"Operation Hat Trick is devoted to the same mission that motivates everyone at SoldierStrong: supporting the recovery of wounded service members and veterans to help them move past the traumas of battle so they can live better lives,"
said Chris Meek, SoldierStrong co-founder.
"I've been especially impressed with – and appreciative of – OHT's approach to fill critical gaps in care wherever they exist. It's in keeping with the training our armed forces receive to 'adapt and overcome' and SoldierStrong is proud to partner with such a dedicated and resourceful group of people working for a greater cause."
Back in 2009, SoldierStrong saw that soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan lacked some basic essentials, such as tube socks and baby wipes, cherished items in the harsh deserts of the Middle East. SoldierStrong was founded, and, working with local businesses and civic organizations around Stamford, Conn., held sock drives and fund-raising events. Word of their mission spread, and partnerships grew in scope to include organizations such as Cablevision, Sports Illustrated, ConAir and Newman’s Own, in addition to a number of schools and universities, churches and other civic organizations.
People took notice – SoldierStrong shipped over 85,000 pounds of items to our troops abroad, and drew praise here at home, receiving a commendation from the U.S. House of Representatives and a Presidential Call to Service Award from the White House.
As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wound down and our ambitions to help grew, SoldierStrong’s focus pivoted from providing goods to soldiers abroad to helping them thrive here at home. Their efforts quickly evolved beyond simple sock drives to scholarships for returning veterans and partnering with cutting-edge rehabilitation technology companies to literally get our heroes “back on their feet”, with the help of exoskeleton suits for paralyzed veterans.
SoldierStrong remains committed to its founding principles: providing our patriots with the resources and support they need to overcome obstacles new and old. While the goods that they now provide – state-of-the-art medical devices and
educational opportunities at some of our nation’s most prestigious institutions – are in no way small, their impact continues to be outsized.
SoldierStrong also raises money for treatment for those veterans with spinal cord injuries who cannot pay for treatment. Operation Hat Trick paid for 18 treatments for a female veteran this last year.
Click the button below to watch the video showing an exoskeleton suit donated by SoldierStrong in action: