to have all the pads inserted because the helmet will not fit your head properly, which causes a lack of protection.  Our unit deploys within the few weeks, so any support would be greatly appreciated by the Marines.  2nd Lt, USMC.

30 Apr 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: CIF Issued pads, they have been rubbed off as to the Manufacturer. Comments: Look forward in using your product. My roommates are with x/x and rave about them. 2nd Lt, USMC.

26 Apr 2011:  To: Ms. Laura Ann D. and the Texas Daughters of the Revolution,
    I am Marine Sergeant Gregory S. I am an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician with the United States Marines. I recently contacted Operation Helmet and Doc Bob Meaders; at which point I had requested a large amount of helmet pads. My intent is to hand out these to my fellow Marines prior to us deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I contacted Operation Helmet when I had first heard of the organization prior to my first deployment to Iraq in 2007 at which point, I had done the same and ordered pads for my platoon; and again in 2008 for my second deployment, I did the same. Coming up to my third deployment, I thought it appropriate to again, do the same.
    I am sending you this email to personally thank you and your organization for raising the funds to purchase these pads for my fellow Marines and I. I don't know how much you know about our job as EOD Technicians, but, it is inherently and exponentially more dangerous than most. These pads increase our chances of survival in the chance that a situation does not go the way we plan. So again, I wanted to personally that you ladies for raising the money to buy a bunch of strangers much needed equipment.  Sgt S, USMC

24 Apr 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN/Gentex Corporation. Comments: Pads don't form well to head and start to make the helmet become loose.  LCpl, USMC.

23 Apr 2011: Duties: EOD. Current Pads: Black on one side , OD green on the other. Comments: Worn out with little use.  Sgt, UMC.

21 Apr 2011:  Duties: Border Communications on border of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Current Pads: I don't have pads, it's just a brown leather sweat band. Comments: My kevlar is uncomfortable and keeps slipping. 1st Lt, USMC.

14 Apr 2011: Just received the pads two days ago and the Marines are very happy to have them.  Thank you again for getting them out to us.  I will send a proper thank you in the mail.  Please tell everyone there that xxxx from Wpns Co, xst Battalion, x th Marines is very appreciative of all that you are doing, and you have made us much more comfortable and combat effective.

14 Apr 2011: Duties: Infantry, fr. military training. Current Pads: None. Have netting issued with LWH. Comments: Netting is absolutely terrible and I have been unable to get pads from CIF.  Cpl, USMC.

8 Apr 2011: Duties: force protection security and cultural liaison. Current Pads: nsn 8470-01-548-9407. Comments: the pads are extremely uncomfortable. last year in Marjeh i would go on four to five hour patrols and by the first hour i'd have an extremely bad headache and constantly adjusted my helmet.  Sgt, USMC.

7 Apr 2011: Duties: I am in charge of an Embedded Training Team headed for Afg. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: Thank you very much for what you are doing. The pads that my Marines and I are using are extremely uncomfortable. We have tried different configuration by removing the pads, which I am sure is dangerous.  SSgt, USMC.

1 Apr 2011: Duties: PERFORMING EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL OPERATIONS. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: THEY ARE STIFF. THEY PEEL APART. THEY DON'T ALLOW THE HELMET TO SIT PROPERLY ON THE HEAD. Sgt, USMC.

26 Mar 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Issued. Comments: I [opsec deleted] would like to order these pads for my Company. One of my platoon commanders just placed his order for his platoon and I loved the way they fit, so I'd like to order enough for my company. The current pads are too firm and do not allow the helmet to fit properly or comfortably. 1st Lt, USMC.

25 Mar 2011: Duties: Infantry Current Pads: Issued Comments: Thank you very much! Your organization is incredible ! I am a weapons platoon commander deploying to Afghanistan next month and some of my guys brought up your organization. I am ordering for the entire platoon if that is ok. Thank you very much for your support! 2nd Lt, USMC.

24 Mar 2011: Duties: Convoy. Current Pads: 84707-01-546-9356. Comments: They are too hard. Cpl, USMC.

23 Mar 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: CIF issued. NSN Comments: They wear out fast. We never get replacments. When its cold the pads get hard as rocks.  LCpl, USMC

18 Mar 2011: Heard About us: A MARINE IN MY SQUAD. Duties: CORPSMAN/ COMBAT MEDIC ADVISOR FOR ANP. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: CURRENT PADS ARE RIDICULOUSLY RIGID. THEY GIVE ME HEADACHES, CREATE PRESSURE SPOTS AFTER SHORT TIME OF USE DURING TRAING OPS FOR DEPLOYMENT. CAUSE POOR CIRCULATION ABOVE TEMPLE, WHICH IS VERY PAINFUL EVEN AFTER MULTIPLE TIMES OF READJUSTING. AFTER A FULL DAY OF WEARING I EXPERIENCE INTENSE THROBBING, PAIN FROM WEAR PADS REST ON MY HEAD, AND A MIGRAINE THAT DOESN'T GO AWAY. HM, USN (FMF)

17 Mar 2011: Duties: We are an infantry unit, we will be patroling and engaging the enemy. we will be deployed by foot and motorized vehicles. we will be very vulnerable to small arms fire and IED's. our Deployment got moved up by one month to OEF. Current Pads: we are issue generic pads made by the lowest bidder. these pads are undependable. Comments: proper working pads would dramatically reduce the chances of TBI. the current pads are making the LWH not to fit properly. GySgt, USMC.

15 Mar 2011: Heard About us: A corporal in my platoon. Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Pad, helmet, advanced combat size. Grey in color. Doesn't looked stitched. Pieces were glued together at the bottom or its just a single piece. Felt texture. Hard as a rock. Comments: After being worn for a relatively short period of time they begin to cause a headache. In cold weather they become harder and it gets worse. LCpl, USMC.

15 March 2011: Duties: Infantry operations. Current Pads: Plain suspension kit for PASGT and LWH (i.e. - no pads). Comments: I have a set but we are so short handed that the CIF is issuing no helmets or old ones with the old leather and webbing suspension system.  1st Sgt, USMC

10 March 2011: The current standard issue pads that come with the helmet are extremely uncomfortable for one thing, and when you are wearing the helmet for up to 10 or 12 hours at time this takes a toll. But aside from that below is a list of bullets that the Oregon aero pads provide. Pain-free, Superior shock absorption, Flame Resistant, Moisture and waterproof, Self-wicking, Gas and air permeable, Reduce sound reverberation. The standard pads eventually get saturated with sweat and moisture and become extremely hard, which when it comes to impact injuries, is not a good thing at all. This is why we (Marine EOD) tend to run with ACH/MICH helmets with Oregon Aero pads. Let me know if this helps. Thanks. GySgt, USMC

9 March 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: No writing, some grey some black. Comments: The poor fit of my helmet causes it to tip over when operating at night with night vision goggles.  It also does not sit well without nvgs.  The size seems to shrink and swell depending on how long I am wearing it.  Overall it is unsatisfactory for the length of time I will be wearing it.  Thank you for all you do. 1st Lt USMC

8 Mar 2011: Duties: OPSEC, sensitive. Current Pads: beige, sewn seam. Comments: Heat, airflow.  Sgt, USMC.

8 Mar 2011: Duties: EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL. Current Pads: STANDARD ISSUE. Comments: OUR UNIT JUST GOT OUR DEPLOYMENT PUSHED UP 3 MONTHS EARLY AND WE ARE DEPLOYING IN LESS THAN 3 WEEKS. OUR JOB IS TO SPEND EXTREMELY LONG HOURS OUTSIDE THE WIRE CONDUCTING COUNTER IED DEFEAT OPERATIONS AND WE ARE IN NEED OF GETTING COMFORTABLE SYSTEMS FOR OUR MICH HELMETS. REQUESTING OREGON AERO SIZE 6 PAD SETS. YOUR HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU. GySgt, USMC.

8 Mar 2011: The pads that we are currently using are uncomfortable and do not form well to the head.  This typically results in headaches and night vision devices that don't sit right.  1st Lt USMC

7 Mar 2011: Duties: Infantry Sqd Ldr. Current Pads: Gray Pads that came with the kevlar. Comments: The velcro doesnt stick after I washed them, theyre very uncomfortable and I'm requesting 30 for my platoon. LCpl, USMC.

5 Mar 2011: Duties: I am currently serving as a Infantry Plt Sgt and will be deployed with my battalion shortly to Afghanistan. Current Pads: ACH pads. Comments: Pads we get get stiff once used numerous times. Another big discrepacy is the stability of our kevlars when NVG's are mounted (Moves around to much and gets in our eyes.)  SSgt, USMC.

3 Mar 2011: Doc Bob, I wanted to take a minute to tell you thank you for the helmet pads you had sent me before I deployed. On June 28th, 2010 I was driving the lead vehicle in my convoy and was ambushed in a complex attack. A RPG hit 6 inches from my head penetrating my window and injuring me, I was also hit by an IED on the driver side. I am positive that the padding you provided me with helped save my life. 

1 Mar 2011: Duties: INFANTRY PLATOON SERGEANT. Current Pads: GENTEX ADVANCED COMBAT (GREY OUTER COVER, RIGID). Comments: CURRENT PADS ARE STIFF, AND DO NOT CONFORM EASILY. CAN BE PAINFUL IF NATURAL HEAD SHAPE DOES NOT MATCH HELMET SIZE PERFECTLY. THEY DO NOT HOLD SHAPE, ONCE WORN AT LENGTH, CAUSING THE HELMET TO SHIFT UNNECESSARILY. ADDITIONAL WEIGHT ADDED TO THE HELMET CAUSES EXCESSIVE SHIFTING (i.e. NIGHT VISION MOUNTING).  SSgt, USMC.

28 Feb 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: The pads we were issued are hard and take a long time to form to the individuals head. Even after they have formed to the head they remain uncomfortable when worn for a long period of time.  1st Lt, USMC.

27 Feb 2011: Duties: Route Clearance, IED Removal. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: Thank you so much for helping. I have been hit by eight IED's now and the headaches from that nowhere compare to the headaches from my helmet pads. It is so nice to see someone who cares as much as this organization. I hope you can help us. Thank you!  Sgt, USMC.

18 Feb 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Gentex Corporation. Comments: they are hard and uncomfortable. they dont fit to the head well.  SSgt, USMC.

16 Feb 2011: Duties: Ops Chief, Plt Sgt. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: The MSA pads start to hurt after wearing them for an extended period, and when you are on patrol you dont have a choice but to bear it and drive on. MSgt, USMC.

9 Feb 2011: Duties: INFANTRY. Current Pads: Color is grey, circular, hard, no sewn seam, cotton, black writing pad, helmet, advanced combat. Comments: These pads are too hard on the head and don't form to the head when wearing the pads. SSgt, USMC.

7 Feb 2011: Duties: Route Clearance Operations, Explosive Hazard Reduction. Current Pads: NSN: 8470-01-546-9415 Gentex Corporation. Comments: Most importantly the pads are extremely hard and do not conform to your head. They cause the kevlar to ride high on the head with distinct pressure points on the skull. This in turn causes much discomfort and distracts from the mission at hand. In the cold environments we will be operating in the GI pads compound these issues immensely. I received such good feed back from my squad while attached to the Marine Expeditionary Unit a few years ago that I am trying to outfit my platoon with these much more effective pads. Thank you for all that you do to support us.  Sgt, USMC.

7 Feb 2010: Most importantly the pads are extremely hard and do not conform to your head. They cause the kevlar to ride high on the head with distinct pressure points on the skull. This in turn causes much discomfort and distracts from the mission at hand. In the cold environments we will be operating in the GI pads compound these issues immensely. I received such good feed back from my squad while attached to the Marine Expeditionary Unit a few years ago that I am trying to outfit my platoon with these much more effective pads. Thank you for all that you do to support us. SGT, USMC

3 Feb 2011: Duties: forward air controller. Current Pads: ZAP Action pad. Comments: Pad are often uncomfortable, head feels too restricted, pressure points on certain parts of head. Capt, USMC.

3 Feb 2011: Hello everyone, for some of you all I haven't spoken to you in quite some time and for that I am sorry. As most of you know [xxx] and I are back in Camp Lejeune, NC and I am set to deploy with my company in late April. One of my Marines showed me the above link, and my company was able to order 130 of the "Operation Helmet" upgrade kits. We just received our kits in the mail and they are amazing. If you scroll through the website you can see all the technical and medical advantages these pads offer to all servicemen and women that are forward deployed. I hate to admit it, but as most of you know the military tends to buy the cheaper products as opposed to the best products. These helmet upgrades replace the sub-par pads we are issued, and the fact that they are free to the Marines is extremely nice also. So, the reason for my email to you all is simply to inform you that this is a great way, if you choose, to give something to the individual Marine and Soldier, and it will greatly increase their chance of survival and prevent traumatic brain injury from IED blasts. Thanks for your consideration, and if you choose to donate thank you from all the Marines here. Semper Fi, Capt, USMC.

1 Feb 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Zap Pads; Zobrium Foam; made by Team Wendy, LLC. Comments: Current Pads are stiff and rigid even in warmer weather. Cause pressure points on head that lead to discomfort and headaches. Capt, USMC.

31 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-546-9415. Comments: Current pads are old and harden, giving some Marines headaches and less willing to keep wearing helmets at all appropriate times.  2nd Lt, USMC.

30 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: nsn 3470-01-506-6454. Comments: The biggest thing is that no matter how much we tighten the adjustment straps, our helmet still moves around. with the helmet moving around so much it makes using our nvg's extremely difficult. the current pads we have in our helmets are constantly tearing open when we try to take them out to clean them. the pads stay compressed even with the helmet off which is very uncomfortable. my guys in my squad constantly complain of having to put their helmets back on because of the headaches they get from wearing them constantly. I just went through an IED blast and the doctors said i received a grade 3 concussion. one of the guys in my squad said he watched me fly in the air and knowing that my helmet moves around as much doesn't make me to comfortable. it kinda puts a worry in the back of my head knowing i could have landed on my head and caused more damage. I honestly feel that if the pads were different that we would be better protected against IED's. the military needs to realize the needs for its infantry and stop outfitting us with terrible equipment that could cause more damage. LCpl, USMC.

20 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry/Light Armored Recon. Current Pads: CIF Issue too worn out to read. sorry. Gray in color. Comments: I'm ordering for my Platoon thats why I've asked for so many. They get dirty very easy and are hard to clean. they wear out quickly. I wish they had a spilt top pad so you could wear a headset. And they are very stiff and hard when it is cold, this makes it hard to wear right until they warm up. SSgt, USMC.

20 Jan 2011: Duties: Light Armored Recon mounted/dismounted patrols & raids--Infantry. Current Pads: 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: Generally improper fitting on the front of the Marine's head causing slight abrasions. Also providing room enough to get the radio handsets up under the helmets and ease communications. 1st Lt, USMC.

20 Jan 2011: Duties: Radio Operator. Current Pads: skydex. Comments: They are very uncofortable, gives me headaches most of the time. especially during the winter they freeze up and feel like ice cubes on my head. PFC, USMC.

20 Jan 2011: Duties: infantry, mechanic, convoy. Current Pads: mine are either black or grey, I think I have a set of both. They stick to velcro on the inside of the helmet and are slightly soft. Comments: almost every persons helmet does not fit right with the new pad system.  Sgt, USMC.

20 Jan 2011: Duties: Maintenance Chief. Current Pads: Issued pads. Comments: Inferior product which doesn't hold up. GySgt, USMC.

19 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: 8470-01-546-9407. Comments: CIF issued PADs are extremely uncomfortable and causes pain with chin strap if fully fastened. 1Sgt, USMC.

13 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: 8470-01-546-9418. Comments: The pad i have now after a long period of time make my head hurt and pads take to long to warm up or become soft and comfortable. I've tried your helmet pads for one day and was amazed by the comfort I passed the helmet around and every guy in my squad was amazed by the comfort compared to the pads we have now.  Sgt, USMC.

12 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry Company 1st Sgt. Current Pads: 8470015469356. Comments: They are uncomfortable and bulky.  1Sgt, USMC.

12 Jan 2011: My name is SSgt [opsec] and I am currently serving as a Platoon Sergeant in [opsec] marines camp Pendleton ca. I am requesting helmet pads for my troops who will be deploying to Afghanistan here shortly. I have 36 troops who would need outfitted with these upgrades. As you already know the standard pads we have are not comfortable and do don't last as long as the ones provided by your service and the new ones would greatly be appreciated. All of my marines are infantry and would be required to wear their kevlars on a daily basis while leaving the wire. Your help would would be greatly appreciated.  SSgt, USMC.

11 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: Some Marines do not have pads and are using the old suspension. The Marines that do have the current issue pads are too stiff and cause the Kevlar’s to sit to high on the Marines head. SSgt, USMC.

8 Jan 2011: Duties: machine gun section leader for wpns plt. Current Pads: cif issue. Comments: my gunny said this looked good and would serve to replace our current pads while on deployment. we don't have a way to replace pads over seas and this will work.  Sgt, USMC.

8 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Statndard Issue. Comments: Looking to upgrade helmet pad prior to deployment in March 2011.  LCpl, USMC.

6 Jan 2011: I received two sets of helmet pads from your program. They work perfect in our helmets. My Marines are asking if I can get more. Is there any way to send some more sets to me so I can outfit my Marines. I have 45 Marines in my platoon who would like this upgrade. It would mean a lot to them. Semper Fi.  SSgt, USMC.

5 Jan 2011: Duties: Civil Affairs. Current Pads: Pad, Helmet, Advanced Combat Size SPM1C1-08-C-B100 3/4 NSN 8470-01-546-9415 9U4425 LOT 1368-4. Comments: Same problem that a lot of guys have, after awhile of wearing the helmet I start to get a headache. Thanks for this service, much appreciated.  Sgt, USMC.

4 Jan 2011: Duties: infantry. Current Pads: cif issue. Comments: issue pads breakdown faster in the conditions experienced in AFG, especially during the summer.  GySgt, USMC.

3 Jan 2011: Duties: Mechanic. Current Pads: NSN 8470-01-646-9950, ADVANCED COMBAT SIZE SPM1C1-09-D-F006 3/4". Comments: You cant wear these helmets for more than 5 mins then they start giving you a headache, feels like theyre either too tight or get to loose and rub on your head.  Cpl, USMC.

3 Jan 2011: Duties: Infantry.  Current Pads: Old net harness. Used pads on my first deployment and they worked wonderfully. Comments: It's been 2 years since I last used helmet pads but from what I remember they worked well except they would get very stiff in cold environments.  Cpl, USMC

1 Jan 2011: I received two sets of helmet pads from your program.  They work perfect in our helmets.  My Marines are asking if I can get more.  Is there any way to send some more sets to me so I can outfit my Marines.  I have 45 Marines in my platoon who would like this upgrade.  It would mean a lot to them.   SSGT, USMC.

31 Dec 2010: Duties: Infantry Current Pads: 3/4 BLU6 Comments: comfort/protection. LCpl, USMC.

29 Dec 2010: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: Headaches. Cpl, USMC.

29 Dec 2010: Duties: infantry. Current Pads: standard grey pads. Comments: after extended use they harden from sweat and no longer are as useful.  Cpl, USMC.

24 Dec 2010:  Duties: Infantry Current Pads: Pad color: Gray Pad texture: hard Comments: I have experienced personally and have heard many comments from other Marines of their helmet pads being hard, uncomfortable and they cause rashes and headaches. My parents purchased a liner for me. It's great! I am requesting and would appreciate if you could send enough liners as soon as possible for my Infantry platoon and I will distribute them. What you are doing for us is amazing! Thanks! Semper Fi!  LCpl, USMC.

21 Dec 2010: Duties: Field Artillery. Current Pads: It is the gray hard pad that is worn an hurts the head after prolong wearing. Comments: With continued use the pads don't last and need to be replaced often. Maybe making them more comfortable when using on average of 7 hours per day. GySgt, USMC.

21 Dec 2010: Duties: Artillery, Convoy. Current Pads: Grey, soft velvet like texture. Comments: Somewhat hard and does not form to the head very well. LCpl, USMC.

21 Dec 2010: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: Padding wears down. LCpl, USMC.

21 Dec 2010: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: SDS standard issue. Comments: Thank you for what you do.  SSgt, USMC.

20 Dec 2010: Duties: My unit and I are the manuever element that secures the battle space around the FOB.  Current Pads: I have the black and green pads, and some of my PLT has the foilage green pads, that stick to the inside of the helmet. Comments: I appreciate this. It has been very hard for us to get replacement parts for anything this far away from a main base. Thanks SGT, US Army.

19 Dec 2010:  Duties: Infantry Current Pads: NSN Comments: The current pads are real stiff and rough. After a while of wearing them it gives everyone headaches. I think the pads would work better if they somehow conformed to the individuals head. SGT, US Army.  Follow-up Email on 20 Dec 2010: The operation problems from the pads that we are supplied with are that they do not conform to your head. They are just too stiff, and will not budge. So with that problem, the helmets do not sit correctly on our heads. And if the helmet does not sit on the head correctly, it doesn't protect our heads like it should. I know for my self, it sits way too high with the pads in, So I have had to take out most of the pads to improve the seating of the helmet, so then I am only wearing a few pads, and it probably wouldn't absorb the shock from a blast or bullet. I mean being here in Afghanistan, you probably know that our biggest threats here are IEDS, and if our helmets or helmet pads are not seated correctly, then what good does that do? I have approximately 30 soldiers in my platoon at this time living on the COP. I now your finances are really tight, so if you cannot supply 30 pad upgrades, we would appreciate any that you could give. As for my unit I have 4 line companies as well as a support company. I think overall that would be well over 500 soldiers that leave the wire daily. I do not expect you to have that many to send, once again I do thank you for everything you can do. And yes, I can act as POC to receive/distribute the pads. The time we have left in country is approximately 3-4 months. I am pretty sure I gave you my address but I will give it you again.

17 Dec 2010: Duties: Convoy. Current Pads: Grey pads with a smooth seam. They were orignaly soft but have now become hard with the buildup of sweat and dust. Comments: I have had my current pads for 3 months while deployed in Helmand Province Afghanistan. They have already become hard and rough textured. While on convoys over a couple hours in length my forehead and temples become red and chafed and I get headaches from the pressure. I tried on a fellow Marines kevlar who had the pad upgrades and it felt much better. I am requesting four kits, one for myself and the other three Marines that ride in my vehicle. Cpl, USMC.

15 Dec 2010: Duties: Training - ANP. Current Pads: Unknown. Comments: Thank you for this effort. Please ship these ASAP. We want to give them to our son when he is home at Christmas. The second set of pads if for a buddy of his in the same unit. They expect to be deployed in mid-January.  2nd Lt, USMC.

14 Dec 2010: Duties: Infantry - Machine Gunner. Current Pads: ZAP. Comments: Sorry, i forgot to change the number of kits in my last order. Im trying to order enough for my whole Machine Gun section. Thanks!! LCpl, USMC.

13 Dec 2010: Duties: Forward Observer (FO). Current Pads: None. Comments: Issued old style Kevlar helmet, no pads. CW3, US Navy.

10 Dec 2010: Infantry Squad Leader.  i got issued the Wendy pads on my second deployment. They are a big step up from the leather crown and seemed a lot better then the alternative for a short period. i had to up-size my helmet from a MED to a LRG because of the pads and want to downsize back to a MED. I thought i had the Wendy pads broke in but was soarly mistaken. I went as far as taking my C-4 punch and punctured about 4-6 holes into the pads plastic layer to try to depress and make the pads smaller. It seemed like it would work in my head but failed miserably. A few of my conterparts got lucky and scored helmets with a complete OA harness and loved them. I will be deploying again soon and will definetly be in contact with you. Thank You very much for all that you do for our countrys shock troops! Semper Fi!

9 Dec 2010: Duties: convoy. Current Pads: [NSN] 8470-01-554-6751, PAD, NAPE PROT. Comments: They aren't very comfortable, get lots of headaches from the pads squeezeing your head together cause they aren't very soft. Sgt, USMC

8 Dec 2010: Duties: Air Officer/Forward Air Controller. Current Pads: I currently have an old net helmet. Comments: Still have an old net helmet with a leather headband. Not enough light weight helmets to go around, waiting til closer to deployment.  Capt, USMC.

7 Dec 2010: Duties: EOD Tech. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: cant seem to fit right and old and crusty, have to pay over 60$ dollars for new ones here. SSgt, USMC.

5 Dec 2010: Duties: Infantry-0341. Current Pads: Standard issue that came with kevlar. Comments: Very uncomfortable do not provide much cushioning.  LCpl, USMC.

5 Dec 2010: Duties: 0351, Infantry Assaultman. Current Pads: NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TERRIBLE OLD KEVLAR! PLEASE HELP ASAP. Comments: I am deploying to Afghanistan in June, my kevlar has no pads! PLEASE HELP. Pvt, USMC.

28 Nov 2010: Duties: artillery. Current Pads: gray and they are supper hard and unsuitable for my marines. Comments: Well marines get a headache and some of there Kevlar don’t fit properly. And me being there section chief I want them to feel comfortable in their job. feel comftarble in their job. Sgt, USMC.

25 Nov 2010: Duties: Rocket Artillery and convoy operations. Current Pads: Grey pads, hard texture. Comments: The Current pads are stiff and we have been wearing them for about 2 months. They are causing headaches for marines in my platoon. please send new pads asap. we will be leaving the states Jan. Sgt, USMC.

20 Nov 2010: Duties: Infantry, Weapons Platoon. Current Pads: Gentex Corporation. Comments: The current issued Gentex Pads are horrible, especially in the middle of an 8hr patrol, and once you put on your NVG's it doesn't get any better. Alot of people including myself on my fourth deployment went out and bought the Oregon Aero pads which are 1000 time better. I will NEVER nor will I ever let my Marines wear the issued pads again. Sgt, USMC.

18 Nov 2010: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Most of our pads are so deteriorated that you can't tell...The pads are the firm grey ones that feels like fabric on the outside. Comments: We just recently got back from Marjah Afghanistan. My buddy in x/x told me about you guys and I thought it would be great if you could help us out. Most of ours are worn out and are moldy and too worn in for comfort. Im a team leader in a line platoon and it would be much appricieted if we could get new helmet pads from you guys. We just got done with the range and are about to kick off our workup. We are deploying again in [opsec] we are told. The address I gave is one of my buddys out in town. Thank you for your support.  LCpl, USMC

16 Nov 2010: Duties: Military Police. Current Pads: Standard issue. Comments: The current pads I have are worn down so they don't cusion at all and I get really bad headaches.  LCpl, USMC.

16 Nov 2010: Duties: Infantry Radioman. Current Pads: Unknown...son is on deployment with x/x in Helmand Prov. Comments: I dont know. I am writing on behalf of my son. Was telling one of the ladies at Marine Moms Houston about shipping "blast boxers" to my son and his squad for above knees/ below the waist blast protection. x/x has had 15 KIA and 60 wounded in past 1-1/2 mo. Many IEDs around Sangin. Lots of sniper activity so they also worry about head shots on foot patrol. I had no idea the helmets had issues. Thank you.  Mom of Sgt, USMC

11 Nov 2010: Duties: Himars Rocket Artillery. Current Pads: Team Wendy Zap. Comments: The current pads are too stiff causing headaches and not allowing the helmet to sit properly on our heads.  Sgt, USMC.

10 Nov 2010: Heard About us: Oregon aero. Duties: infantry Current Pads: CIF issued gray, hard. Comments: uncomfortable, causing pain such as headaches and they are worn out.  LCpl, USMC.

4 Nov 2010: Duties: SCOUT SNIPER.  Current Pads: GAUZE ROLLED WITH DUCT TAPE- OLD PADS WORE OUT AND I WAS INSTRUCTED TO BUY NEW ONES RATHER THAN GET THEM REISSUED.  Comments: WE WILL BE DEPLOYING SOON, SO IT WOULD BE GREAT IF I COULD GET MYSELF A SET OF THESE ASAP. MY WHOLE PLATOON JUST PURCHASED OUR OWN MICH SHELLS AND HAVE TO BUILD THE HELMET OUT OF OUR OWN FUNDS. IF POSSIBLE MY PLATOON OF ABOUT 35 COULD BE GREATLY BENEFITTED BY THESE. LIKE SAID IN YOUR COMMENTS SECTION SNIPERS CANNOT USE ISSUED PASGT HELMETS AND FIRE AS ACCURATELY AS REQUIRED. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS HELP. LCpl, USMC.

25 Oct 2010: Duties: EOD. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: WE ALL HAVE A VARIATION OF MANY DIFFERENT HELMETS, AND MANY DIFFERENT PADS, THE PADS WERE ISSUED DONT HELP DISPLACE THE WEIGHT ON PATROLS.  SSgt, USMC.

25 Oct 2010: Duties: pmt. Current Pads: nsn.  Comments: The current pads give me headachs and makes my neck stiff. LCpl, USMC.

19 Oct 2010: Duties: Scout Sniper.  Current Pads: Brain Strap. Brown, worn down horribly. Leather strap around inside of kevlar. Comments: We will be deploying in [opsec]. Mojave Viper in January. I know we have about 15 MICH helmets in our plt. The rest are LWH. Current "protection" in helmets do not provide ample protection when hitting IED's or even when driving in the back of an MRAP on a bumpy road. I'll be sure to have the platoon give some feedback once we get the pads. Thank you very much for your support for us. We couldn't do it without great people like you.  Cpl, USMC.

18 Oct 2010: Duties: Air Officer.  Current Pads: No pads, just standard issued sweatband mesh liner.  Comments: Multiple pressure points and Velcro digs into scalp. Helmet tends to slide forward and backwards a lot. I am requesting a second kit for my assistant Air Officer (if I can do that).  Maj, USMC.

11 Oct 2010: Duties: police mentoring team with grunt unit in afganistan. Current Pads: they are grey and beat to all hell.  Comments: the command wont give me new pads until mine are tottally destroyed. there stiff from all the sweat put into them and they make my neck hurt . my friend has some of the pads that u send and i tried them and they were amazing. LCpl, USMC.

7 Oct 2010: Duties: EOD. Current Pads: My current pads are green on one side, black on another with a sewn seam. I have looked but I do not see any writing on them. Comments: Basically the pads can be uncomfortable at times. In the environment we're in right now any little thing that would improve our lifestyle and comfort level to make our job just a little easier. Thank you so much! I think what you're organization is doing is great. GySgt, USMC.

4 Oct 2010: Duties: Military Police. Current Pads: skydex. Comments: Pads are hard and cause major discomfort, during combat operations.  Cpl, USMC.

30 Sep 2010: Duties: EOD. Current Pads: MSA. Comments: I have used Oregon Aero pads on previous deployments and have been very impressed with their overall performance and comfort. The current pads are to rigid and don't form well to the shape of you head. Also Can you please send size 4 pads. In previous use these seem to fit my head the best. Thanks for your support. Sgt, USMC.

