March 22, 2007 ? As defenders of the homeland, the mission of fire fighters and military service personnel is much the same. That kinship has inspired many fire fighters to lend their assistance to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including members of Seguin, TX Local 4122, who raised $3,016 for Operation Helmet.
The Operation Helmet program provides soldiers with potentially life-saving upgrades to ballistic helmets ? free of charge. These upgrades are currently only issued to the military's most elite forces and do not filter down to Reserve and National Guard forces. So, many soldiers are serving without the proper equipment to ensure their safety.
?When our local president ? Mark Kublank ? heard about the program, he was really impressed with it,? says Chris Chomel, member and spokesperson for Local 4122. ?Even though we don?t have any members serving, we wanted to get involved. So, we organized a Fill-the-Boot drive to benefit the program.?
Seguin fire fighters went out March 17 and, in four short hours, raised the money. Four area businesses also wrote checks for more than $100 each.
?Considering that Seguin only has a population of 25,000, we were really pleased with the generosity everyone showed,? says Chomel.
The current government-issued helmets only protect against gunfire and flying debris, are uncomfortable and offer little or no protection from concussion-causing blasts.
The upgrade kits, which cost $98.65 each, consist of shock-absorbing pads and a new strap system that improves comfort and stability. One of the most important kit benefits is that it keeps the helmet from sliding forward over the eyes.
To donate, send checks to:
74 Greenview Street
Montgomery, TX 77356