Never Forgotten: Nate Hardy & Mike Koch

Upon returning from duty, wounded service members most often request something so simple as a cap –– a way for them to cover head wounds from combat. This reality inspired the founding of Operation Hat Trick (OHT) –– an organization dedicated to helping these individuals and their families.

OHT began at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) as a program that delivered free hats to wounded veterans in VA hospitals. The initiative started in honor of Nate Hardy (son of UNH professor and his wife) and Mike Koch: two Navy SEALs and friends who fought and died together in Iraq in 2008 and are buried together at Arlington National Cemetery.

Over the past decade, OHT has partnered with brands like ’47 to raise awareness and support for the recovery of service members and veterans injured during combat. By purchasing OHT headwear, you’re contributing to selected organizations that help them overcome the visible and invisible traumas of war.

February 4th, 2018 marks ten years since the deaths of Nate Hardy and Mike Koch. As we continue the commitment to share their story, limited edition headwear featuring a commemorative message is available here.

The name Operation Hat Trick comes from the initial focus on hats, with a tie to UNH’s rich history in hockey. Since 2008, OHT has expanded well beyond New Hampshire, yielding great results for our armed forces.

For the full story behind the cause and more ways to help, visit