29 Sep 2010: Duties: Infantry. Current Pads: Don't know.  Comments: Hello Dr. Meaders I hope you remember me, weeks ago you sent me 10 pads for my fellow corpsmen in my company, they received them, and they thank you. Now my unit is deploying to assit In OEF very soon and almost 100% of them would benefit greatly from a new set of new pads, and I have spoken to the supply officer in my unit, he told me that he has close to 100 marines in [opsec] CO leaving for training soon. I thank you in advance, and thank fortaking care of us Marines, and Navy.  HM3, USN (FMF)

27 Sep 2010: Duties: MILITARY POLICE. Current Pads: NSN- 8470-01-546-9356. Comments: TOO HARD. Cpl, USMC

26 Sep 2010: Duties: PMT mission. Living with and training the Afghani National Police. Current Pads: none, my kevlar didnt have any. Comments: my kevlar gives me headaches and is real loose.  LCpl, USMC.

21 Sep 2010:  Duties: Convoy Ops.  Comments: I requested 1 replacement kit before beginning operations in Marjah.  OperationHelmet outfitted my whole squad of 20! From first hand use and the testimonial from my Marines, I can tell you that the Oregon Aero are far superior to the standard issue pads. Several of us had the misfortune of testing the pads in IED strikes, but miraculously, not one Marine I knew wearing the OA pads suffered from even class 1 concussions. Standard-issue, on the other hand, did not fare as well. The comfort level of the OA pads are through the roof, we jokingly went to sleep with our kevlars on to demonstrate to others how comfortable they really are.  Sgt, USMC

21 Sep 2010: Duties: INFANTRY PLATOON. Current Pads: BASIC PAD BLACK ISSUE WITH MARINE CORPS EMBLEM. OTHERS HAVE OLD LEATHER PADS FOR KEVLAR. Comments: PADS WE CURRENTLY HAVE ARE OLD AND DONT FIT RIGHT IN SOME OF THE OLDER KEVLAR HELMETS WE HAVE HERE AT THE UNIT. I AM HOPING WE GET NEW GEAR BUT WHO KNOWS.  GySgt, USMC.

21 Sep 2010: Duties: ANGLICO - Air Naval Guns Liaison Company: Provide indirect fire support for Marines and Coalition forces. Current Pads: Skydex. Comments: Marines have complained about headaches, pads are too hard, uncomfortable... Request size 4 pads.  SSgt, USMC.

20 Sep 2010: Duties: Intel Current Pads: original Comments: they are hard...  SSgt, USMC.

14 Sep 2010: Duties: PMT [military police - provost martial]. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: after a couple deployments hard to keep clean, do not let helmet fit properly on head, cause headache after long hours of wear on patrol. Cpl, USMC.

9 Sep 2010: Duties: Counter IED Team. Current Pads: NSN. Comments: The pads are way to thick and if i put them in proper configuration my helmet doesnt fit.  GySgt, USMC

9 Sep 2010:  My Platoon received the helmet pads last week (ltr. dated 8/17). They were all passed out the first day. Everyone is very appreciative. We are not provided new pads out here, and some Marines still had their old ones from Iraq. They all say the pads are much more comfortable than the issued ones. I can say personally they are. I want to thank all of you who helped purchase these. You have provided a little more comfort in our lives, which is not something we have much of out here, as you can imagine. Your prayers and support mean a lot to us here. So, on behalf of xx Platoon, xx Co., x/x, I thank you all. May God bless you and our country, which I have a new appreciation for. LCpl, USMC.

9 Sep 2010: Duties: Fire Support. Current Pads: None. Need size 4 helmet pads with 4-point chin straps. Our  ANGLICO is the only ANGLICO that is poorly equipped. Comments: Don't have any pads. HM1, USN (FMF)

7 Sep 2010: Duties: Work up to go back to Afghanistan we just got back from Marjah. Current Pads: POS ones from CIF [Central Issue Facility] that came with the helmet. Comments: We just got back from Marjah in Afghanistan ... you sent us the helmet pads before we deployed they got destroyed beyond cleaning while over there we are about to begin our work up to go back. If you could send my squad new ones or if possible the platoon that would be 45 helmet pads that would be great if not its all good. LCpl, USMC.

3 Sep 2010: Duties: Security Current Pads: Gray and black, kind of stiff with light stitching Comments: Nothing, I just prefer the Oregon Aero pads.  CPL, USMC.

1 Sep 2010: Duties: INFANTRY. Current Pads: MY KEVLAR DOESNT HAVE GEL PADS. IT HAS THE NET SUSPENSION SYSTEM. Comments: THE CURRENT SUSPENSION SYSTEM PUTS PRESSURE ON MY TEMPLES AND GIVES ME INCREDIBLE HEADACHES. SGT, USMC.

25 Aug 2010: Duties: Forward Air Controller. Current Pads: Issue Hemet pads. Comments: This is for a company of operators, request 25 sets of radio operator pads for the headsets, I ordered pads a year ago for another [deleted] Unit and all the Marines were really appreciative and thankful for the upgraded pads I ordered for them, so thank you and thanks for all the support! The issue pads are nowhere near as comfortable and breathable as the Oregon Aero material, that is basically it...they do the job but not that well. The oregon aero pads are way more comfortable for long periods of use, which is more appropriate for operational units. The pads we got last time for my other unit in this organization were fantastic and worked near perfectly.  Capt, USMC

23 Aug 2010:  Duties: INFANTRY COMPANY COMMANDER. Current Pads: I HAVE THE ISSUED NSN PADS FROM CIF. BLACK AND GREY PADS. Comments: THE PADS I HAVE ARE HARD AND UNCOMFORTABLE.  Capt, USMC

16 Aug 2010: The guys from my platoon who will be operating outside the wire in a pretty popular little dump in Helmand Province have all been outfitted with pads at this point. Platoon commander loves them, as does the Platoon Sgt. S-4 shop had a mild heart attack when they realized what me and you had done. One of the Lt's knew all about your cause and cited numerous USMC studies against it blah blah blah. He's a REMF and i'll doubt if he ever dons his kevlar for the entire 7 months other than to board the c-130 in and out. My opinion is simple, regardless of who's pads are safer, if the junior Marines aren't wearing it, then it's no good. And that's exactly what we do when the door on the MRAP closes or the COG leaves our post / ECP. I can sit hear and blow smoke up everyones ass all day and tell you that we are far to disciplined to do that but this isn't my first rodeo and I know thats just a lie. If something is uncomfortable then it's coming off as soon as the leadership leaves. I'm not too far removed from my Lance Corporal days to be ignorant enough to deny this.

9 Aug 2010: Duties: infantry. Current Pads: MSA.  Comments: the pads that came with the helmet came in only in 1 or 2 sizes and not the right size i need. and figured that out the hard way by using it and just couldnt get it adjusted just right so i need thicker pads. i have a medium helmet that came with medium pads and i need small pads.  [OpHelmet comment: needs larger helmet rather than smaller pads] Sgt, USMC

9 Aug 2010: Duties: SECURITY. Current Pads: none- military suspended leather/canvas. Comments: We still have the suspended canvas/leather in our helmets. It gives you a headache after an hour and offers no level of dampening material.  1st Lt, USMC

8 Aug 2010: Duties: Infantry training. Current Pads: No pads at all, suspension system. Comments: I had the pads in my old helmet and they made a huge difference, the only problem was they had a tendency to get hard. Cpl, USMC

6 Aug 2010: Duties: Counter IED and unexploded ordnance (EOD). Current Pads: MSA. Comments: [Not] Achieving the proper fit of the helmet with the pads available. GySgt, USMC.

30 Jul 2010: Duties: Infantry scout squad leader OEF. Pads are for scouts and LAV-25 crewmen.  Current Pads: issued - grey (Team Wendy?). Comments: I got 1 set for myself and 1 for a friend in Afghanistan and have found them to be infinitely better than the issued pads. I wish I'd had these the past 2 deployments. As the platoon sergeant/ squad leader I want my Marines to have as much comfort as possible. I assure you each of these pads will go to Marines doing multiple deployments to the most remote parts of Afghanistan. Sgt, USMC

26 Jul 2010: Duties: Training Advisors to both the ANA and ANP [Afghan Nat'l Army and Police]. Current Pads: Oregon Aero.  Comments: I used the oregon aero pads back in 2006 in iraq, they probably saved my buddies life in february when he got a grade 3 concussion from an IED blast 5 feet from him, and kept me from getting a concussion when an IED went off by me in june. I got wounded but didnt have any head trauma or problems. I think the issue pads are not the best, but the government has to buy alot of them so price has got to be a factor.  GySgt, USMC.

22 Jul 2010: helmet slippage, obstructs vision. LCpl, USMC

20 Jul 2010: convoys.  my pads fall out easily and its hard for more to keep then in a secure spot that also allows my helmet cover straps to stay in one place.  CPL, USMC.

20 Jul 2010: FORWARD AIR CONTROLLER Comments: THANKS VERY MUCH FOR PROVIDING THESE GREAT PADS. THE ISSUE PADS ARE TOO THICK AND DON'T BREATHE WELL. Capt, USMC.

19 Jul 2010: HOSPITAL CORPSMAN FMF Comments: My Kevlar does not have any pads, so when I go into the prone shooting position the weight of the helmet covers my eyes making it impossible to shoot, also gets hard to use Night Vision Goggles when the helmet keeps moving cause there is no stabilization. Thanks for your help! HM3, USN(FMF).

19 July 2010: I received the pads on Friday, passed them out to my platoon and  they were ecstatic.  You are providing an unbelievable service, it takes us months to be issued sub par gear and you got us high end pads in less then a week. I understand your funding is low and that makes it mean even more to us the fact that you put in a great deal of time and energy. I've spread the word to my union IAFF local 2562 and various other agencies and I'm hoping they do the right thing. It really is amazing how something as small as a set of helmet pads can raise the moral of a platoon of combat ready marines. Usually I'm the one putting in the time to raise money for various organizations and have never been on the receiving end it really is overwhelming to see that while everyone says they support the troops you put actions along with that phrase. Let me know if there is anything I can do to further this great cause and spread the word, it would be a shame to see this stop due to monetary issues. Thank you again from everyone at XX platoon XX company XX and a job well done sir.

11 Jul 2010: Duties: Navy Corpsman attached to an infantry company Comments: The current pads are hard and stiff therefore my helmet likes moving around and make it very difficult while trying to treat a patient, sometimes i end up taking it off all together to i can see what im doing. Thank you for what your doing here we are all very grateful. HM2, USN (FMF)

7 Jul 2010: Duties: Infantry Comments: Thank you so much for this wonderful service you are providing our military members. I wish our government would step up to the plate and provide your helmet liners as standard equipment. God Bless you for working to improve the chance of our military men and women coming home physically, mentally and emotionally intact. Your product is making a huge difference in so many lives, not just our military. Semper Fi! LCpl, USMC.

1 Jul 2010: Duties: we are mortarmen in a 81mm mortar platoon, we will be shooting mortars and patroling ALOT. Possibly some vehicle operations.  Comments: The pads that we are issue from CIF on base just are not up to par. The lines to get gear replaces takes hour on end, also with our optempo it is hard to get my marines in there. The pads that we do get are hard as a rock and stay that way especially when they get wet. we are deploying to afghanistan in 2 months and i thought i can see what i could do to help get my guys some new gear. The first thing that came to my mind is better helmet pads. I was issued a new pair in Iraq back in 2005, let me tell you they were the most comfortable pair of helmet i have worn. They saved my head quite a few times when i got hit with some IED's. So i know what good pads can do for marines, save them from some TBI in most cases. IF you guys can help us out please let me know.

30 Jun 2010: Duties: Conducting Scout Sniper operations in support of our battalion. Comments: My platoon will be deploying to OEF very soon and nearly the whole platoon has MICH helmets we bought with our own money, due to the fact that the issued LWH is not suitable for laying in the prone behind a precision weapon, as it hinders your ability to attain proper cheek weld and sight picture through our scopes. All my fellow snipers are using combinations of the issued pads which are stiff and uncomfortable, and when removed become rock solid. They also hold sweat and stay wet for long periods of time, and since we have had the same pads for 6+ months, they are delaminating and smell terrible. We wear our helmets to stay safe, but its hard to convince my guys to keep them on when there is no apparent danger and it feels like a vice grip. CPL, USMC.

20 May 2010: I am an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Tech with xxx USMC that will be getting ready for workups for our future deployment to Afghanistan this coming Feb. I have a platoon of 60 Techs that will be deploying with our "fantastic" issued helmets and pads. If it is possible to accommodate us with the helmet pad kits I would appreciate it. Thanks.  GySgt, USMC

18 May 2010 - Fire support liaison.  The pads are too stiff and cause headaches. It causes more harm than benefit when a Marine has to often remove his helmet to relieve pressure. Sgt, USMC.

14 May 2010: SPECIAL OPS, INFANTRY.  I am currently with Marine Special Operations Battalion located [xxx]. We are looking for better helmet pads for the Mich Helmet than the current one being fielded. I have tried the Oregon Aero pads that you guys supply through one of my peers who received the set of pads from your organization. I would like to outfit my entire team of 15 individuals with the Oregon Aero pads and try them out for our upcoming deployment overseas. I would greatly appreciate it if you guys could support us in this manner. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at any point. Once again thank you for your support and all that you do for us troops. Semper Fi!!!!  Sgt, USMC

27 Apr 2010: As I am sure you are aware, the issue helmet pads are uncomfortable and create pressure points. The LWH as a whole is a disaster. I got an ACH from a friend in the Army and will be wearing that discreetly on the pump. The pads he had in it were good, but they have some serious funk to them and the ones from the LWH are awful. Thanks for the help, you guys are awesome. I'll let my squad know about your program. Sgt, USMC.

26 Mar 2010- Deploying very very soon. I appreciate it if you can help in any way. The issued pads are not working with my MICH helmet. I have had good experiences with Oregon Aero pads in the past, but wore them out during my last deployment. I have a very large head and would like 1/2 pads if possible. I was issued 1" pads by my unit and tried to cut them in half, but it did not work so well. My unit does not have the size I need, and i can't afford to buy them right now. Thanks again!

17 Mar 2010 - Heard About us: THROUGH OTHER MARINES Duties: ME AND MY SQD WILL BE GOING ON PATROLS FOR MULTIPLE WEEKS AT A TIME. THEREFORE WE WILL BE WEARING OUR KEVLARS ALL DAY LONG AND THE PADS WE GET FROM CIF [central issue facility] ARE TOO STIFF. WE ARE LEAVING FOR AFGHANISTAN NEXT MONTH AND WILL BE THERE FOR AN UNDISCLOSED TIME. Comments: ME AND MY MARINES WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT.  Sgt, USMC

17 Mar 2010 - MSgt [xxx] told me about you and that while he was deployed to both OIF and OEF that you supplied his teams with pads and how happy his Marines where with the product. Duties: I'm with a female engagement team (FET) deploying to Afghanistan to work along side of the infantry.  Thank you so much for your support!!!  USMC

11 Mar 2010 - Infantry.  I have the standard suspension pads in my helmet. They cause me headaches and to much fatigue after long periods of time. LCpl, USMC

7 Mar 2010 - Heard About us: Fellow EOD Tech. Duties: EOD. Comments: We are deploying to Afghanistan soon and are starting our work-ups in 10 days. I would like for us to train with the new pads if at all possible. I would greatly appreciate it if we could receive [9] kits. If you could help us with this; I would be extremely greatful. Thank you for your assistance and please continue the awesome work you guys are doing for deploying Marines and Soldiers. Semper Fi.  SSgt, USMC

5 Mar 2010 - bomb dog handler, deploying to Afghanistan as infantry. DEPLOYING TO AFGHANISTAN [soon] I DO GET HEADACHES WHEN WEARING LWH OVER ABOUT 8 HRS. LCPL, USMC

24 Feb, 2010: The main gripes that the Marines have with the current pads and suspension system are that after continuous wear/use they lose their effectiveness.  Specifically, the suspension system will not hold it's tension causing the helmet to shift while in use at inopportune times.  The straps have to be constantly tightened before, during, and after use.  The pads are too stiff and do not break in easily, if at all.  Due to its comfort, or lack there of, Marines result to removing their helmets at any available moment for relief or readjustment.

