The safe return of service members from war is a celebrated event, never to be taken for granted, but the effects of combat experience do not end there, and neither should anyone’s attention. With the help of organizations like Operation Hat Trick (OHT), the care needs of these heroes and their loved ones are being answered –– and in this scenario, it all started with hats.
In 2011, ’47 was approached by OHT’s Founder, Dot Sheehan, who relayed a humbling message: the most requested item of service members returning from war was simply a baseball cap, to hide visible head wounds. For years, Dot had been delivering hats to military hospitals, quickly realizing the help doesn’t need to stop there.
Today, OHT is dedicated to generating awareness, support and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded service members and veterans. Carefully selected organizations, like the Travis Mills Foundation, receive proceeds from the sale of OHT branded merchandise, in order to fulfill this mission –– and ’47 is honored to be a licensed headwear and apparel partner.
As one of five quadruple amputees to survive injuries from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, retired US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills knows the road to recovery better than most of the world can imagine. Even amidst unthinkable trauma, he became a shining light and friend for comrades faced with similar challenges.
With this same bravery, Travis began major renovations on the large abandoned Elizabeth Arden estate in Maine, with the goal of making it a haven for military families to enjoy outdoor activities and rehabilitation in good company. Dot and Travis walked us around the property so we could see one of the meaningful ways that OHT funds are put to work:
Through the purchase of OHT headwear and apparel, you’ll contribute to these kinds of programs.
OHT began at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and is dedicated to Nate Hardy (son of a UNH professor and his wife), and Mike Koch, two Navy SEALs, and friends who fought and died together in Iraq in 2008. For more of the story behind the cause and how you can help, visit their site.