Sgt. Breanna Jessop ran a makeshift orphanage in Afghanistan

Courtesy of USO Sgt. Breanna Jessop

Sgt. Breanna Jessop joined the Army out of high school in Utah because she wanted to help people. In August, amid the evacuation of US forces and vulnerable citizens in Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance was needed.

Jessop, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, was deployed to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and immediately made a difference. Among other duties, she oversaw a makeshift orphanage that looked after 400 unaccompanied minors, aged from seven days to 17 years old.

For her efforts, she was named Soldier of the Year by the United Service Organizations, the military support organization better known as USO.

A letter nominating her for the award written by the 82nd Airborne Division Command Sgt. Major David Pitt said of Jessop: “She not only protected the well-being of children, but also their dignity as human beings.

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According to Task and objective, a publication that covers military matters, Jessop and other soldiers set up the orphanage when they met children who had been separated from their parents. She and her fellow soldiers wanted to provide a sense of security, warmth and fun – so they brought a radio for the dance parties and secured toys and coloring books, the outlet reported.

Sgt.  Breanna Jessop ran a makeshift orphanage in Afghanistan

Sgt. Breanna Jessop ran a makeshift orphanage in Afghanistan

Courtesy of USO Sgt. Breanna Jessop

“We were just trying to cheer them up, to keep them happy,” Jessop told the outlet. “Since I don’t know what you went through or how difficult it was, it’s not something I could ever relate to, but I’m here to give you love.”

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Jessop told the outlet that more than half of the children at the orphanage actually had families outside the airport gates, but their parents had abandoned them, wanting them to get to the safety of the States. -United. She said she saw a group of children with “USA” written on their hands, indicating the parents’ desperate desire to take them to a safer place.

Prior to her work at the orphanage, Jessop was in charge of the airport chapel, and in that capacity, she purchased basic hygiene items for 4,000 US servicemen and other coalition forces.

Sgt.  Breanna Jessop ran a makeshift orphanage in Afghanistan

Sgt. Breanna Jessop ran a makeshift orphanage in Afghanistan

Courtesy of USO Sgt. Breanna Jessop (right)

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“Sergeant Jessop has shown dedicated and selfless leadership in duress operations,” said Pitt’s letter of appointment, adding that her efforts “had left an indelible mark” on those she assisted.

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The nonprofit USO, which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2021, was founded in 1941 when six civilian organizations pooled their resources to entertain troops during World War II. Bob Hope’s performances became a staple, and since then the organization has grown and become an unwavering source of support for deployed military personnel.