23 Feb 2010: Duties: EOD.  We are scheduled to deploy soon. I will be deploying with 8 other EOD techs. I heard of your ongoing "operation." We would be very grateful if you would be able to accommodate our request. Thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do for our troops. The number provided is my cell and I can be reached at any time if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you, again!  GySgt, USMC

8 Feb 2010:  Thank You so much for sending my fire team helmet pads. I am no longer getting the question about, "can we take off our k-pots my head hurts." My Fireteam and I would like to thank all the people that made this possible. Sgt, USMC

26 Jan 2010: We are a 27 man team of combat advisors who will be embedded with an Afghan battalion. We will spend most of our time in isolated groups outside the wire advising the Afghan National Army. Every Afghan soldier we train is one less American soldier we have to send over there. A constant complaint amongst my teammates is that the GI pads cause pain, headaches, and they sit too high. As an aviator, I have used Oregon Aero pads in my flight helmet on long missions and am a huge fan. In fact, I tried to use my flight helmet pads inside my lightweight helmet. Needless to say it didn't work. I became very excited when i found out that they make custom pads for the LWH. any help is very appreciated

5 Jan 2010: Before receiving your pads I had the issued pads for my kevlar and they were horrible. They were awful when they got hot which they often do when your in Iraq. I ordered a kit with enough pads for my whole squad. All my marines loved them. Thank you.

12 December 09: SOME OF THE BEST KEVLAR PADS I HAVE USED. EVERY MARINE SHOULD BE ISSUED ONE.

26 July, 2009: The Marines have finally listened to the words of wisdom from warriors!  The latest Request for Information from vendors includes the mandate that new pads being sought for both current and future helmets  must "(3) Provide increased human comfort compared to the current fielded systems and allow for user customization/adjustment without altering the level of protection." Just a coincidence, I'm sure, but that's what we've been providing for the past 5+ years. Go figure.

30 Nov 2009 - I am requesting 10 kits to outfit fellow docs and marines, however, if you would like to send more, I will make sure they get to needed personnel. I just returned from Iraq 3 months ago and we are headed out in 3 months, so my gear is worn but these kits would have made long patrols more bearable. Thank You.  HM3, Navy FMF.

12 Oct 09: The current GI pads are very hard and cause pain. I was issued the new pad kit and spent a lot of time and energy trying to get them to fit with some level of comfort. Even after only placing 4 pads in the helmet it fits too tight. I tried on the next helmet size but the shell is too large and takes away from my vision. The old strap system was more comfortable. I especially do not like the pads when I have the added weight of NVGs on my helmet.  LCPL, USMC

20 Sep 2009 - pads slip, too thick as it makes you need a bigger size and then that creates an improper fit as well so you get headaches or it slips in front of your face in the prone position.  Sgt, USMC

18 Sep 2009 - [your] pads are way better than the factory mich pads, There are about 200 people in my unit, about half of which will be going outside the wire, i didn't want to ask for that much though as I don't know if you have received orders from anyone else from [opsec] and if so for how many ...if you have the donations, 100 kits would be great (and if you don't see other orders from my unit) if not, i just request 4 kits for the personnel in my [opsec] division. thank you again for your great support. Capt, USMC

17 Sep 2009 - Hello my name is SSgt xxxx and my unit is ramping up to deploy to Afghanistan I would like to buy one of your kits for myself and if my marines like it, I would then request some for them is there any way to purchase this kit

16 Sep 2009 - I originally had received an Oregon Aero kit back in 2006 while I was in Fallujah and let me tell you that it saved my head on the 2 occasions that my vehicle was hit by an IED. They are a god send and I know that many lives have been saved by the kits that are being supplied to the Marines and the FMF Corpsman.  I would like to thank Capt. Bob Meaders(Ret.) for what he has done and also my wife for the work that she did in the past to outfit my PSD unit and what she is doing now to outfit the unit I am currently with. Thanks for all you do.  Lt, USMC

1 Sep 2009 - I am sending the pads for 2 friends of mine (E-3's) back at my old unit, that are going to afganistan in a couple months, i was recently talking to them and they had asked if i knew of the place that had the helmet pads and i told them id look into it.  Sgt, USMC

28 Aug 2009 -Infantry - Currently deployed in Iraq - MRAP & foot patrols - need kits to BEST protect our men & provide maximum comfort for the rest of the platoon. My squad loves the upgraded pads -- no more headaches and sore spots on long patrols! Thanks again, LCpl, USMC

28 Aug 2009 - Dear Dr. Meaders, I recently requested upgrade kits on behalf of my son's squad of 12. They received them within 10 days and are THRILLED with the difference it has made! Now, on behalf of the rest of the Kilo Co, 2nd Plt, I am respectfully requesting that kits be sent to the remaining two squads and the leaders.  Kyle has the OK to distribute them to the rest of the platoon as soon as he receives them! These kits make all the difference on a long patrol outside the wire! With Sincere thanks from a grateful Marine Mom

26 Aug 2009 -   in 2005 prior to deploying w 26 MEU, I requested via these pgm pads for my sqd. you guys sent us the pads and it was the best piece of gear in our bodies at that time the marine corps wasn't issuing pads at all, after that deployment i got orders to [opsec removed] duty. upon finishing [that] duty i returned back to the grunt side of the house when i got my 782 gear issue i got my kevlar helmet w a set of pads (bricks)since then is just a constant headache i wish i kept my pads that i got from you 4 years ago, we are about to deploy here in October to Afghanistan and i would like to see if its possible for the marines in my plt can get lucky this time and have a better padding system w them especially during this up coming deployment have 35 young marines in my plt, and my company its about 178 marines total, we will appreciate any help possible on this matter. SSGT, USMC

25 Aug 2009 the current pads are too stiff causing migraines all the time and making me have to remove my kevlar several times through out a dismounted and mounted patrol.  my current suspension system is destroyed from last deployments and never held up except with duct tape.  LCPL, USMC

24 Aug 2009 The current pads are always hard and after becoming drenched with sweat get really hard n stiff. Also because the pads are so thick we need to get a size larger and it becomes uncomfortable because your helmet doesn't fit your head properly n snugly. The pads we have also rip n shred a lot and aren't really the best quality. LCpl, USMC

12 Aug 2007 - When I originally went to Iraq from Feb to Sep 2006, my unit ordered and received your Oregon Aero pads. They were unbelievably comfortable!!! It was a great comfort to know that there are organizations such as yours looking out for the servicemembers on the front lines. When we began our predeployment training for my upcoming deployment I was excited to hear that I was going to be able to have pads issued to me (I left my pads for another Marine to use prior to my departure from Iraq.) I was sadly disappointed at not only how hard the pads which were issued were but not only how uncomfortable the lowest bidder's product was. I would now like to know how to take care of the Marines which are going out this time with me. Thank you for what you do for us. Semper Fidelis, SSgt Xxx

05 Aug 2009 - the old ones slip around and cause headaches. CPL, USMC

31 Jul 2009 - Pads given are too thick and still have just a chin strap to hold my kevlar on Fellow Marines have gotten systems during previous deployments. Since being in the field so much dirt makes the velcro sticky pads not work. A large kevlar is too large and a medium one fits better, but with the 1 inch pads it does not properly fit my head. Also, I still have just a chin strap to hold the kevlar to my head. LCPL, USMC

25 July 07 - My husband has just deployed for the 4th time to Iraq last week. Although he volunteered to go with his platoon this time, for me it's feels like the first all over again. I had inquired about sending him a Helmet pad and I remember getting a response that the Marines are issued their own. My husband called at 2 am today asking specially to please email your organization to please send him one of yours if at all possible. Proud Marine Wife.

15 Jul 2009 - I get hot spots continually with the issues pads.  Capt, USMC

18 Jun 2009 - just returned in march from iraq and we are leaving in november for afghanistan. my pads got ruined and started ripping and don't Velcro except the front and back. i would greatly appreciate a new kit.  CPL, USMC

27 May 2009 - I had pad's from you last deployment and they worked great; I'm redeploying to go to Afghanistan now and need new ones.  I got re-issued a new kevlar and new pad's after my last deployment, just looking to have same protection/comfort as the pad's I had from you, last deployment. Heading overseas in a few months time.  LCPL, USMC

24 May 2009 - My supply only gave me the helmet with three of the crappy gray pads, not even enough to properly use the helmet. Right now I'm borrowing some extras from a buddy to have a full pad outfit. I've used the Oregon Aero pads in the past at my last command, and never want to use the issued Team Wendy gray pads again if I have any choice at all. Thanks for what you guys do.  CPL, USMC

21 May 2009 - Engineers. Long route repair, route clearing missions, FOB building and patrols kill our heads in the uncomfortable pad system that is currently in use. Some kevlars simple don't fit with the old systems so the web system is retained.  LCPL, USMC

20 May 2009 - The pads that were issued are a total waste of resources. I wish that one day, the DoD would decide on spending time and money on getting the right product rather than wasting time and money replacing it.  I wouldn't mind stepping in front of the Joint Chiefs and schooling them.  CPL, USMC

9 May 2009 - the helmet pads we are issued are hard and give us head aches, the pads we are issued are Team Wendy zap.  LCPL, USMC

30 Apr 2009 -  I just receive a brand-new USMC-LW helmet(still in plastic bag when I got it) in early March and wore it steady for a two week training exercise in Mississippi; consequently, the center pad is already flaking up. Also, for those two weeks I had to keep removing my helmet to relieve the tension headache that it was causing me! My HM's and I are going OCONUS in the mid fall of 2009 and I would like to have all my gear ready prior to avoid any delays at the last minute. Many thanks to you folks, and GOD BLESS YOU. LCDR, USN (FMF)

26 Apr 2009 - Most of our EOD and Motor Transport Operator personnel are currently using MSA cross section pads and have constant headaches from these. We are requesting to be sent the Oregon Aero Pads as we have found these to be the most comfortable. They also seem to provide the best protection as well, due to the dual foam. Also the pads we currently have are all size 4 and we would like size 6 as they wear better.  LCPL, USMC


How are the 'new' Marine-issue pads being accepted in the field? Here's this morning's (4/27/07) email from a unit preparing to deploy shortly: "Hello, My name is SSgt xxxxxxxx. I am the supply chief with xxxxxxxxxxx unit out of xxxxxxxx.  Our company received some kind of upgrade pad that was issued from battalion that the marines will not wear because it is so uncomfortable.  The pads do not fit the helmets therefore causing the helmet to sit extremely high on the marines head.  The pads are also very hard and as mentioned earlier extremely uncomfortable.  Our marines need to wear the pads because of the importance of helping save marines lives that are in explosions. I sincerely hope that you and your company can help with our problem."
 



Check out Mike Corrado's “On My Watch Tonight”

14 May 2007 - I wanted to thank you very much for sending me the two Kevlar inserts. When my grandpa had told me that he had talked to you and that you had designed them yourself we got into a long conversation about how I hated the old equipment that the Marines for compared to all the other branched of service. I mean I have gone a long time without those inserts that you sent me and my neck used to be sore and stiff well after I got the chance to take off my Kevlar. I just really want to thank you since I put those inserts in I can wear my Kevlar forever it seams like without it irritating the hell out of my head and neck. I gave my good friend Cpl S, the other one that you sent and he agrees with me and he also sends his thanks.   Cpl T, USMC, Fallujah Iraq

19 Mar 07 - From my family and my nephew, THANK YOU so much. When I got your email saying the helmet liner will be sent tomorrow it just made me cry. While the family is split on the war, we are all supportive of my nephew and our troops. I am glad I was able to do this for him. Dusten is a radio operator for his team. I have asked him to let me know if there are any members of his team who do not have the new liners. I want to make sure they all have them. Normally I am not one to ask for help. This is the time for me to ask. Thank you again. Tina R.

9 Mar 07 - I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for the work you have done on behalf of the troops.  My son-in-law is still in Iraq with the marines in Al Anbar province and has expressed several times what a lifesaver the helmet inserts have been to him and the other guys. They have been in some fierce firefights and he had an RPG fly 2 feet above his head and land fairly close to him.  The insert was instrumental in protecting him from a head injury.  So, a big thank you!  Carol

2 Mar 07 - This is the best Pad system ever. I used to have a problem with my helmet falling down over my eyes but not any longer with this system it stays firmly in place and since it more comfortable it will stay on my head longer. Semper Fi Doc. Thanks A million. LCpl SY.

26 Feb 07 - Thanks Bob, we got augmented with some Marines from the Battalion here in Fallujah, and they showed up with these new helmet pads that the Corps is issuing out, and they are absolutely the most painful, uncomfortable helmet pads on earth. I'd rather have the old liner system than those hard one's they're issuing to our Marines. We appreciate what you're doing. Thank you.  JT, USMC

10 Feb 07 - I just received a phone call from my son.  They have been out on an extended training mission on Camp Pendleton, so he just got a chance to pickup and distribute the helmet pads this past week.  He handed them out to all the Scout Sniper platoon, about 5 of them went to his buddies in the company. The Scout Sniper sergeant was so thrilled, that he took 5 of them and handed them out to some of the other Sergeants, including the new Battalion Commander.  Every one of the guys wanted me to pass along a big “Thanks”.   They were ecstatic! The Marines are now issuing the guys their version of new helmet pads, but they are not near as comfortable or secure as the ones from Operation Helmet.  They put the Marine-issued ones in their helmets, and then tried the ones you sent from Operation Helmet and said there was no comparison. The whole battalion will be going on a month long training mission before they deploy.  Proud Marine Mom...

9 Feb 07 - I received the shipment today, my platoon is very excited to have these.  I cannot thank you enough for what you do, this was one of the best gifts my Marines could get before some of them go for the first time.  Here is to fair winds and following seas, Sir.  and Semper Fidelis, Lcpl Matt

6 Feb 07 - I received [the] pads. They are a lot better than the ones that I have seen come through the supply system. The extra pads I has distributed to other Marines within my Company that are leaving soon. I will have the guys complete the survey once we get some wear time in country. I truly appreciate the support that you and your group have provided to not only me and my Marines but all the US Service personnel.  SSgt M

4 Feb 07 - I saw your link on the Glenn Beck website. I have an 18 year old next door neighbor who is like a son to me at Camp Pendleton. If he gets deployed next year, I'll make another contribution in his name. Keep up the fantastic work! With people like you and our military personnel wherever they may be, I am proud to call myself an American! Kevin, Stockton CA

2 Feb 07 - A Marine in my unit recently received one of your kits. He couldn't say enough good things about it. The pads in my helmet are ridiculously hard and the helmet doesn't even fit on my head properly. This causes extreme discomfort and makes it hard to focus on the task at hand. I am requesting a couple additional kits for junior Marines who are having the same problem as me. This will greatly improve our efficiency. Thank you for your support. Cpl. J.

2/4/07: my upgrade kit arrived today and i installed it on my kevlar and i have got to say i never knew the kevlar could feel that good and snug on my head. thank you 

2/11/07: I just wanted to let you know that the xxx Batallion, xxx Marine division returned home safely from Iraq last week and I am certain Operation Helmet played a key role in their safe return.  Thankfully my Marine returned home safely and I hope your grandson is also safe. Thank you for your care and concern which helped to protect these Marines who fought the enemy so bravely.

