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Hat Trick Scores Again

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
June 23, 2010

For the second time since its inception, UNH’s Operation Hat Trick (OHT) has scored with American soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On June 9, more than 350 navy blue baseball hats with the Operation Hat Trick logo above the brim were delivered to patients at Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

OHT was originally geared toward servicemen who had suffered head injuries but has been expanded to honor all military men and women wounded in action. It is dedicated to Nate Hardy, a Navy Seal killed in Iraq in 2008. Hardy’s parents, Donna and Steve Hardy, both work at UNH.

Dot Sheehan, senior associate athletic director for external relations, came up with the idea after learning that soldiers with head injuries wanted hats to cover their wounds, scars and bandages. The plan was to sell the hats and donate one of every three sold to the soldiers—hence the name ‘hat trick’ which, in hockey, refers to one player scoring three goals in a single game.

Earlier this month, Sheehan traveled to Washington to deliver the hats along with President Mark Huddleston; the Hardys; Amber Radzevich, ('04), assistant athletic director for marketing and communications; Lynn Smith ('02), coordinator of alumni programs; and Michelle Grenier, professor of kinesiology. 

“Head injuries were multiple at Bethesda but the strength of spirit and the dedication to country remained strong,” Sheehan said. “All the soldiers were happy to see us and told us that they are forever grateful that we remembered them and that Operation Hat Trick hats make them feel ‘normal’ again.”

Others joining the group included Lt. Cmdr. Navy SEAL Doug Munz; Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Brown; Mike Hickey('73), Verizon's vice president of government affairs and national security policy; Maryanne DeMarco, ('85), executive director of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association; and John Measell, director of communications, BAE Systems.

Hats are available at the UNH Bookstore, Hayden Sports, Town & Campus in Durham and online at http://unh.sportdesigns.com/Store_Gear_Product_Merchandise/UNH-Wildcats-Operation-Hat-Trick-Cap/P_ID-33341/index.mhtml.

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