American service members are adding to a remarkable hashtag vowing to protect a young Muslim girl who thought she was going to be rounded up and deported after hearing Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the US.
Melissa Chance Yassini, the mother of an 8-year-old from Dallas, Texas, said she came home earlier this month to find her daughter packing her bags, believing the family would have to flee having overheard the GOP frontrunner’s rant.
Writing on her Facebook wall, Yassini called it a “sad day in America when I have to comfort my 8-year-old child who heard that someone with yellow hair named Trump wanted to kick all Muslims out of America.”
Yassini told Upworthy her daughter collected “all her favourite things in a bag” fearing the army would "came to remove the family from their home."
“She checked the locks on the door 3-4 times,” Yassini added. “This is terrorism. No child in America deserves to feel that way.”
The post was spotted Army veteran Kerri Peek, who responded:
Please show this picture of me to your daughter. Tell her I am a Mama too and as a soldier I will protect her from the bad guys.
I can't tell you how sorry I am. From one mother to another, my heart breaks at the thought of how scared your precious daughter must be. There is more good than bad in this world... Blessed be to you and your family.
Peek followed up by calling for fellow service people to post pictures of themselves with the hashtag #IWillProtectYou.
Soon, members of the armed services were doing just that.
Speaking on Tuesday, Yassini praised the outpouring of support. "I have probably received close to 500 messages from various people in our military, from just people," she said. "Christians, atheists, Jews, every walk of life, every stage, have reached out to Sofia and I with overwhelming support and love."