2/21/07:I serve as a Squad leader of a Combat Engineer squad attached to XXX BN  XXX  Marines. Upon deploying with this unit on MEU my squad and myself were  issued the new Marine helmet with pads. Right away everyone wanted the old  net suspension back. The new pads are incredibly hard and uncomfortable.  Also the pads don't properly fit so helmets are left sitting high on your  head as you wear it. A Marine I met the other day told me about the pads you had sent him and his squad. I am requesting these for my whole squad.

1/28/07: Thank you very much for the kits. They Have made a huge difference and are much more comfortable. All my men would like to thank you and tell you they are glad you do what you do. sorry it took me so long to get back to you. god bless.

1/30/07: thank you these helmet kits are awesome. They are really comfortable and the best thing since sliced bread.

1/22/07 Bob, I have some news that I would like for you hear.  A few weeks ago you sent my son Brandon 50 helmet upgrades.  I have thanked you several times for that.  Today comes the biggest thanks of all.  Last night Brandon was hit by a IED.  He received shrapnel to the head.  A piece about the size of a dime got him behind the right eye. I am not sure of all the details yet, however I know that he will have a full recovery and I am certain that the injury was greatly diminished as a result of your helmet liner. There was no other head trauma,  and I have you to thank for that. Thank you so much for all you have done for our troops,  and my son. (Marine family)
 


MARADMIN - MARINE CORPS POLICY ON THE WEAR AND PURCHASE OF BODY ARMOR AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)  This MarAdmin allows Personal Protective Equipment additions to be authorized by unit commanders depending on the tactical situation/needs.

MARADMIN CONCERNING HELMET PADS  This MadAdmin states only Marine-issue pads will be used and orders CO's to change any other pads out as follows:  ALL OTHER PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEMS WILL BE EXCHANGED BY UNITS AND INDIVIDUALS AS SOON AS THE OPERATIONAL SITUATION PERMITS. Some commanding officers have used this phrase as well as the MarAdmin above as justification to leave well enough alone for troops with the upgraded pad system sent by Operation Helmet and the American public. The more comfortable pads increase combat effectiveness by allowing troops to concentrate on the job at hand instead of doing so in spite of a headache and poorly-fitting helmet.

More tests are in the offing that include 'wearability', which was ignored in the first round of tests conducted by the Dept. of Defense.
 


Here's how one Marine is making a difference for Iraq's future leaders, one child at a time: Matt Foster, USMC helping Iraqi school children

 

 10/18/06:      Notice to donors intending to send kits to individual Marines or for 'Marine Only' usage: Some units in Iraq tell us they are receiving the new Marine-issued helmet upgrades. Prior to donating for a helmet upgrade for 'your' Marine, please contact them via email or via www.Motomail.us to see if they need you to provide one through Operation Helmet. We will continue upgrading the combat helmets of other Marine units already in Iraq to whom the supply chain has not reached until we hear otherwise. The Marine units in the African Horn, or on standby for any contingency, tell us they still need the upgrade, so we will respond.

11/6/06:Why we're back asking for help: From a Marine CO:  "I got 25 more of the helmet liners for the Marines, but I found out today that our supply system can’t get any ordered and in until next year, so if you have any pull with OpHelmet we could use at least 125 more for my company alone"

11/8/06 A Senior NCO of a combat unit in Anbar province called home and asked his parents to quickly find 120 helmet upgrades for the unit...the military-issue ones haven't made it to their isolated outpost and no sign of them in the near future. And he wants his men protected every day!

MARADMIN 362/06 Released - Authorizes use of Pad Suspension Kit in the Marine Lightweight Helmet.  Follow-up letter from General Mike Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, to Congressman Weldon that states "I have directed that O&M funding be made available to commanders who want to purchase the padded suspension system".  Unfortunately, it will take a while for this to get implemented.  We will fill the gaps until this happens.

MARADMIN 480/06 Update - 5 Oct 06 - The Pad Suspension System is now the only authorized suspension system to be used in the Lightweight Helmet (LWH).  Complete update and Marine Corps News Release. 

7 Nov 06 - Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), I MEF and II MEF did an initial purchase of 39,000 and MCSC purchased an additional 100,000 of which 50,000 were delivered to the MEFs and MFR in September.  The MEFs receive them at their Consolidated  Issue Facilities (CIFs) in CONUS and then assign quotas and requirements for the battalions. As you can imagine, by the time the pads get to the company and platoon level some time has passed.  The additional 50,000 pads will complete delivery to the CIFs by the end of December.  Some pads are now available in the supply system.


18 Dec 06 - I spoke to [my son] this weekend, there are 2200 Marines in his unit that  don't have [padded suspension systems]. I will continue to promote the Operation Helmet to support our troops overseas.  Best wishes to you, George, Proud Parent of a Marine.


14 Dec 2006 - It is with heavy heart I write you again. Less than six months ago Matt Dillion in Iraqwe communicated in order to acquire helmet inserts for the [his unit] out of Miramar, CA. before they deployed to Iraq (Sept 3, 2006). These Marines were very thankful for the liners designed to give them extra protection. We had many conversations with our son while he was in Iraq and he told us once his vehicle was struck with a small IED and said the liners definitely helped. He compared it to a similar IED hit in Aug of 2003 in which he received a purple heart. But on Monday evening our lives were changed by the ringing of the doorbell. We were informed that our son, Cpl Matthew Dillon, had been killed by a large IED explosion along with three other of his fellow Marines. Two other Marines are in our prayers who are in critical condition.

This email is to inform you that we have requested people make memorial donations, in Matthew's honor, to your organization in lieu of flowers. We, Matthew Dillon's parents, know that this would please Matt to know that another fellow Marine or soldier is able to receive these liners for their protection. While we wait for his return, we decided to make this request to the public to help support our troops. Matt was only in the Corp 18 months, made Cpl the first of Nov and was named Marine of the Quarter. He will be greatly missed and the Corp has lost a great leader of freedom. Please let us Matt Dillion in Dress Uniformknow if there is special details or information we need to pass along to the TV or newspapers in this regard.

My wife's 501-C organization, Friends of Freedom's Defenders, was the initial contact for the helmet inserts for the 373rd Marines. They will be also sending a donation that this organization collected from friends, veteran organizations and businesses. We both feel strongly led and committed to do as much as we can to help protect these young men and women who so honorably serve this great Country and risk their lives to keep us free.

Again, thank you for this great organization. You do a tremendous service for our Marines and fellow soldiers. God bless you, Neal and Lucy Dillon

For a video tribute to Matt please click here


26 Nov 06 - I attended a Marine Birthday Party was honored guest.  Met a 1st Sergeant who's life was saved by donated helmet pads. God willing I will equip the relief group with same.  A.M. former Marine


24 Nov 06 - I received my helmet pads just prior to deploying here in Iraq. The pads are a great improvement over the prior suspension system. I have not found them to be uncomfortable at all, and I wear my brain-bucket for many long hours. LCpl AB

In prior fire fights my old netting system would fall down and block my view but now with this new padding in my helmet it stays in place and helps reduce the feeling of an impact from an RPG or an IED. I am very grateful for the padding and think they are some of the best things that we have for my fellow marines to have to be taken care of. Thank you for all the support and for the pads.  Cpl MC


21 Nov 06 - Being in Route Clearance operations, I need a system that will protect my grape. when i got hit the first time I was glad that i had the system in because it padded my head when the IED went off. Thank you for the pads and keep up the good work.  LCpl AS

The Marine Corps issued pads are very hard and unforgiving. They are stiff and don't conform to each individual head like the one I got from operation helmet. They also tend to be too big and make wearing the helmet a bit uncomfortable. The pads I got from op. helmet are much better and don't give me this problem.  LCpl RH

The system is great! I have already had several tests to the helmet (IED's). However the pads don't breath all that well and have a tendency to get hot with any kind activity. Even though that is the case think sometime you have to take the good with the bad.  HM2 MS


20 Nov 06 - The Oregon Aero system works well. When the pads are cold, they are hard, but once the body heat from your head warms up the pads, it becomes comfortable again. This usually takes about 5 minutes. The pads are hot in the summer, but then again, everything is hot inside the helmet, it's not a fault of the pad. Overall, I am very pleased with the pads you sent me. Thanks again. Capt LB

The one that you sent me worked great...took a few days to get used to...but after that...would never go back. Thanks again for the help.  Capt BA

In the past, I could hardly keep my helmet on for even a few minutes before it became so uncomfortable that I was distracted by the helmet. The Oregon Aero pads allow me to wear my helmet all day every day without any pain or discomfort. The snug fit and elimination of pressure points give me confidence in the helmets ability to protect me from TBI caused by outside shock. GySgt DO

Thank you so much for the great service that you have provide to myself and my fellow Marines. The pads are so comfortable that I often forget I even have a helmet on at times. There is a 100% difference between the helmet liner's that come issued in our LWH and Oregon Aero's. Thank you again!  Cpl MD

Our entire platoon gives thanks every day for these helmet upgrade kits. They have made our helmets not only comfortable- but a pleasure to wear. There's no comparison with the pad system issued by the Marine Corps. Those are the pads that are hot, hard, and uncomfortable. Thanks again for providing these for us.  PFC SP

 


19 Nov 06 - Within 5 minutes of putting on my helmet, my head started to throb. The last thing I need to worry about while I'm over there is malfunctioning gear. I was all set to shell out the $100 dollars for the oregon aero pad system when I heard about operation helmet. With the extra cash, I was able to purchase other pieces of gear that I'll surely need for this upcoming deployment. Thank you so much for everything you guys are doing. Every little bit helps. Cpl AC

The pads are comfortable when worn properly.  They get more rigid in the cold and do not feel as comfortable.  Is there a way to make the pads with an outer cloth that can be removed to be washed (kind of like a pillow case is used for a pillow?).  Cpl M.  (Note: the pads can and should be washed with soap and water without removing the cloth cover)

I used the pad system for about 4 of the 7 months I was in Iraq. The system was pretty hot but the temperatures reached 140 degrees at times. Also the padding seemed to press pretty tight on my head particularly in the front. It's possible that a larger helmet would have fixed that. All in all I and most of the guys in my unit found that the padding system greatly increased the comfort level of the helmet especially since we wore it every single day all day. Thanks, Cpl TR.

I had the pads that come with the Marine Corps issue and they were a lot better than the first ones but once I put in the Oregon Aero I love it and I've never had anything more comfortable for the field, and plus I'm with artillery and it really helps with sound also. thanks LCpl S

For long periods of wear the pad system that I received from you is perfect. It not only lets your head breath it makes it comfortable. It allows you to concentrate on the job at hand not about the discomfort of the kevlar helmet.  Cpl SB

The BLSS kit upgrade is one of the best pieces of gear a Marine can have! It may be a little awkward at first to wear, but once the pads get a little broken in they make wearing a Kevlar almost unnoticeable (for me that is). Thank you Operation helmet on behalf of the 4th CEB  LCpl NB

I am extremely satisfied with the Oregon Aero pad system. The new pad system is easy to install and comfortable to wear. We Marines deeply appreciate your company's efforts in providing us with the outstanding piece of equipment.  LtCol xx

The Oregon Aero pads are pretty good. They stay soft most of the time. The only time they get hard or uncomfortable is when it is cold outside, once the warmth of your head warms up the pads they get soft again. They are a great pad system. PFC NH

The Pads are great compared to the old system they are an improvement. It's over 100 degrees over there of course the pads get hot but i would rather be hot, then immobile from a head injury or even dead. Thanks OpHelmet for your hard work. Semper Fi. Cpl J

I am a USMC Sniper Platoon Sgt.  The helmet pads I got for my whole platoon from operation-helmet.org were very good.  SSgt AS

Drastic Improvement to comfort and safety. Capt CK


18 Nov 06 - The helmet pads were a God send. I was a little worried that I wouldn't receive them until halfway through my deployment since I ordered them right before I left, but they arrived in country about the same time as me. Light, comfortable, durable. My only gripe is that it did make my helmet a little tighter on my head than with the old suspension system, something that possibly should have been addressed on the website. Still, infinitely better than before.  Cpl JC, USMC

The padded helmet system usually requires a helmet to be a size larger than the webbing originally used because the pads take more room.  PV2 C

I heard about Operation Helmet from a friend and I tried on his helmet and it was amazing compared to the issued suspension system. My helmet is now comfortable for any amount of time that I have to wear it. It makes any operations that I need to do a lot easier. Thanks.  Cpl BC

After close calls with indirect fire, i think any marine would take the best possible protective gear available to them. The system was a little hotter then the suspension system provided however, if its the option of comfort over safety i would say the padding system definitely provides that extra safety and was overall pretty comfortable.  LCpl WG

This pad system is extremely comfortable, a lot more than the suspension system that we are issued. The only negative about the pad system is sweat is absorbed into the pads and makes the Kevlar slide all over the head. LCpl WG


13 Nov 06 - THIS DONATION IS MADE IN THE NAME OF MY FATHER, COL. LOUIS V. PELINI (RET) ON THE OCCASION OF HIS 70TH BIRTHDAY.  GODSPEED THE MARINE WHO WEARS IT, AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE.

13 Nov 06 - [Our Marine] was very excited to receive the upgrades.  One Marine in his unit already had one, so he was able to give the extra to their medic who was extremely pleased to get it.  Mitch said it made him very popular with his unit.  Jean


2 Nov 06 - Dear Doc Meaders: My name is Nilda from McAllen, Texas.  My 20 year old son, Cpl Mario xxx, USMC is currently stationed in Haditha, Iraq and in the front lines (Infantry). 
 
I just wanted to give you my thanks a million times over for the helmet kits....my son's girlfriend, Terry, found your website and on Friday, September 29, 2006, we ordered 48 helmet kits....we specified that they were in Iraq and in the front lines....on Thursday, October 5th, she e-mailed you for an update as to the scheduled shipment date since there were about 1,500 in backorder.  You replied that on October 1st, the shipment of 48 helmet kits had been shipped out to my son and his platoon after a donation arrived from a fund raising event.....praise the Lord!  We thought that was a miracle in itself!  Two weeks later, these Marines received their helmet upgrades .... they called me to thank me for the added protection.
 
I received a call from my son this morning.  His squad was in a vehicle yesterday and hit an IED....he was knocked out for a while from the blast.  But he is fine!!!  Everyone in his squad is fine.  My son is on light duty for a couple of days (which of course he hates) but we talked for a while and he is fine!  The added protection in the helmet did exactly what it was supposed to do.....prevent any additional harm!  So thank you and everyone involved in your operation......this mom thanks you from the bottom of my heart!!!  I know that my son's injuries would have been greater had he not had the added protection to their helmets.  And by the way, would you please thank Cher for me and all her work towards this wonderful project!!! (lol)  God bless you all, our troops and God Bless the USA!
 
