22 Dec 2015

Army Vets Stand Up For Scared Muslim Girl Who Thinks Trump Will Kick Her Out Of America

Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump has pissed off a lot of people with his anti-Muslim comments, but one thing not many people are talking about is how his words are impacting children. For Muslim children in particular almost everything that comes out of Trump’s bigoted mouth is terrifying.
Melissa Chance Yassini recently learned this when she came home from work to find her 8-year-old daughter, Sofia, crying and afraid. Sofia and her grandmother had been watching the news together when something came on about Trump’s plan to deport refugees and ban all Muslims from coming into America, and it made Sofia afraid for herself and her family because they are Muslim. Yassini said:
“She ran to me with a look of absolute fear on her face. It was the first time that it really drove home to me that we’re in a dangerous place right now.”
Yassini spent almost all night comforting her daughter, who was so convinced that she’d be kicked out of America that she had started to put all her things in a bag. The next day, Yassini was just as frustrated as she was exhausted, and she decided to vent about it on Facebook:
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Yassini
The powerful post went viral as veterans and military service members jumped in to comfort Sofia and let her know she was not only safe, but welcome in America.
Kerri Peek, one of the Army vets that responded, said she was horrified when she heard about the fear Sofia was experiencing. She was particularly disturbed that Sofia thought soldiers would really come and take her away. Peek herself is Hispanic, and was very familiar with feeling unwelcome after hearing statements like Trump’s. She said, “It bothered me all night. Stuck in my craw, so to speak. This rhetoric and fear, hate, and violence is not okay. It’s not the United States that I would fight for. I was awake all night.”
Peek asked herself, “What’s a way [for her] to know that soldiers are not going to come to her door?” Peek decided to send Sofia a picture of herself in her Army uniform, with the caption “Here’s a picture of me as a mom and soldier and I’ll come to protect you.”
Peek then called on her friends to do the same, and use the hashtag #iwillprotectyou to let Sofia know that military service members would fight for her and other Muslim Americans.
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Peek wrote, “Post a picture of you in uniform with the hashtag ‘#WillProtectYou’ to let these children know that we will not hurt them. That they are safe here in America.”
The responses were nothing short of awe-inspiring. 
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Veteran Andres Herrera wrote on Facebook:
“Calling all vets. I’ve been reading reports of kids being harassed and accosted because of their faith. This is UNAMERICAN. Now is the time to act. Let Muslim children know that we will not hurt them. That they are safe here in America. That we will protect innocents as we always have and by added benefit keeping our oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution.”
Veteran David Bruce also posted:
“I am not Muslim, but when anyone says the Army that I served with will go on to remove Muslims from my country, they’ll have to take me, too.”
Peek revealed that she’s received HUNDREDS of messages from Muslims who revealed that they, too, were scared of the current Islamophobia in America; as well as people for all kinds of backgrounds who vowed to support and protect others’ freedom of religion.
Peek’s post worked, as Yassini told her that Sofia was very comforted by the hashtag. Peek said:
“She said she’s been reading the posts to her daughter and her daughter feels so much better knowing that she’s a part of America.”

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