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Army Sgt. Breanna J. Jessop of Myton Utah receives USO Service Member of the Year

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Left: Army Sgt. Breanna J. Jessop. Right: Jessop holds a baby at the Hamid Karzai International Airport chapel during evacuation operations in Afghanistan in August 2021.

Army Sgt. Breanna J. Jessop, of Myton, Utah, played a key role in the evacuation operations at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan this past August. When the 82nd Airborne Division was called to support the mission, Jessop became the noncommissioned officer in charge of the airport's chapel. Despite having limited to nonexistent resources, she used her ingenuity to ensure 4,000 members of the coalition force, including U.S. troops, had access to items used for basic hygiene. 

Jessop also oversaw the orphanage that was formed as a result of the increase in unaccompanied minors being brought to the area, and she led the charge to help care for children ranging in age from 7 days to 17 years old. According to the USO, she protected their well-being and their dignity as human beings. Thanks to Jessop's devoted and selfless leadership efforts, more than 400 displaced children were protected from enemy attacks and the turmoil that unfolded during the operation.