Sincerely, Nilda

16 Oct 2006 - Letter from Marine Company Commander

company commander thank you


7 Oct 06 - Dr. Bob, I'm stationed over here and you sent me a helmet several months ago.  It's been wonderful, hope someone else can also benefit!  Cdr PT. [note: he sent a donation]


06 Oct 2006 - Sir or Ma'am, My unit is scheduled to deploy to the Al Anbar Province, Iraq in March of next year. I was on the internet looking for helmet pads for myself and stumbled upon your awesome website. What you guys are doing is great!!! We have started training our younger Marines both mentally and physically for the upcoming deployment, to include the long list of gear needed to complete our mission. This being my second deployment I have advised my Marines to invest in the helmet pads. I know that if our request is approved it would be a great gift and welcome piece of gear and further enhance training and operating level while deployed. Thank you for your consideration.  Sgt LL


04 Oct 2006 - Just wanted to say "Thank you! "For taking the time to contribute to the comfort and the care of Marines in Iraq. We the Marines from the Intel Battalion, appreciate your contributions and your continuous support to all armed forces.  SEMPER FI, SSgt M, U.S.M.C


4 Oct 2006 - My name is Cynthia, from Erie, Pennsylvania.  Last year, July 2005, my son, Matthew, came home to Erie from college in Daytona Beach and said that he had withdrawn from school and had joined the Marines.  Of course, I didn’t agree with his decision and would not talk to him for three days.  When he went to Buffalo for his “Swearing In” I knew he had made the right decision and I fully supported him.  During boot camp I sent him letters every day saying how proud I was of him.  He was meritoriously promoted in boot camp and then went to MOS school at Camp LeJuene where he was again promoted.  During this time I saw the program on C-SPAN with Cher and you, and was curious as to what you were talking about.  Then we got a phone call saying that our son was going to be deployed to Iraq and your program came to mind.  My husband got on the internet and searched for the organization.  We sent in a request and received the package at home before my son came home from leave.  He saw that package and said thank you for getting it.  He was deployed to Iraq just three weeks ago (September 13th, 2006) and he called home last week and could not say “Thank you” enough for getting the pads for his Kevlar.  Number one, the helmet was way too big for him and always moved around; number two, all he had in the helmet between him and the outside was a strap and a small donut shaped pad.  After he put the pads in the helmet he was ecstatic that it felt good to wear and that he felt much safer to go out on patrols.  He also told several of his fellow Marines about the website and to try and request a set of pads. Thank you, Cynthia


03 Oct 2006 - Thank you all for what you are doing, I have tried one of the kevlars with this system in it and it is much better than the ones we are issued. Thank you, Kyle


03 Oct 2006 - I think what you guys are doing is awesome. Thank you, your saving lives. LCPL Juan


03 Oct 2006 - I just wanted to take a moment and personally thank you and your donors for the kits that you've sent to my unit here in Iraq. I cannot believe that I actually like to wear my helmet now!!! (Did hell freeze over?...LOL!).  My fellow Marines and I are so thankful to receive this kind of support.  Thanks again and God Bless the USA, R/S, Sgt Jim, I MEF (Fwd), Camp Fallujah, Iraq


30 Sep 2006 - My son David USMC, Iraq March to Sept 2006.  I e-mailed my request for him and the next day a kit was sent to my son.  It made me feel better knowing that my Son was a lot more protected. Cher is a BIG Star, and normally Stars are not ones to Support the troops but she put her Time, Name and Money to HELP ALL the Heroes of this war.  David said to me he thought it was cool that Cher and others backed this wonderful program and wanted to THANK ALL for this important operation.  Lori of www.pacificamilitarymoms.com


29 Sep 2006 - I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS GREAT CONTRIBUTION YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION ARE MAKING TO THE SUPPORT OF OUR NATION'S MARINES AND SOLDIERS, LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS. THE SAFETY, PROTECTION, AND COMFORT OF MY LOVED ONE AND ALL OF HIS SQUAD/UNIT, FRIENDS AND BROTHERS IS WHAT WE PRAY FOR THE MOST, AND WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING, THAT IS JUST THE MORE POSSIBLE. WE ARE REQUESTING THESE HELMET KITS FOR MARINES LOCATED IN HADITHA, IRAQ. THEY RECENTLY ARRIVED IN IRAQ ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2006 AND SURE COULD USE ADDITIONAL PROTECTION ASAP! ONCE AGAIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS CONTRIBUTION....GOD BLESS THE USA, GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS AND GOD BLESS YOU! THANKS CHER......ONCE AGAIN YOU PROVE YOURSELF WITH AN ....."I GOT YOU BABE!"


28 Sep 2006 -  TRIED A FRIEND'S HELMET, AND IT WAS VASTLY MORE COMFORTABLE THAN MINE, ESPECIALLY ON LONG DAYS.  CPL Benjamin


28 Sep 2006 - Hey, you guys are awesome ... I've been able to hook up a lot of marines and they are loving the upgrade kit. It is not necessary to send me any more though. We are solid with the amount we got. Thank you so much.  Sgt Jon


21 Sep 2006 - I would like to thank you all for what you do for the men and women that serve our country. The fact that you donate you time and money to help keep us safe says something about your character. I know that I'm placing a large order but its not just me that could use the kit.  A lot of us have some pretty old gear.  A marine from the last PSC [provisional security company] told me that it made life much easier for them, and recommended that I place an order for us. Lance Corporal Michael J


19 Sep 06 - I think it is a great thing you are doing for the troops. We have been looking for a while to find something to help use have a more comfortable helmet an now we found it thank you for your hard work LCpl SA, 3rd LAR


18 Sep 2006 - ... I can't thank your organization enough for taking care of all the servicemen and women that are deployed into harms way. Because of your consideration and thoughtfulness is why we do what we do. The Marines here are doing an outstanding job and I want the best for them and that is why I have submitted the request for the young Marines that are getting it done over here. Thank you very much and Semper Fidelis.  GySgt Steve


18 Sep 06 - My wife and other Marines from Camp Lejeune, NC have used you all for their upgrade kits. I put one on my head and am sold. I have been a Marine for over ten years and that is the most comfortable thing out there and still safe to use during convoy ops to help avoid most head trauma from IED attacks and vehicular accidents. SSgt SG.


16 Sep 06 - I’m a Marine currently serving my second tour out here in Iraq…I have received several sets of helmet upgrades from a source, and was told you were responsible for getting them out here for us.  I just wanted to formally thank you through this email that the upgrades are of great help.  I’ve seen a very select few with them last year, and was tempted to buy it myself, then later found that it was too expensive for my taste.  And this year, I’ve gone through half the deployment enduring the pain and headaches from the helmet through long periods of usage.  I was especially happy when I received these, and put one on immediately!!!  It was way more comfortable, and I have no problems wearing my helmet anymore, no more sweat coming down the forehead, and no more headaches…I now wear it with extreme comfort.  I passed out the several sets that I have to my Marines, and they all loved it as I love it.  So, from all my Marines and me…’THANK YOU’ for your support, and we’ll continue serving our country knowing that we have people that support us back home.
Cpl TS
 

15 Sep 06 - The 25,000th helmet upgrade kit was sent this week to a young Marine Lance Corporal at the request of his father, Air Force Fire Chief ND from Dobbins ARB, GA.


12 Sep 06 - Well I guess my boys got the pads - because everyone in Co of 1/6 has the Oregon Aero pads - Well about three four weeks ago the Gunner, Gunny and the XO went to Ramadi and started taking over for 3/8 - Well their humvees hit an IED - the Gunny and XO were fine but the Gunner was in the Humvee that hit the IED.  Everyone in that truck was knocked out and ended up with concussions except the Gunner - He was able to start pulling the others out of the truck to safety - ... - Those pads may have just saved a few more lives, even though only one of them in the Humvee had them - I just wanted to tell you and Thank You guys for what you are doing - I hope you can keep it up.  Anyway I am going to go back to writing my husband.  He left for Iraq on Sunday and I haven't heard from him since then but know from a few other guys they all got there safely.  Sarah M, Proud Wife of a US Marine


thank you noteFrom EOD Marines in Iraq


The 23,000th helmet upgrade kit was sent to a young Marine Lance Corporal from the "Betio Bastards" 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.   We need a bit of help outfitting this Marines' 130 buddies in Kilo Company.  "Buy an upgrade for a Bastard"


6 Sep 06 - Being purchased at the request of our daughter, Alison D, who wants a Helmet Liner sent to a Marine in Iraq as her Birthday Gift from us.  We're extremely proud of her desire to "Support the Troops", and wish her a very Happy Birthday!  John R.


5 Sep 06 - My name is Marc R.  I am a United States Marine.  I was deployed to Al Asad Iraq, earlier this year.  These kits work!  I have personally heard from Marines who have worn them when their vehicle was struck by an IED.  They work.  I have fortunately not been in harms way such as this.  Thank goodness that this piece of gear is donated for Marines to use.  It of course befuddles me that this piece of safety gear is not standard issue for Marines on the front lines.  Then again commonsense decreases as rank of officers and pay grades of civilians increases.  These two standards are inverse in natural relation.  Thank you for stepping in and ensuring Marines are well taken care of.  Please contact me at xxxx@xxxx.com if there is more I can do.  Respectfully, Marc R USMC


04 Sep 2006 - I am requesting this upgrade kit because I had one once before but I was recently injured and when I was flown to the hospital, in the mix of things, my helmet was lost. These pads are amazing and make my job much easier and much more comfortable. Thank you very much for this service!  LCPL Ryan S. 3/2


4 Sep 06 - I was serving in Iraq as a civilian bomb disposal contractor. On May 3rd, 2006 my convoy was hit by an IED. The bomb went off next to my truck injuring myself and one of my security team members and unfortunately killing our driver. I sustained injuries to my face requiring facial reconstruction, multiple shrapnel wounds, and tendon loss in my right arm. My doctors were extremely surprised that I had not sustained any brain damage. I was wearing a helmet outfitted with this [OH] kit. I just wanted to write a quick note saying 'thank you'. On behalf of myself, my family, and my friends: Thank You!!! Please keep up the good work.  V/R, Eric S.


4 Sep 06 - I just received this letter from my son, Sgt. Steven O. USMC, based at Camp Lejeune, NC.  Steven has been in the Corp for 9 years, he just finished a 3 year recruiting duty and is now back in the fleet. He is due to ship out next week to Iraq where he will serve in a battalion as the xxxxx person. When we received the following email, it sent chills through me. Steven is Marine through and through and is always concerned for the safety of his fellow Marine brothers.  I sent Steven's email to my boss who is the principal at St. James Episcopal School, Del Rio, TX, where Steven attended high school. Sarah M (the principal) hit the ground running and already is going to designate a weekly penny day to help fulfill Steven's wishes. Our children attend chapel each morning and pray. We receive prayers from all over the nation from people who have had children at one time or another attend our school. We feel so honored to be able to help in our small way to help you keep our troops safer. Del Rio is a military town, home to Laughlin AFB, a pilot training base and we have many military families who attend our school. You will be hearing from us in the very near future.  Thank you, Susan O. Proud Marine Mother

Carol and I have decided that instead of sending things to Iraq for the holidays this year, please donate what you can to operation helmet. What they do is donate free of charge helmet upgrade kits to the troops. These kits are saving lives; I have one my self and am very grateful that Chris was able to send me one. Just search Google for operation helmet it is based out of Houston.  Love, Carol & Steven

5 Sept 06: I am a United States Marine.  I was deployed to Al Asad Iraq, earlier this year.  These kits work!  I have personally heard from Marines who have worn them when their vehicle was struck by an IED.  They work.  I have fortunately not been in harms way such as this.  Thank goodness that this piece of gear is donated for Marines to use.  It of course befuddles me that this piece of safety gear is not standard issue for Marines on the front lines.  Then again commonsense decreases as rank of officers and pay grades of civilians increases.  These two standards are inverse in natural relation.  Thank you for stepping in and ensuring Marines are well taken care of. 


Great article from SF Chronicle on the 3/4 Marines' 4th Tour


thank you note Thank you note from a CLB that left on 23 Aug 06.


21 Aug 06 - Thank you for the follow up, the installation tip and for being the driving force behind this organization. I have been in some of the same areas as your Grandson and these pad kits are worth their weight in gold. Thank you again for making this possible and for taking an interest. Semper Fi to your grandson. I am not the kind that usually sends out group emails, but I will definitely send your organizations address and purpose to all that I know at least once, with my story for support of Operation Helmet. Very Respectfully, GySgt C


20 Aug 06 - dear operation helmet this is cpl david b and i just wanted to thank you all from my unit and i. i told my family to try to help you guys out by raising some money to help. thanks again you guys are truly lifesavers!! keep up the good work and i will keep in touch while im over there.


thank you note


8 Aug 06 - I talked to the battalion supply chief and there is a huge backlog at DLA for the LWH kits. He said that we would not be able to order them and if we could then we would be in country about 4 or more months before they showed up. I am still working it and will let you know, but I might be leaving advance party in about 10 days so I will give you some word as soon as I find out.  That would be a great mail call. It beats baby wipes and crackers. Thanks for all of the assistance and will talk to you soon


04 Aug 2006 - We are currently in Iraq. We have had three cases of 3rd class concussions
and the Marines were sent home. I hope you can supply us so we can try to mitigate some
if not all of the injuries that are occurring during IED attacks.  Semper Fi, GySgt D

3 Aug 2006 - I know the request is large, but they are for the other marines in the unit,
and I am taking a collection to give a contribution to you guys for the much appreciated
gear and contribution you make to us. It is good to know that people out there do care
and try to help see Marines and other military members come home safe. God bless. CPL B

3 Aug 06 - Having tried both the suspension and the pad helmet systems,
without a doubt the pad system is the superior configuration.  Force protection
is critical to the force and the pad system provides this by ensuring
Marines and Sailors of the battalion keep their helmet on a greater
percentage of the time.  On a personal note, it is great to find an
organization that puts actions behind their words in supporting the men
military men and women deployed in harms way. 
God bless your efforts.  LtCol M, USMC.

2 Aug 06 - I am sure you have many requests for units within 2/3, I just heard about this recently and am looking for a little extra something for these war-fighters. Most of them are still not old enough to drink and are getting ready to go put it all on the line. I promised to bring them all back home, this would definitely help. Until we get fielded these inserts, I can only hope to get them donated to the boys. Thanks for everything. If we are able to get them prior to mid September that would be perfect, but from word of mouth you all are pretty backed up. I can provide an address for once we are deployed. Thanks for whatever you can do.  Semper Fi, GySgt Chris J


2 Aug 06 - I am the medic for 2D LAR Medical and I want my guys to have as much protection as possible while they are out on missions and back at camp. We leave in September to go to Iraq. All of the Corpsman will be participating in raids, checkpoints, convoys and anything else the Marine Corps wants us to take care of while we are over there. Anything will help because most of them are E-3's and E-4's who can not afford to buy the BLU kits.


1 Aug 06 - I received a kit about four months ago it's such a great piece of gear I want to see about getting them for my squad. We will be leaving between Sept.10-12 for Ramadi Iraq. Thank you so much for your help.  Sgt N


1 Aug 06 - WE MACHINE GUNNERS REQUEST THESE KITS FOR MANY REASONS SIR, FOR ONE WE ARE UP IN THE TURRETS WHERE MOST OF THE SHOCK AND SHRAPNEL GOES IN AN IED BLAST. I HAVE ALREADY BEEN IN ONE IED BLAST IN AFGHANISTAN LAST YEAR AND IT WAS NOT TO PLEASANT AND IF THIS WERE TO HAPPEN TO ME IN IRAQ I WOULD LOVE TO BE PREPARED THIS TIME. I ASK FOR FOUR KITS SIR FOR ME AND THREE OF MY FELLOW MACHINE GUNNERS, WHICH TWO HAVE NEVER BEEN OVERSEAS YET AND I WANT TO GIVE THEM EVERYTHING THAT WILL HELP THEM IN AN IED BLAST SO THEY CAN LIVE, AND BE ABLE TO MAKE IT BACK HOME SAFELY TO THERE LOVED ONES.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME SIR.


