A Soldier Ran a Makeshift Orphanage in Afghanistan, Using Love and Fun to Safeguard Kids' Dignity!

Sgt. Breanna Jessop, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, ran a makeshift orphanage in Afghanistan during the evacuation of American forces and vulnerable citizens. The orphanage cared for 400 unaccompanied minors, ranging in age from seven days to 17 years old. Jessop and her fellow soldiers created the orphanage when they encountered children who had been separated from their parents. They wanted to provide a sense of safety, warmth, and fun for the children.

They brought in a radio for dance parties and secured toys and coloring books to keep the children happy. Her efforts to protect the well-being and dignity of the children earned her the title of Soldier of the Year by the United Service Organizations (USO). Her nomination letter praised her for not only protecting the children but also for treating them as human beings. Many of the children in the orphanage actually had families outside the airport's gates who had given them over, wanting them to reach safety in the United States.

Jessop saw a group of children with "U.S.A." written on their hands, indicating their parents' desperate desire to get them to a safer place. Before running the orphanage, Jessop procured basic hygiene items for 4,000 U.S. military members and other coalition forces at the airport chapel. Her dedicated and selfless leadership under difficult circumstances left an indelible mark on those she helped. The USO, founded in 1941, is a non-profit organization that provides support to deployed service members. It was initially created to entertain troops during World War II and has since grown into an organization that offers unwavering support to service members.

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