Melissa Chance Yassini came home from work one day in early December to find her eight-year-old daughter Sofia in tears.
Sofia had heard presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments on the news about stopping Muslims from coming to the US, and his words terrified her.
Yassini had to stay up all night convincing Sofia that their family - US citizens - were safe. In the morning, the exhausted mum wrote on her Facebook page:
Sad day in America when I have to comfort my 8 year old child that someone with yellow hair called Trump wants to kick all Muslims out of America. She had begun collecting all her favorite things in a bag in case the army comes to remove us from our homes. She checked the locks on the door 3-4 times. This is terrorism. No child in America deserves to feel that way.
Yassini's post was shared on Facebook, where it was seen by army veteran Kerri Peek. Peek was so moved by Sofia's distress she wrote a message back which read:
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 wanted to let Sofia and all American Muslim children know that they are safe and wanted in their country - so she asked her friends to help, imploring them to post pictures of themselves in uniforms pledging to stand against hateful racist rhetoric.
We are the force that stands between precious children and the bad guys... let these children know that we will not hurt them. That they are safe here in America.
Since then, messages of support from servicemen and women using the hashtag #IWillProtectYou have flooded social media:
Peek said she was overwhelmed by the response to her call. "I have always been proud of my Battle Buddies (we are all comrades-at-arms)," she told UpWorthy. "But this is outstanding."
Yassini also said she was moved by the outpouring of support for her little girl.
I have probably received close to 500 messages from various people in our military, from just people.
Christians, atheists, Jews, every walk of life, every stage, have reached out to Sofia and I with overwhelming support and love. I read each and every message to her. And she now understands that we’re all part of a fabric which is America.