C Co 1/25 Marines


Thank you letter


Jul 29, 2006 - I ordered an insert for my son last month and he received his and LOVES it. I am requesting 5 more inserts for 5 other marines in his unit. Please send all 5 to my son 29 Palms.  My son called early this AM to ask for these inserts for his buddies. I really like the way Marines look out for each other. My son then hurried off for artillery training. This unit will deploy to Iraq about August 15 so please expedite this order, if possible.  Thank you for all of the work you are doing. As a proud mother of a US Marine, I am eternally grateful for your efforts. God bless. Lura


July 26, 2006 - I requested, on behalf of my son, that you send 13 inserts for him and his squad of 12 Marines. He promptly received them. I can't thank you enough.  They leave in about 6 weeks for Iraq and he was thrilled to be able to give them to his squad. You are doing a selfless job for a bunch of deserving heroes.  Penny


25 Jul 2006 - I'm trying to get these kits for my platoon, because i saw some of my buddies suffer concussions and worse from ied and rpg blasts and would not care for a repeat of that experience. my unit is deploying in about a month and a half or so and they cant get us the systems fast enough. your efforts are appreciated by all us boots on the deck. semper fidelis


Jul 18,2006 - I just heard about this on the news. I am a Marine getting ready to deploy in August. We are getting issued these [LWH] helmets but usually the run out of certain sizes. I still have a few of my guys without them. Also the one we are getting issued don't have the pads in the that you show here. it has the new chin strap and the mesh in the top middle but it still has the same old leather head band.  though it is a great improvement in comfort these pads that appear in these picture seem to be better and more safe. Keep up the good work and we all here are happy to see someone trying to get us the best gear available.  S.R.


Jul 12, 2006 - I just want to say thanks for donating the bliss kits to myself and to my company. xxx Co, 6th Engineer Support BN, 4th MLG. We will be heading to Iraq in Aug and knowing we have the kits boost our spirits. Thanks again.

LCPL Jeremy F.


Jul 12, 2006 - I want to thank you and your organization for providing helmet liners for my unit in Fallujah. The Marines in my unit and I were overwhelmed by your generosity...the helmet liner gives our helmets better fit and make it much more comfortable especially since there are times we wear them 24/7. My Mom said Cher had made a donation that also made this possible, please pass on our thanks to her also.  Semper Fi, LCpl Jxxxxxxx, Joshua


Jul 12, 2006 - My husband Sgt M called me from Fallujah yesterday to tell me he has received the helmet protectors for his platoon.  He very much want's to thank you and gave them out right away to his men. They had 4 more head injuries just last week so they were very happy to receive them and starting putting them in right away.  Thank you and god bless you and yours.
Elsa M, Wife of Sgt John M (USMC), SEMPER FI

10 Jul 06 - Background on LCpl. Conor from his father

Conor is 20 years old and was born in Martinsburg, WV. For as long as I can remember, he has wanted to be part of the military. Although he is 6' 4" tall, he has always been a rather gentle giant with a million dollar smile.  After one semester in college, he felt that college was not for him at this time. When he told me that he was going to enlist in the military, I thought it would be the Air Force as he had three years of Air Force ROTC.  But he said that he was enlisting in the Marines. My heart sank fearing for his safety. When I suggested that he try to get training in some specialized field, he looked me in the eyes and said that if he was going to be in the Marines he wanted to be a Marine and volunteered for the infantry.  That was 16 months ago and he has never voiced any regrets even since going to Iraq 4 months ago.  Ironically, he is a liberal Democrat like myself, opposed to the war in Iraq. But as he told me, in Iraq, you leave your politics behind. He has become my hero, demonstrating the Corps Values of Courage, Honor and Commitment and his devotion to duty.  I can't thank all of you at Operation Helmet enough for the work you're doing do help keep our Marines safe. My brother, a former Marine himself, and I are doing everything we can to spread the word about your organization and the great work you all are doing.  Thanks again and SEMPER FI.  Bob O


24 MEUJuly 10, 2006

Doc Bob,

My name is Andrew H and I am deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit.  You sent me a gracious amount of your helmet inserts.  They have been well distributed and have made a big difference with having to wear and sustain long use.  We would just like to thank you for what you are doing, and for helping the MEU with donating the inserts. We have just begun what will be a long journey through the middle east on our deployment.  If was not for you and your operation we would not have this small luxury that makes such a huge difference.  Thank you for everything and we will hear from us when we return.

 


Jul 7, 06:  We found your pads for the kevlar very comfortable so we figured we should order some more for the platoon who do not have.  Thank you very much, 2/8 golf co.


Jul 7, 2006:  Sir, we have received the Operation Helmet upgrades.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of my platoon when I opened the box full of them.  We are very grateful for your donation and for helping with Operation Helmet.  Thank you for your outstanding support to our company as we deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom 2006-2006!
CPL T.M. USMC

Letter of Appreciation


Jul 1, 2006
Just a quick note to thank you again for the generosity of Operation Helmet. Thanks to you every marine and doc in our company has a helmet liner system who wanted one. I ask that you discontinue sending them with our thanks.  We're stopping short on our original request because we recently discovered that the unit we relieved had left some for our marines to use.

Thanks to the efforts of you and your organization a number or marines have escaped serious injury as a result of the upgrade. About a dozen of my marines have suffered some type of concussion since we've been here and we've had only one evac'd. I credit the helmet upgrade with such positive results.  I will keep you updated on the effectiveness of you efforts.

We will forever be grateful for your efforts and for the wonderful people who have donated to your organization.

Respectfully,
HM1 John xxx, Senior Corpsman, xxx BN, 25th Marines xxx, Fallujah, Iraq.


Jun 22, 2006- AS A MARINE SERGEANT VIET NAM VETERAN I CHALLENGE ALL OF MY MARINE BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO SUPPORT OUR YOUNGER BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE CURRENT WAR.   THEY NEED THESE HELMET INSERTS AND THE PRICE IS SO LOW.  FOR $71.00 THEY HAVE THE PROTECTION THAT COULD SAVE THEIR LIFE.  I CHALLENGE ALL VETERANS OF ALL THE ARMED SERVICES TO EACH JUST DONATE THE $71.00 SO EACH CURRENT WARRIOR CAN HAVE THAT PROTECTION…..ESPECIALLY TO ALL THE MARINE VETERANS…..SEMPER FI…. MARINE TO MARINE…LETS GET THEM THESE HELMETS.. ..WITH ALL MY LOVE AND SUPPORT…I WISH I WAS WITH YOU….GOD BLESS YOU,  BILL KELLIN FORMER MARINE SERGEANT  MAG 36 1ST MAW  PHUBAI, VIET NAM 1969-1970.


Jun 17, 2006 - The helmet kits that I passed out to my team are working great. Just a month ago our team was hit by an IED. The vehicle was destroyed but every one made it. The Staff Sergeant that was driving was thrown from the vehicle and his helmet stayed in place when he landed on his face. He ended up walking away with some bumps and burses. The only damage to his helmet was his chin strap clip broke.

If there is a way to request an replacement chin strap?

Thank you,  GySgt Phillip xxx USMC, I MEF
[note: chin straps sent same day]


Jun 17, 2006 - Thanks. watched Dr. Bob and Cher on C-Span and was enlightened. As a Former Marine (and LEO who suffered a severe brain injury) with a son who was in Iraq, all of this really hit home. Jim K former Marine Sgt


Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006
 
We got hit a couple of days ago by a double stacked mine. Two of my marines were in the back of the humvee and two attachments were up front. The mine ripped the front right of the humvee off and shot frag inside. Luckily there were no KIA but the assistant driver received superficial wounds to the face and the others just scratches and bruises.
 
My two marines in the back had upgrade kits installed, the other two did not and complained that their heads hurt maybe from a concussion but I don't know. Obviously the overpressure from the blast rang their bells.
 
They were closer to the blast then my marines were, but my boys with the BLISS kits had absolutely zero head trauma and were able to respond as our units SOP's stated. Don't know if you can use this. I'm sure you have a lot better stories than this but its just the latest hit that we have had.   SGT J

Thank you again. He was soo funny today. He got to a base where they had computers and e-mailed me. He said after he put the 20 names in the jar and passed them out the 20 guys ran into their hooches and installed them.

Then he said they came running out one by one like kids at Christmas showing each other how comfortable they are and how awesome they are! He said all he could do was smile and laugh they were soo excited. He said he never seen anything like it! I will let him know that there should be more coming to finish them up. They got together and got a group photo and wrote a "thank you" note. You should be getting it soon. You have really made their day and been a true blessing to them. I hope the Air Show goes well and I can send you a good amount of funds!!!

Tina (wife of a Navy Corpsman, 1/25th MAR)


The good news for Marines is that the new Marine Light Weight Helmet (LW) is 30% more bullet-proof than the old PASGT which it is replacing.  The not-so-good news is the new helmet meets the minimum requirement established for it, albeit less than that provided with the provision of shock-absorbing pads. Independent civilian lab tests show the helmet, when retrofit with the pad suspension, provides superior protection from blast waves, the fragments carried on them, and the trooper being flung into stationary objects or tumbling around inside their vehicle from blasts or MV accidents.

If that level of protection is required for the Army's new ACH (advanced combat helmet) and those of Special Forces MICH (modular integrated communications helmet), and Paratroopers jump helmets it would seem appropriate to combine the ballistic (bullet) protection of the new LWH with the non-ballistic (blast) protection of shock-absorbing pads, whatever the source,  to provide similar protection to Marines. Tests performed at the NATICK Army Research Labs have shown that adding shock-absorbing pads actually INCREASES ballistic protection, the pads acting as 'shock absorbers' for bullet impacts.   This is in direct contradiction to the 'impression' being banded about by an individual in  MCSC that adding pads may decrease ballistic protection. See the Army portion of the 'Stories' for reference material.

Breaking news: Your efforts are paying off, shipmates! Click here for details: Natick (finally) authorizes impact-protection and alternative suspension system testing for the LW helmet. "U.S. Army RDECOM Acquisition Center, Natick, MA has a requirement for ballistic evaluation of the current suspension system system and an alternative system for the USMC Lightweight Helmet". We have asked for details of the test to be done and results, but no response as of yet.  More to follow ...

Operation Helmet gets emails every day from Marine commanders asking for upgrade kits in the name of their troops, realizing the new dangers of this war and telling us they need to 'fight smarter, not harder'. Maybe the Commanding General should listen to the troops in the field instead of civilians behind a desk.

"ENOUGH PROTECTION" is easy to spout from behind a desk, less so from behind a weapon.

This is the warning that comes with the LW helmet:

"WARNING: This device has been designed to be used as headgear for ground troops and in the operation of aircraft/combat vehicles. It does not meet the needs of the Z90.1-1971 American National  Standard Specifications for Protective Headgear for Vehicular users. As such, it is NOT recommended as a substitute for approved motorcycle or recreational vehicle helmets. DRMS FORM 55 14 Mar 03, NSN 7546000L000055"

Ramadi to be the next Fallujah? Marines are now training and re-training for urban warfare, expecting to be told any day to go in and wipe out the snake-pit of insurgents hiding and  dug in inside Ramadi, Hit, Haditha and other terrorist strongholds. This will be extremely dangerous and they need all the extra protection we can afford to give them. PLEASE pitch in RIGHT NOW and help us get the helmet upgrades out to them. 


Dear Dr Meaders,
I was very excited to see you on CSPAN 2 tonight.  I was your patient at US Naval Hospital #16 at San Diego from August 1965 to November !965 on the eye ward located in Bldg 26 4D.  I was a young marine at that time.  You and Dr Harlan Spaugle have never been far from my thoughts.
I will download all info about donating to Operation Helmet and send my donation as soon as possible.  I know you are very busy but if you ever get to play golf again, please email me before you go to the course for nine holes.

Thank you for what you did for me and what you are now doing for our service personnel.
Gerald
Wichita, Ks


 From the front and families, Email: 

March 28, 2006:

I am Sgt PXXX, a Marine currently deployed to OIF operations in the Al Anbar province.  I heard about your program from another Marine in the unit, SSgt DXXX, and he told me to inquire about your item for our section as we are on the road four to five hundred miles a week.  Currently with the kevlar we are using after a couple hours of constant wear you have a basic migraine.  Also with the jolting power of IED's and even counter measure driving, our current hardware is insufficient.  I see there is a deficiency in funds but even if we don't receive the equipment during my tour which ends in January it is a great item to pass on as our mission here as years to come.  We have 14 Marines under my watch that I would like to get the gear for, and I will also forward ths email to our friends and families and try to get some funding to keep your program available for Marines to come! .  Thank you for the support provided in the past and times to come
 
Respectfully, Sgt PXXXX Comment: Classy guy! "If you can't help us, how's about helping my comrades as donors respond down the line": Marines really do take care of their own.

From: Mxxxxx Capt Bxxxx (CSSE CLR25 H&S CO)
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 6:10 AM
Subject: I know things are tight, but I still gotta ask!
 
To Whom It May Concern:
Good afternoon.  First I’d like to say thank you. Some of my Marines coming from reserve units were recipients of liners from Operation Helmet.  They are irreplaceable.  I passed mine along after I completed my first tour during OIF I to my great full replacement. 
[OpSec deleted]
We’re pushing 24/7 and bless them there isn’t a complaint from one of them.  As well disciplined as they are, after the 6th hour on in the issued helmet it starts getting very difficult to keep the gear on their heads.  You start seeing them pushed back “John Wayne” style and pulling them of “just a second” to scratch and adjust.  There is no good time to adjust since the gear only works when it’s worn.
 I have about 100 that legitimately can’t afford this equipment on their own.  Any amount will help, even if I can only outfit our Marines in the turrets behind the automatic weapons. 
I have made relatives and friends aware of your site.  Hopefully fundraising will improve in the near future.  If there is anything I can do on this end please let me know.
Have a great day,
Capt Mxxx, USMC, Company Commander, Camp TQ, Iraq
“If I had a house in hell and a farm in Al Qaim, I’d sell the farm and move home”

 

I want to tell you what happened to my Marine Friday.  He and 13 other Marines were riding in the back of a 7 ton truck - the truck slid off the rode and flipped over down a 12 ft. embankment.  Jimmy remembers someone yelling "we are going to flip" and the next thing he remembers is waking up face down in the dirt with sand bags on top of him.  He said that his Kevlar has a big gash in it - several of the Marines had concussions - Jimmy did hurt his arm  - but he said that the Blss kit saved his head. He only had a very slight concussion.  Luckily only one of the Marines had broken bones and none were injured seriously.  But I know that the Blss kit helped protect my son - Thank you for all your hard work. Mary Jo.

I'm currently in Iraq. last Wednesday my vehicle was blown up by an I.E.D (improvised explosive device). When it hit the truck I was thrown from the vehicle at 45 to 50 mph. I rolled a good 100 feet. Your bliss (BLSS) kit system for our kevlar (helmets) saved my life and the other marines that I was able to help pull out of the burning truck. I walked away with three minor shrapnel wounds to my forehead and back of my neck, and just really sore. The kit suffered a burn in the front pad. How can I get a new pad? Thank you for your service and my life.     Needless to say, his replacements went out the day this email came in!

I received the BLSS kits for my team today and wanted to thank you.   My team will serve as both the Marine Corps Logistics Command liaison to 2nd FSSG as well as run an equipment replacement program in Iraq.  I will do everything I can to make sure that the leaders and logisticians I come in contact with know about the BLSS kit and your organization.  My twin brother, who just spent a year in Iraq as a Staff Sergeant in the Army Reserves, showed me your website after hearing about your organization from other soldiers. Around a week from now I’ll be in Iraq, and I can’t thank you enough for helping to protect me and my team.GySgt D E, USMC. 1 Feb, 2005

Another new distribution point for Operation Helmet: 22 Feb 05:  Dear Sir: Thank you for all that you have done for all of us over here.  It is appreciated, despite the time it took me to respond.  My firm base is in the City of Falluja. I have talked to my boss about what we are doing and I do not see a better way to get the BLSS kits.  I plan to out fit my company and then my battalion.  Once this is done I will look for other points of contact with the units around us.  I will find a suitable point of contact for you here before I rotate back to the states. Capt JT, USMC.

 “These advanced suspension kits allow for the wearer to be more combat effective. We wear these kevlar helmets for long periods of time without being able to take them off. The pads that accompany the kit are by far the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. They fit snugly around the head and keep it in place. The old system they had, the helmet would slide forward over your eyes when you got down into the prone position. This was a constant problem for all marines and instead of being able to effectively engage targets you would be tasked with trying to hold back your helmet and fire your rifle at the same time. The BLSS Kit has corrected this major flaw. Also there are many more straps that you can tighten down and steady the helmet to support the weight of the night vision goggles. Before, with the old helmet you would again have to hold back your helmet to effectively engage the enemy. The BLSS Kit also improves buoyancy. The kits give us the advantage we need to survive in any water environment. We operate around many rivers and lakes in Iraq. Marine attached to recon units have told me that these kits have saved their lives many times while operating in amphibious operations.” — LCPL J.M., USMC

“I would just like to thank you for your efforts to improve our effectiveness in a combat or training environment. We are currently in Iraq and working daily with our kevlars. We wear them for hours on end. With the pads they are more comfortable and we don’t get headaches. With the old straps which were made of leather, these are much more comfortable. When you would put on the kevlar with the leather it would be too small because the leather was dry. It would take 30 minutes or so to get the leather wet enough to fit somewhat correct. Then if you would lay on the ground the kevlar would slide down over your eyes. This was a major problem. With these they have straps on the back of your head to solve this problem. This will keep many marines alive. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.” — LCPL J.P., USMC

From: DXXX  SSgt L (CSSE CSSD25 S6 RADIO CHIEF)
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 3:51 PM

Hello,    I am writing to you from Al Asad Iraq.  I wanted to send my sincere thanks for one of the greatest helmet upgrades of all time.  We run re supply convoys for western Iraq, some of them 6-8 hours one way.  With the issue helmet lining most Marines heads are hurting and uncomfortable about 1 hour into the trip.  Not me!!!!  I can not even tell the helmet is even there half the time.  I look forward to those convoys because I know I will be safe and comfortable for the fight ahead.  My GySgt is jealous because my helmet is cooler than his.  He borrows it when he goes on convoys!!  I would like to ask if you could send one to him as a gift.  He does not know I am writing  you guys.  I had a photo snapped of myself and him with our helmets in hand.  I told him it was for my picture album.  Once again, thank you for a great product!!!!!!!!!  Sincerely,   


                                            *************************************************

The start of a friendship:

Hello from Iraq, My name is Gunnery Sergeant A S (Tony) (Name removed for OpSec) and I am with a unit out of Okinawa Japan who was deployed to Iraq to join a unit in support of Iraqi freedom. I stumbled on your website as I was browsing and looking for helmet pads on the internet. I have 43 Marines who all have the old helmet linings, chinstraps, sweatbands with no pads. I seem to think that we are the only ones here without the new stuff. Most of my Marines are motor transport operators and the helmets seem to be quite uncomfortable and irritating especially when driving under the elements. It has been around 110 degrees each day. We have been here for a few months and have no way to get any comfort by using "doo-rags" or skull caps under the helmets. We still have a lot of time left out here and I have been desperately trying to think of ways to help my Marines out. We are near Fallujah and at a place where Burger King, rock bands, and celebrities will not come. It would be too dangerous for them. I know that this may seem way out but I would never ask for helmet pads myself without asking for all of us. Is there any way to get 43 sets of pads? If not I understand and we will continue to march. GySgtXXX> 1/6 H&S Co MT, FPO AP 09509

And now, the rest of the story:

Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005 5:07 PM

Subject: Re: Thanks to some Great Americans

Since September 11 2001 Americans have been up on their toes in our fight against terror.  The falling of the world trade towers was something that cannot go un-noticed and will not ever be forgotten.  Literally thousands of US Military have been where I am now.  I am proud to have the chance to do my share in our fight.  I have been honored to serve in the Gulf War, the Kosovo conflict, and now Operation Iraqi Freedom.  I am the senior enlisted Marine in a unit I brought over here already deployed to Okinawa Japan.  As we first stepped on to grounds of Fallujah, destruction and displacement were all around us.  I am in charge of a motor transport unit with a primary mission to get the necessary assets from one place to another. 
Many of our runs are in the hours of darkness in which the lights may not go on on the vehicle and night vision goggles are a must.  During my time here I am totally amazed and blessed by the amount of Americans right there at home supporting us and showering us with essential gifts, hygene items, and even socks and pillows.  During the summer here it reaches in the 120's.  Other than the flak jacket with sapi plates we have to wear our kevlar helmets each and every time we leave our position to go on a mission.  The first few months were absolutely terrible.  I started noticing my Marines were getting sweat rashes on their foreheads from the sweatbands of our helmets.  Also, when the night vision goggles were adjusted to their
helmets to fit their heads some of the helmets fell down a little making with the weight of the NVG's too heavy for the normal sweatbands.  I was thinking one night and came to the internet and started browsing for any information about helmets and of course started out in EBay but no luck.  I ended up at a website called operation helmet at www.operation-helmet.org

I immediately enquired about getting some helmet pads for my Marines.  Bob Meaders, a US Navy retiree quickly returned my email and with no questions asked asked me how many I needed.  I know now that they are $100 per set and by the grace of God I got around 30 sets for my Marines.  Once they started coming in the Marines were ecstatic while the ease of assembly paid off with no problems what so ever with their helmets.  One Marine told me that his helmet pads were better than his car back home with lumbar and leather seats.  The Marine's morale went up and I actually started seeing some smiling faces on these young men and women.  I am forever in debt to operation helmet and I will find a way to return the favor.  The gifts of helmet pads to me are far better than any other gift received.  While most of the Marines are between the ages of 18 and 22 this is probably the first time they have been away from civilization for an extended period of time and it pays to know that the Americans have responded by donating whatever they can to operation helmet and in turn making our jobs easier. As a 17 year veteran of Marines, I can honestly say that the helmet pads sent from operation helmet are the most comfortable piece of gear I have ever had, seen, or worn.  As we have about 50 days until we are home I extend my gratitude to the organization, not
just Bob Meaders and the operation crew but to all of whom donated their hard earned money to show us all gratitude. A special note to you Bob.  I cannot thank you enough for what has been done for us.  I will for the life of me never forget the first day helmet pads started coming in the mail and the smiles on these young Marine's faces.  That I hold near and dear to my  heart as they are my family.

Semper Fidelis,
Anthony M Shamy
Gunnery Sergeant
United States Marine Corps

                                                    *************************

Email of May, 2005: My son received his helmet last week and Saturday he was involved in a bombing.  He is in the hospital with injuries to his legs and arms, but he was wearing his new helmet and his head received NO INJURIES.  I can't thank you enough for what you have done. Cheryl P (name removed for OpSec).

Email of 5/11/05:

Friends, Wanted to share this good news with you. Yesterday was my birthday....no that's not the good news!  Though I am grateful, proud, and honored to have lived this long!!   ;-)
I  had a wonderful day made all the better by a call from Matt.  He had been out in the field and didn't think he'd be in camp to call.  They made an unexpected trip back to camp for showers and a good night's sleep.....so he called me. Actually he called the school and they covered my class while I ran to the front office to speak with him.  To make that good news of a call even better....he said that when he returned from his shower, the kit had been placed on his cot.   He got the helmet update on MY BIRTHDAY!   Is that not a gift?  You can't tell me that God didn't have a hand in this! :-)  Matt said that he was going to go see a movie and put his helmet together and then get a good night's sleep.  I slept so well last night knowing that Matt was in a safe place and would be safer than yesterday when he headed to the field again today.
 
He said the kit looked awesome and he was really touched when I told him that we are working to outfit his troop.  He said I should aim for 40 helmets initially, if at all possible.  I think he has quite a few friends that he wants to look out for.

Marine Mom BJ.


Typical exchange with good guys going out after the bad guys:

----- Original Message -----
From: MIKE JXXX
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2005 7:32 PM
Subject: liner upgrade

 
I heard about this website from a friend of mine.  His name is Lcpl Ben Mxxx, and he mentioned how he received one of your liner upgrades for the Kevlar.  I'll be heading back to Iraq with him and the rest of my unit sometime in the next few months---we're being activated on the first---.  As one of the senior NCO's at my unit I was asked to play a key role and go again.  My EAS date was on May 25th until I extended, I couldn't let my brothers go without me one other Sgt. I grew up with and have gone through every thing together.  Both of us were supposed to get out on the 25th but couldn't let the unit go without us.  So I heard that this is an amazing product and am requesting you send me two, one for the closest thing I've had to a brother Sgt. HXXX and one for myself.  I know we would appreciate it every day we put that helmet on.  Thanks for your time.
 
                                                    Sgt. JXXX
                                                    USMCR  

To: Mike JXXX

From: Operation Helmet

Mike: Still have a few bucks left from a recent fund-raiser with Marine Motorcycle Club of Texas, VFW, Vietnam Vets, and a host of good folks. Once we outfitted my grandson's Company (FSSG1, Charlie Co), we just kept on keeping on and have now sent 725 upgrade kits to t he field.
We provide the kits, made by and purchased from Oregon Aero (www.oregonaero.com) free to Marines and their Navy docs in or headed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
The BLSS kit isn't a magic wand to protect the wearer from all evil...it's a damn good replacement for the strap suspension system in the kevlar. While the PASGT has 'pretty good' ballistic (bullet) protection, it wasn't designed for the blast waves and the frags they carry or the effect on the trooper slammed around by it.
With the kit, the kevlar stays firmly in place and helps absorb the shock of non-ballistic impact. No more holding said helmet on head whilst running after the bad guys, no more slapping it back in place when leaping to prone firing position. My grandson's unit said they even slept with them on while out on 9-day patrols during the Fallujah incursion.
Marine Corps Systems Command has authorized local commanders to purchase the BLSS kit directly from Oregon Aero if they have the funds...seems sort of strange to authorize something but not make the funds available from HQ to pay for it, but so be it.
That's where a bunch of citizens who give a rat's ass come into play. What your unit can't afford, we try to help get at least some of them out to you.
Your two will be in the mail shortly.
In the meantime, you might address with your CO or Supply S-4 that they can indeed purchase them. And if they can't, any help shaking the money tree to keep us able to send them to our guys and gals is appreciated. And we'd like to have a photo of you and/or your unit and hear from you when time allows...you're part of a big and caring family, after all.
 
Fair Winds, Following Seas, and Semper fi,
Bob Meaders, MD
CAPT, MC, USN-Retired
Operation Helmet

From the Oregon Aero website:

"We went on a 13-mile hike and we were the guys on the breaks that left their helmets on unbelievably comfortable. A head that does not ache makes for a much more productive person."  Sgt. Maj. D.J., USMC     

"I was introduced to your BLSS Kit at Camp Pendleton in 2002.  After several training exercises those of us using the new helmet liner fell in love with this addition to our helmets. We passed our helmets around and every Marine in our company tried them on. They all had the same reaction:  "These Are Awesome."  On the morning of April 8th, 2003, I was standing next to a 7-ton truck in Baghdad when we were attacked by a van that sped past our position. They fired a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) that impacted approximately 1 foot above my head. The concussion was so loud and so great that I was knocked to the ground along with our Corpsman, who also was wearing your helmet liner. We both jumped to our feet and continued in the fight. Later, when the reality of what just happened set in, I began to check myself and saw my cloth helmet cover was torn and burnt. My ears rang for about 2 days and I had an awful headache, but other than that I was in good shape. I returned home healthy and alive for which I'm grateful. I feel compelled to tell you this because I truly believe without your BLSS Kit I would have suffered a concussion at the least from that blast.  I emphatically believe your product saved me from serious injury!Thank you. Thank you. Please keep doing what you are doing."  Sgt. K.D., USMC     

"I just received my BLSS Kit from you guys.  I think it is a great piece of gear, and I am going to use it to my fullest. I think every Marine should have this."  Sgt. J.W., USMC

"I was deployed to Iraq during combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I know?there are many military members using your product, but I must say it is the best purchase I have ever made! I have had the system for almost two years, and it has been awesome! Through countless hours of training, convoy operations and recent combat, it really made life in those situations much more comfortable."  Cpl. N.R., USMC

"I would like to thank you for sending me your wonderful BLSS Kit. I was amazed by how much your product improved the fit of my Kevlar helmet. You really have a quality product and I will promote it as much as possible. Thank you for your time and interest."  PFC A.C., USMC
 
"I just received by BLSS Kit. I have never felt such comfort and stability. Your product is outstanding. I hope our military forces adopt this fine system soon. All the "grunts" will especially appreciate it."  Signed "Grunt"     

"I want to compliment you on the design and performance of your BLSS? Helmet Upgrade Kit. Prior to deploying for Operation Iraqi Freedom, I installed your product in my Kevlar helmet. I was impressed by the comfort of the kit and its performance with mounted NVGs. I was the commanding officer of the Marine Corps artillery battery and frequently led convoys at night. As I led my battery north of An Nasiryha, my vehicle was hit with an RPG. Although I was seriously wounded, losing my right hand, I believe that your helmet liner spared me from additional wounds from the concussion. The blast shattered the dust goggles that were attached to my helmet but I only received one small cut below my ear. As I was evacuated back into Kuwait, corpsmen and other medical personnel kept trying to remove my helmet and give me something softer to rest my head on. Each time they tried I refused because I was more comfortable with your liner system... Your product truly made a difference for me and I would gladly recommend it to my fellow Marines."   Capt. J. R., U. S. Marine Corps.

This is a poem being sent from a Marine to his Dad.
For those who take the time to read it, you'll see a letter from him to his Dad at the bottom. It makes you truly thankful for not only the Marines, but ALL of our troops.


             THE Marine

We all came together,
Both young and old
To fight for our freedom,


To stand and be bold.

In the midst of all evil,
We stand our ground,
And we protect our country
From all terror around.

Peace and not war,
Is what some people say.
But I'll give my life,
So you can live the American way.

I give you the right
To talk of your peace.
To stand in your groups,
and protest in our streets.

But still I fight on,
I don't bitch, I don't whine.
I'm just one of the people
Who is doing your time.

I'm harder than nails,
Stronger than any machine.
I'm the immortal soldier,
I'm a U.S. MARINE!


So stand in my shoes,
And leave from your home.
Fight for the people who hate you,
With the protests they've shown.


Fight for the stranger,
Fight for the young.
So they all may have,
The greatest freedom you've won.


Fight for the sick,
Fight for the poor
Fight for the cripple,
Who lives next door.


But when your time comes,
Do what I've done.
For if you stand up for freedom,
You'll stand when the fight's done.


By: Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine Corps
USS SAIPAN, PERSIAN GULF


March 23, 2003

 
Hey Dad,

Do me a favor and label this "The Marine" and send it to
everybody on your email list. Even leave this letter in it. I want this rolling all over the US ; I want every home reading it. Every eye seeing it. And every heart to feel it. So can you please send this for me? I would but my email  time isn't that long and I don't have much time anyway. You know what Dad?  I wondered what it would be like to truly understand what JFK said in His inaugural speech.


"When the time comes to lay down my life for my country,
I do not cower from this responsibility. I welcome it."


Well, now I know. And I do. Dad, I welcome the opportunity to do what I do. Even though I have left behind a beautiful wife, and I will miss the birth of our first born child, I would do it 70 times over to fight for the place that God has made for my home.  I love you all and I miss you very much. I wish I could be there when Sandi has our baby, but tell her that I love her, and Lord willing, I will be coming home soon. Give Mom a great big hug from me and give one to yourself too.
Aaron 

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